Rhubarb Custard Pie

comments: 91




Ah! Pie! Rhubarb custard: sweet, tart, creamy, crusty, and generally awesome. Simple spring pleasure. It worked out well! Now (naturally) I want to grow rhubarb but I don't think we have enough room in any of our sunny spots. Need to find a spot.

In other garden news, my little teeny lettuce seeds that I planted six days ago are sprouting!!! You know I got choked up about that. Well, it's been a hard year.

I was thinking I would take a photo of the raised beds from the upstairs window every Wednesday, just to watch how they grow from a different perspective. It's supposed to be fairly warm (though fairly cloudy) all week. I have to say I really love this time of year, which feels like pre-summer. Summer itself stresses me out, because it feels like 1) it's too hot, 2) it's too sunny, 3) it's too busy, 4) it's too hot and sunny, and 4) it never really seems like it goes how I want it to. I always wind up feeling kind of . . . frantic. I don't know how to change it, but I think that feeling has been with me since childhood. Great expectations?

I swear I think it has something to do with the light coming from straight overhead. Interrogation. I have trouble with overhead lighting, even in the house. Makes me anxious. I prefer a lower angle.

And speaking of dresses (yesterday), a tree peony–colored one wouldn't be bad either. Jeesh. Planted ten years ago, in a pot the size of a bucket, this poor thing is one of the most neglected plants we have, yet it rewards us every year, without fail, with the most gorgeous and enormous blossom. And this year, two of them. Splendid angels. They're like six or seven inches across, seriously. I'm truly afraid to transplant it, or move it, or otherwise care for it (other than adoringly gawk at it this week), lest I break some unspoken arrangement between us and actually upset her. It's so hard to know.


I can't believe your peony is blooming already! Lovely. The scent always makes me swoon. I agree with summer expectations...pre-summer is my favorite, too.

A peony dress would be beautiful. In linen. The pie looks amazing - does the custard go inside with the rhubarb? What a good idea. I would still need extra custard on top though.

Taking a photo of the garden weekly sounds good. You'll get a kick out of it at the end of the summer when you look at all of them. I feel I kind of "drift" in the summer too. Maybe that free feeling of endless summer days stays with us from childhood? There is no structure or order to it which can be both good & bad. This year will be better for you. Maybe it will start with a nice cheery garden and some new beginnings. Take care--I love to read your blog.

I'm glad you found the rhubarb custard pie turned out well! I thought of trying it myself, since my rhubarb is finally growing well after moving it 3 times, trying to find the right spot.
I've found my peonies to be extremely hardy (they've also been moved 3 times), despite always being told otherwise. But mine are regular ones, not tree peonies.
I also find summer too hot and sunny - I think I need to live somewhere with a more maritime climate. Maybe it doesn't have to be frantic, though? I sit outside in the early morning, drink lots of chocolate-mint tea with lime, and hide in my basement sewing room when it gets too hot outside.

What a spring filled post! I love peonies & rhubarb custard pie? I'll take a slice, please!

That pie looks absolutely scrumptious. I hope you are enjoying every bite!

I heard once . . . never move a peony from one place to another . . . I have listened and never get more than two or three luscious blossoms . . . I will accept those . . .

Looks amazingly good! :-)

You are a woman after my own heart indeed. That rhubarb pie! gorgeous and probably utterly delectable too. did you eat the whole thing? I wouldn't have been able to stop.

My lettuce sprouted, too. It's wild. Yesterday I put in some beet seeds, and covered the pot with a clear plastic trash bag so they don't wash away in the rain. I did the same with the lettuce last week, and they sprouted in 4 days - greenhouse effect, I guess.

Don't you love it when a neglected plant thrives regardless? I'm totally with you on your pre-summer love. The weather is beautiful and actually enjoyable (summer's in Montreal are really too hot and humid to spend much time outdoors) and the excitement of a "summer break" coming up but none of the disappointment that always seems to go hand in hand with it.

Laura T. says: May 08, 2012 at 08:27 AM

Hi Alicia,
The picture of your flowers yesterday against the black background is beautiful - just like your embroidery. Growing seeds is so exciting -I have some peony poppies coming up and I am guarding them with my life!

I agree so much with what you said about summer, except that we get horrible mosquitos here as well, so bad that you can no longer eat dinner out on the deck. My garden is exactly how I want it right now - globes of purple allium attracting butterflies; peonies, roses, delphinium and foxgloves on the verge of opening. But - come July and August - we have hit the "jungle phase" as I call it (everything overgrown, it's hot, buggy and humid) and I just can't wait for it to be fall. I have planted some japanese anemones (pink and white) and my mom just gave me some asters - hopefully I will have some late color.

Please keep posting the pictures and updates. By all means, let's enjoy our gardens now! Maybe later on we can compare jungles - then it will be time to bring on the pumpkins!

Laura in Naperville, IL

Must try the rhubard custard pie - tonight!

Amazing looking pie. Now I want to bake but it's going to be in the 90s today. Maybe next week. Just got my garden in and my fingers are ithing already. Happy gardening!!

I would do anything for rhubarb pie for tea tonight ... unfortunately don't think that's going to happen!

Your photos make me feel so hungry.

Hope you enjoy your pie.
Fleur xx

Peonies are just lovely!
I jget anxious in the summer too, but I think mine is because if I don't slather on the sunscreen I turn lobster red in no time. Plus hot humid heat and I don't get along.

I know what you mean about the light coming from overhead. It makes me grumpy if I run errands in the middle of the day!

Oh your pie is gorgeous! Well done.

Your pie has made me feel hungry - it is beautiful; ALMOST too beautiful to slice...
I adore peonies. one of my very favourites. They are very temperamental although we have one that was originally planted in Ireland by my husband's father. When both of my husband's parents had died we sold the house and we decided to dig up the peony and bring it over to our garden in England. I issued dire warnings that it might not survive. It did and blessed us with beautiful blooms. Then we had to move it again - I felt very guilty. For a couple of years it has sulked and refused to blossom but this year there is a single bud. I am waiting for the blooming. There will be a post in tribute but we need some sun here in the UK!

Yum!! That looks absolutely perfect!

rebecca says: May 08, 2012 at 08:54 AM

Summer has a way of stressing me out because it's so socially demanding. My energy levels fall in hot weather, and my moods actually darken, at least about aniticpating having to socialize and pretend I am enjoying the season, which I Am Not, thanks very much. You might enjoy this book I'm reading - "Quiet", by Susan Cain, which celebrates and studies true introverts and their contributions to society. It's absolutely wonderful reading.

Love the woven pie crust! Seems almost too beautiful to cut into...

My tree peony have 18 flowers this year! It was spectacular!!

I think the whole summer thing is that it goes by so fast. My favorite time is right now. The birds are building nests and the garden is coming back to life. My hummingbirds are also back & buzzing me as I work outside. I love it!

Your pie is gorgeous.

That pie looks amazing! Definitely find a spot to grow rhubarb if you can. It doesn't grow well here in Austin and is very expensive, and I LOVE RHUBARB! Don't take it for granted. :)

I agree with you about the summer sun being too direct and overhead - but I have to say in the PNW the early mornings and long, long evenings are pure delight.

The peony is gorgeous.
Are there peony poems?
Seems like there should
be whole art forms dedicated
to peonies.
I think, maybe, I understand
your summer angst... I love
the freed-up time, the promise of
adventure and liberty, but the heat,
the rush, the eagerness to achieve
EVERYTHING gets overwhelming. We cannot
understate the *heat.* And most folks
would say I am crazy not to love the hot and sunny days,
but... no~

I am so with you on the pre-summer vs. summer perspective! (Thanks for putting it into words.) And direct overhead light, whether outdoors or in, just ain't right! Like you, sitting in the shade while the sun is aglow is a mighty fine place to be. That peony ... Such gorgeousness! And that rhubarb pie ... Such deliciousness!

That rhubarb custard pie looks amazing!

Peonies are my most favorite flower--anticipating ours, although it won't be for several weeks. WhatEVER you do--don't move it. Seriously. Don't. That's one thing they hate. They'll live for 100 years, but move them and you'll lose blooms for AT LEAST three years, if they ever decide to come back. And if you do decide to move it, don't bury the root ball too far below the soil's surface, otherwise you'll get lovely foliage but no blooms. (Ask me how I know this.)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com