I wrote this post up a few days ago but never published it because it never seemed like the right time. First it was, “Hmm, I already made two posts today,” and then it was, “How can I post this on the day when we saw Nugget on the ultrasound AND Michael felt him/her kick for the first time?” and so on. But since I haven’t actually posted in, you know, a whole day, and there’s no time to write a post tonight (lots of prep for a three-hour meeting tomorrow morning, followed by going directly to an Arts in the Park gig with The Big Band at lunch hour… how on earth am I going to manage to be everywhere I need to be on time?) well, it just seems like a good stop-gap.
Mmmm, dreams of dessert…
I think I remember the first time I ever tasted rhubarb. I was in grade 4 and I had a wonderful teacher who always invited the class to her house for a day at the end of the year. She had a beautiful big house with rolling lawns leading down to a creek, and she had a huge dog named Kaiser and a tiny miniature doberman called Pepper, who totally ruled the roost. Mrs. Kozyra made rhubarb pie, and it must’ve been pretty remarkable or I wouldn’t remember it so many years later.
One of my neighbours down the street has an extremely prolific rhubarb patch. While our rhubarb is just getting underway, his was out of control two weeks ago. And he doesn’t even like rhubarb. So he gave us a ton of it. And I made a rhubarb custard tart that turned out to be so delicious, I wish there were still a few slices left. I admit it’s not much to look at (especially because I had to strip a lot of the pretty red off the rhubarb, since it had started getting tough) but the flavour more than makes up for it.
My neighbour Cathy had a slice and asked me for the recipe. I haven’t got ’round to typing it out yet, so I thought while I was at it, I’d just go ahead and post it here for any rhubarb fans. The recipe is adapted from one for “Badischer Apfelkuchen” that I have in a German cookbook.
Rhubarb Custard Tart
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, chilled
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
- chopped rhubarb (I’m guessing about four cups?)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make pastry, preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 12-inch springform pan; set aside. In a large bowl, cut butter or margarine into flour until well distributed. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, and lemon peel. Use your hands to press pastry into the bottom and about an inch and a half up the sides of the greased pan. Don’t make the pastry too thick (you can see how mine gets pretty fat at the corners); this is not a “light, flaky” type pastry, so if it’s too thick you’ll find it hard to cut through. It is yummy, though!
To make filling, put rhubarb into prepared pastry and distribute evenly. In a medium bowl, beat together the 3 eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour over rhubarb. Trim pastry if it comes up above the custard (or just smoosh it down if you’re lazy like me). Bake for 25 minutes or so until custard is set.
Allow to cool before cutting. The end.
Hmmm, I hope I remembered all that correctly. Well, it seems to be a pretty forgiving recipe; after all, I half made it up. This is great with coffee and a dollop of whipped cream is the perfect accompaniment. Mmmm. I do still have some rhubarb-apple crisp in the fridge. I think I’ll go make do with that…