Monday, May 16, 2011

Fail: Rhubarb Custard Pie

This is far from my first kitchen fail, but it is the first that I have shared on Olalliberry. It's about time! I have learned to cook from my parents and relatives, reading cookbooks, and from watching a lot of Food Network in college (it was my favorite way of curing a hangover, believe it or not, along with drinking as much water as I could stand). But I have also learned a lot from kitchen mistakes that I've made all on my own. I love to experiment, and experiments sometimes go wrong. Fortunately, this one still turned out pretty tasty.

Rhubarb custard pie is a classic spring dessert, one I grew up eating and so I am pretty fond of it. I didn't have the family recipe handy, but I figured it was such a classic dessert that I could just search for a few recipes online and mix-and-match to my tastes. One recipe called for just 2 cups of chopped rhubarb, while another called for 3 - I chose the more fruit-heavy option. Everything looked good at first, and while it ended up tasting okay, it could have been a lot better.

There were two problems with this pie: first and foremost, the filling was watery in the middle. This is always a risk with any fruit pie, but I assumed that without a top crust, the excess liquid would evaporate in the oven. Lesson learned: when making a fruit pie it is (almost) always a good idea to add flour, cornstarch or some other starch to the filling to absorb the fruit juices. This should also help to stabilize the custard.

The second problem will take more time and practice to fix, and that is the crust. I've made pie crust at least a dozen times in my life, but it doesn't always turn out so well. This one was kind of tough, and definitely too thick. The flavor was good though.

I love rhubarb custard pie, and even a "fail" is still delicious. Next time will be even better.

P.S. You may have noticed the difference in photo quality between these pictures. The first two were taken with a DSLR (not mine, but I use it occasionally) and the last one was taken with the point-and-shoot that I've owned for six years.


  1. Even though you consider it to be a fail, I think it still looks delicious! I can pretty much always eat rhubarb, though, and I bet your dessert failures are pretty darn delicious!

  2. It was pretty tasty, but the texture could have been better. Rhubarb is so delicious I need to get some more before it's all gone!!

  3. It is my mission to work with rhubarb at some point! Your pie still looks fantastic! Pie crust can be soooo fickle. Nothing wrong with a little store-bought :)

  4. Pies are hard!! I add arrowroot and it works great :)

  5. Rachel, you're my hero. I'm gonna try to make one of these with Hannah soon.

  6. Happy Birthday Rachel! I hope you get to have some tasty treats! - Becky


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