Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rhubarb Custard Pie - or, my little oasis of Heaven

Since my love of rhubarb knows no bounds, I have to share this recipe which I found in the depths of my mother's 1960 recipe box, along with about 50 other recipes that involve rhubarb.  
I love this recipe because #1 - it's really pretty simple to make (especially with the invention of the pre-made Pillsbury pie crusts) and #2 - the custard/rhubarb combination is heavenly.  Rhubarb by itself is pretty sour, and generally you need to add a good amount of sugar.  This recipe however, isn't too sicky sweet - it's perfection!

So, here is a picture of the recipe that I was facing.  I'm going to pare it down for you and make it less complicated than what you see here.  

Your list of ingredients:

1 Pillsbury Pie crust
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cup sugar
7 TB cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 lb rhubarb, diced
1/4 cp water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Here we go!
1.  Prepare the pie crust according to the package directions.  I used a metal pie pan, but any will do.  Bake it at 350 for about 10-15 minutes until it's golden.  Cool completely on a rack.

2.  Now for the Custard (not hard!)
      Separate the eggs (save the whites for the meringue at the end).  Place the yolks into a saucepan.  With a wire whisk, beat 1/2 cup of the sugar, 4 TB of the cornstarch, and the salt into the egg yolks until smooth.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and it comes to a boil - which will be about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Pour on top of your cooled pie crust and set it aside.

3.  Now on the the rhubarb filling:
     In a 2 quart saucepan, heat the diced rhubarb and 1/4 cup of water over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Cook for 5 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and the remaining 3 TB of cornstarch.  Stir into the rhubarb and heat again to boiling.  Cook, stirring constantly until the rhubarb is just tender and the mixture is thick and clear.  Pour over the custard which is sitting patiently on top of your pie crust.  Now onto the meringue topping!

*We are taking a little pause here*  I just had to show you all this container of Cream of Tartar.  This is what I found in my mother's cupboard - I think it's got to be from the 1960's - does cream of tartar ever go bad???  Well - I used it!  and I'm still alive - pie turned out wonderful - so, I'm guessing not.  ha.

4.  Now to make the meringue topping.  
     Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Add cream of tartar to your egg whites in a large bowl.  Beat them on high until stiff peaks begin to form.  Beat in the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar.  Spoon the meringue over the filling and bake for 12-15 minutes until browned.

Grab a hot cup of coffee, a huge slice of your pie and ENJOY!  (Did I tell you I just LOVE pie?!)  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ready for a Road Trip? Retro Style!

I love road trips - especially the kind that involve rockin' music, (might I suggest a little Sam Bradley anyone?) good friends and the anticipation of discovery!
So - I decided to expand the retro goodness beyond your standard steering wheel cover (because everyone already has one of those, right? (no? well then....).
In honor of my sister's birthday a few weeks ago (yep, I like to extend the birthday celebrations and send gifts after the actual celebratory day - you know, just to spread out the love (maybe a smidgen b/c I'm a scattered brained mom too, but don't tell her!  Second thought - she'd totally understand.  She's running her own amazing photography business & chasing 3 little ones around too - so, I digress....) back to the goods!)

Here you have Whoopsie Daisies luggage tags and handle cover! Because you never want your luggage to look like everyone else's! (Just ignore the fact that if you're lugging around this huge, heavy vintage suitcase, no one in the airport is going to have one like it anyway - makes for a cute picture tho, huh?) 
 In all seriousness though - I do love these.  I'm always wrapping bright ribbon around the handles of my boring black suitcase when we fly, so that I can easily spot my bag coming down the luggage ramp.  I'll be making a ton more of these for sure!  

Here is a little make-up bag I made for my sis too  - I'm especially loving the gray/yellow combination here!  

Then, because you want your car decked out in retro style - we have the rearview mirror cozy....

and.... the Steering Wheel cover.  (don't worry, if you're brother in law is not so inclined to drive the mini van around with a floral steering wheel cover  - like someone I know!) - it slips off quite easily and stuffs into the glove compartment.

Happy Road Trippin'!  Hope you're able to squeeze in one or two last trips for the summer!

  Psssstttttt!  Come find me on Twitter!  We'll have fun!  Are you the Facebook sort? 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cafe Apron Blog Feature

Just wanted to give a big THANKS to the folks over at Etsy Fort Worth for featuring my Cafe Apron Tutorial today!  These are a great group of fellow Etsy artisans.
Head on over and take some time looking around their site - some super talented creative-ness going on over there.  
And, don't forget to tell me about your apron making experience!  I'd love to hear your comments and see any pictures.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Plain and Fancy Antiques

My parent's have an antique shop in Northwest Indiana called Plain and Fancy Antiques.  (I'd give you the "link", but there isn't one.  I'm still training them on reading/answering their e-mail!)  However, they have been in business for over 25 years - so they do know their stuff!  
I took some pictures of some of my favorite items in the shop this summer - hope you enjoy!
I'm loving these old coolers  - according to Mom, they work better than the new ones - go figure.
This little painted trash can has a lever to open it with your foot - how cute?!
What a great cabinet, huh?? It's huge!
This is just such a cool retro lamp - 
What I really liked here were the flower pictures - 
The color of this table and cabinet is such a wonderful mustard yellow - makes me think fall, and canning....... (please FALL! Come to TEXAS! This heat is making me crazy!!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rhubarb Recipes: Rhubarb Bread

Since Rhubarb is a bit rare where I live in Texas, I thought I'd share with you a few recipes that I tried while visiting my family in Indiana. 
 This one for Rhubarb Bread is extremely simple!  
The rhubarb I used, came straight from my mom's garden - if you're using fresh like this, you'll want to be sure to cut the leaves off and discard them (they are poisonous).  Then, you need to wash the stems and remove the ends before you start in with your recipe.

I found this recipe in my mom's stash - as you can see, it's been used and loved!

So, here we go:  
Rhubarb Bread
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (I use powdered buttermilk & just keep it stored in the fridge.  You can also mix a TB of vinegar to a cup of milk if you're in a pinch)
2 cups diced rhubarb (I'd suggest using 3 cups)


1. Stir together the dry ingredients.  

2. Beat liquid ingredients.  

3.  Make well in dry ingredients, pour in liquid and stir until just blended.  

4. Stir in rhubarb.  

5. Pour into two 8x4 inch pans.  

6. Top with sugar and cinnamon.  

7. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes.    

Eat, and Enjoy!  (I'd suggest a cup of steaming coffee as an accompaniment!)  It's very much like a coffee cake -

See the bits of rhubarb?  See why I wanted to add more?  

Next up:  
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

And, Rhubarb Custard Pie (my fav!)

Don't forget to find Whoopsie Daisies on Twitter, Facebook, and Etsy!  Thanks for reading....(off to refill my coffee cup.......)

I'd love to hear any questions or comments you might have about this recipe!
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