Speaking of family recipes a couple weeks ago, this one’s popped into my life. A week into moving into our new house, a pie showed up on our doorstep.
Really! I thought that didn’t happen anymore, so I’d count us lucky to have such a thoughtful friend. It was a very good rhubarb pie – it was rich and kind of layered and custardy. We shared it with my parents when they stopped in.
A couple weeks later, my mother had a photocopy of a handwritten recipe with lovely illustrations of a leafy rhubarb plant and a steaming pie. She and the pie-gifter, Joanne, had gotten the recipe from their friend Nancy, whose husband Mark had drawn it for her while they were dating! Adorable. Mark’s mother had made it, a recipe passed down from his Grandma Edna Ferree Tade, probably from her mother, Mary Isaman Ferree. His family is French, which, culinarily speaking, is never a bad sign, right?
So, recipe in my possession, it was my turn to make it. Nancy says she’s made it about a hundred times, with all different variations – adding an extra egg white, making the filling with different methods, aiming for a crunchy top – and every variation’s been good. As I’ve now had pies made from this recipe by three different people, I agree – and it’s probably the best recipe for rhubarb pie I’ve ever tasted.
P.S. I know it’s nearing the end of rhubarb season. Hopefully you’ve been waiting around for a good recipe to show up (as I was).
Also, I’ve never made a crust like this before (it’s an oil crust), and mid-way through I was very uncertain about its consistency, but it turned out great. A good one to have in your head, particularly if you’re ever out of butter!