Seasonal Dessert Idea: Rhubarb Custard with Meringue

This is a seasonal rhubarb recipe that is a departure from the standard and delicious rhubarb crisp or jam. Decidedly different, this recipe uses a generous amount of this ambidextrous vegetable. Although some varietals still have the poisonous leaves, many modern varietals have edible leaves. However, most recipes just use the petioles or stalks (celery looking part). The original recipe calls for peeling the stalks. Granted this recipe was found amongst the pages of my 1950s Odd Volume of Cookery, I nonetheless set about peeling, besides it was for Mother’s Day and they are worth the effort. I also added fresh ginger and some cinnamon to the original recipe.

As one of my very advance palette friend’s summed it up: “I like the flavor but found the texture of rhubarb and custard to be a bit too weird and did not compliment the texture of the meringue”. Next time, I may leave the peel on as it brings in the pretty red color. To compensate for any possible stringy or toughness, I will instead slice even thinner and perhaps simmer with the brown sugar for 20 minutes or so. I’m toying with the idea of blending it up before mixing with eggs to make the texture smoother. Lastly, I know that it will dramatically change the intent of the pie but I might, just might, not add the meringue and just use a good whipped cream instead.

Rhubarb Meringue Pie


  • 1 plain pie crust (make by hand if you want) or graham cracker crust
  • 3 cups peeled/skinned and chopped rhubarb (little less than 1 lb)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream or sour cream (because that is what I had!)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

For Meringue

  • 3 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, at least, more will make sweeter and stiffer


  • Line a 9 inch pie plate with crust, bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 10 minutes. When pre-bake on crust is done, remove and turn the heat up to 450 F.
  • Peel (if you want) and thinly chop the rhubarb (thinner than my picture I think).

  • Place the rhubarb in the pie plate. Combine the pie filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl (brown sugar, beaten eggs, flour, cream, salt, ginger, cinnamon). Pour in and over the rhubarb.

  • Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the rhubarb is tender and custard is set. You might need to line the edges with foil to prevent the crust from burning.
  • Make the meringue. Don’t worry this is really pretty easy. Here is a post with tips and what not to do’s! Beat the four egg whites until start to stiffen. Add in cream of tartar and sugar, continue beating until those glorious stiff peaks form! Pile meringue over the baked rhubarb custard and bake again at 350 F until golden brown.

  • Enjoy!


I love vintage cook books! The Odd Volume of Cookery does not disappoint. This cook book contains recipes captured by Mrs. John Morrisey, based on dinners served at The Club of Odd Volumes meetings in Boston from 1910 until 1947.

5 thoughts on “Seasonal Dessert Idea: Rhubarb Custard with Meringue

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