Madeleine’s Rhubarb Pie

This is my grandmother Madeleine’s recipe and my mother always made it in the Spring when tender rhubarb stalks were available. It is absolutely heavenly. We have eight large plants in our garden at the inn. It is hardly enough.
The amount of sugar you will want to add to the custard is pretty much up to you. This pie is tangy but as kids we always sprinkled a little bit of coarse sugar on top of the cooled pie before we took a bite. I highly recommend it.

For best results use young and tender stalks of freshly picked rhubarb.                                                                                                                      

INGREDIENTS:
For the pie crust:
1 1/4 cup unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into 16 pieces
1/4 cup (+/-) of ice cold water
1/2 tsp. white vinegar

Measure water into a measuring cup and add the vinegar. Set in refrigerator to keep very cold.
Put flour into the bowl of a food processor, add salt and sugar and pulse 1-2 times.
Add cold butter pieces and pulse 5-6 times until butter is the size of peas.
Add cold water with the vinegar to the flour and pulse until dough barely holds together. 2-3 times.
Dump dough onto clean work surface and very gently push together until it forms a ball adding extra water by the teaspoon if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
The dough can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

For the custard:
4 cups diced rhubarb (about 1/2 inch pieces) peel rhubarb if it is too stringy
3 large eggs
3/4 cup half and half
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar more if you prefer
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of coarse sugar to sprinkle on top of the pie after it has cooled

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Butter a deep dish pie plate.
Roll out refrigerated dough and line pie plate. Crimp border. Cover dough with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 min.
While the crust is baking assemble the rhubarb custard.
Cut, peel and dice the rhubarb. Set aside.
In a large bowl of a stand up mixer add eggs and whisk well, add half and half, pinch of salt, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until well incorporated.

After 15 min. remove pie crust from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Remove pie weights. Set pie crust dish on top of a sheet pan. Let cool slightly before distributing cut rhubarb on top of warm crust. Pour custard over rhubarb. Return pie on top of sheet pan to oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes until custard is set. Remove from oven and cool pie dish on a rack.
Sprinkle coarse sugar on top before serving.

Brampton Inn
http://www.bramptoninn.com/
Danielle Hanscom
Bed and Breakfast Foodie

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