Adventures in Eating: Rhubarb Custard Pie
Rosemarie | October 1984
It’s just a fact of life. It’s rhubarb time again!
One of my favorite low cost adventures is to scout out lobbies and cafes of new hotels. Whenever Paul and I are driving about and spot a new hotel, little is said. The car pulls into the proper lane and the adventure begins.
I love the description, for instance, that Herb Caen of the San Franacisco Chronicle gives the Los Angeles Bonaventure, “One giant cappucino machine.” Now that Westin Hotels are running it, the lobby is most inviting. A little cut-up but still a downtown oasis.
Of course, my all-time favorite is the Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero Square in San Francisco. Where else can you feel you’re in some refreshing outdoor European plaza with romantic interludes of a harp or quintet playing for you. To add to this, you get the vision of elevators gliding up and down like balloons while you sit and spoon a refreshing frozen Pina Colada.
We chanced to be in Anaheim recently, and couldn’t resist the new Anaheim Hilton. The carpets are a deep rich blue-green, accented with champagne and orchid colors in a beautiful pattern. A contemporary indoor water fountain adds to a truly magnificent interior.
The cafe Oasis was not to be missed and we ordered what else but rhubarb custard pie. They have their own pastry chefs, and it was delicious.
I searched my library and happily found a recipe that fits the bill. This calls for a 9″ pastry shell, but I recommend a Pate Brisee (recipe to follow) It is more cookie-like. A traditional crust might get too soggy. Now, give it a try, please!
RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE
1 1/2 lbs. rhubarb (4 c.) (peeled if you like & cut into 1/4″ slices)
3/4 cup sugar
2 T flour
1 T lemon juice
1/8 t salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 T melted butter
1/4 t nutmeg
2 T sugar
Filling: In bowl, combine rhubarb, sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt. Toss to mix and turn into pie shell. Bake in hot oven (400F.) 20 minutes. Topping: Beat eggs slightly in bowl; stir in cream, butter, and nutmeg to blend. Pour over hot rhubarb in pie shell. Bake 10 min. sprinkle with sugar. Bake 10 min. more, or until pie’s top is slightly browned. Cool before cutting. Pate Brissee: 1 cup flour, 5 T unsalted butter, 1/3 t. salt, 1/3 t. sugar, 1 medium egg, 1 T. cream. Mix gently by hand or in a food processor. Chill 20 min. Roll to fit 9″ pie dish.