Spring is made for rhubarb pie, and rhubarb pie is made for custard.
You won’t find any obtuse strawberries here trying to steal the show. I don’t even allow a double crust or crumb topping. This is just a simple pie with delightful bits of tart rhubarb enveloped in creamy, orange zest-infused custard.
Just like rhubarb itself, this pie is humble, easy to love, and ready for you to take it anywhere!
Sweet or Tart?
I personally believe rhubarb pie should be tart. I’ve made this pie with only a half cup sugar, and I like it that way. My husband prefers it with a full cup of sugar. We compromised, and I wrote the recipe using 3/4 cup of sugar.
The moral of this story is to make your pie as sweet or as tart as you like it. This recipe is very forgiving. Feel free to use anywhere from a half cup to a full cup of sugar.
What Is the Best Dairy for Custard Pie?
I first tested this recipe using two percent milk, because it’s what I had around the house. The custard was still creamy and light. If two percent is what you have in your fridge as you peruse this recipe, then by all means, bake away. The pie will be delicious!
I, however, believe dessert should be dessert. Meaning, heavy whipping cream is my best friend!
I wrote the recipe using heavy cream, because I like the extra fat, and it creates a luscious mouthfeel. You don’t have to go that far down the heavy cream road with me. We can still be friends.
If you prefer to make this pie with two percent milk, whole milk, or half and half over heavy whipping cream, be my guest. It will still taste lovely, and you will have pie! Yay!
Just do not use skim or one percent milk. It’s pie. This is not the time to count calories.
Orange Zest, Hold the Juice
I do my best, I really do, to use up everything when I cook, but alas, I have failed you when it comes to rhubarb pie. I used the zest from the orange, but not the juice.
I highly recommend using a fresh orange, and not the slightly dehydrated one leftover from Christmas lingering in the back of your fruit drawer. The oils from the zest really make this pie pop!
Once you’ve used the zest, I might I suggest squeezing the juice into a glass over ice. Feel free to mix it with any number of beverages. I promise, I won’t tell a soul! You can sip on it while you wait for the pie to bake.
The Best Pie Crust for This Pie
We have quite a few pie crust options on Simply Recipes. If you’re an experienced pie crust maker and prefer an all-butter crust, try Elise’s Perfect Pie Crust recipe. It makes enough for two crusts, so freeze one and save it for another day.
Another option is the tender, No Fail Sour Cream Pie Crust. It’s a very soft crust, so be careful when you roll it out and place it in the pie plate.
How to Store Rhubarb Custard Pie
As if you will have any slices of pie just lying around waiting to be eaten? But in the event of an emergency where you had to leave the house abruptly and without your pie, rest assured you can cover it with foil and place it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
How to Freeze Rhubarb Pie
Freezing pie is a brilliant way to make friends. The person with an endless stash of back up pies is always the neighborhood favorite. The good news is rhubarb pie is easy to freeze! Get ready, you're about to have an endless line of people wanting to come over for tea (and pie).
To freeze rhubarb pie, make it but don't bake it, triple wrap it in foil and freeze it. It can keep for up to 4 months. When you're ready to bake it, unwrap the foil, and place the frozen pie in the oven. You will need an extra 10 minutes of cooking time. Tah Dah! Pie at the ready for every occasion.
Need More Pie in Your Life? You and Me Both!
Rhubarb Custard Pie
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- For the filling:
- 3 1/4 cups rhubarb (about 1 lb), cut in 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Zest from 1 large orange
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
When ready to assemble pie:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Roll out your pastry:
Roll your pie crust into a 12- inch circle. Drape it over a 9-inch pie plate. Tuck the edges under and crimp it, so it looks pretty. Return it to the fridge.
Whisk flour, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla in another medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add the rhubarb and fold together with a spatula.
Assemble the pie:
Pour the filling into the crust. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake the pie:
Put the pie on a cookie sheet to protect your oven from spillovers. Fold aluminum foil in half and create a cover just around the edges of the pie crust, leaving the filling exposed.
Place the pie in the oven. Remove the foil halfway through the baking time. Bake until the custard is fully set, without a jiggle, and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 45-50 min.
Serve this pie slightly warm, cold, or at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving. Store leftovers covered and in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.