|Our house on McKean Road in Willis, Michigan circa late 1950s.|
It isn’t really a cream pie, more custard than cream. And some people don’t care for it because of the custard, expecting a pie more like cherry or strawberry that is only fruit. But for me, when the rhubarb is good, and the sweetness of the custard melds just right with the tartness of the rhubarb, it is nirvana. I think of spring and dream of new beginnings and fresh starts, and the scent of daffodils and tulips.
1 egg white, slightly beaten
3 cups rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons half and half
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 cubes
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare pie crust. Brush with slightly beaten egg white. This helps to seal the crust.
For the filling, stir together in a large bowl, the sugar, flour, eggs, butter, and nutmeg and mix just until combined. Add the rhubarb and stir gently until all of the rhubarb is coated with the filling.
Spoon filling into the chilled uncooked pastry shell.
To make crumb topping, sift together sugar, cinnamon and flour. Put in food processor. Add butter. Pulse until the mixture begins to look like coarse crumbs, about 2 minutes. Empty mixture into large bowl and add sliced almonds. Use two knives to break up flour mixture and incorporate almonds.
Spoon crumb crust topping over top of pie.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes. If crust edges are browning too much put a foil collar around the edge of the pie.
Cool the pie to room temperature before serving.
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Bake time: 45 minutes.