Paula's Pie Project Blog

52 different pies in 52 weeks

Pie #16- Rhubarb Cream Cheese with strawberries April 20, 2010

Filed under: 2010 Pie Project,Pie #16- Rhubarb Cream Chs. — paulaspieproject @ 9:49 pm
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My friend Greg is an incredible baker. 

The first time I remember eating some of his desserts was at a school open house where  parents were introduced to their child’s teacher for the upcoming school year.   Nate was going into second grade and we were meeting Mrs. Felix for the first time.  In order to sweeten up parents so that they would be more willing to volunteer for classroom and school opportunities, a couple of mothers and Greg made treats to pass out to the families.  Greg made his mom’s chocolate chip cookies (which use cornflakes as a secret ingredient) and macaroons.  I was so impressed that I asked for and was given a copy of both the macaroon recipe (Travis loves them) and Mom Weis’ chocolate cookie recipe for my own use.  Next year when I start my cookie blog, I will pass those on…..ha!

Not counting my Dad and three brothers who all bake (and claim to be pie kings), that was the first time I have known a man outside my circle to produce a batch of homemade cookies.  David is the second one; he makes a mean whoopie pie and many others.  I am still debating whether I should officially include whoopie pies as part of the pie project…  

Back to Greg, he’s from good stock, born and raised in Wisconsin and the youngest of four children.  It is obvious his Mom taught him a thing or two in the kitchen.  He is a serious “foodie” who feels as comfortable around a gas grill as he does a kitchen aid stand mixer. 

So when a reputable source and fellow Midwesterner sends you a pie recipe, you already know it is going to be good.  What I don’t know is Greg’s original source, but my guess says it comes with a warning label….

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 – 9” pie Crust pre-baked and cooled
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 4 cups trimmed and thinly sliced rhubarb

Custard

  • 1 ½ cups (12 oz) cream cheese at room temp
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

Topping

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°. 

Rub the sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl, then add the rhubarb and toss until evenly coated. Spoon the rhubarb mixture into the prebaked pie crust. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the pie from the oven and turn the oven to 325°.

Meanwhile, make the custard. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Stir in the vanilla and salt.

Pour the custard into the pie and spread it evenly and smoothly over the rhubarb. Return the pie to the oven (now at 325°) and bake 25 – 30 minutes, or until the custard puffs up around the edges but is still slightly wobbly in the middle. (The pie will firm up as it cools).

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Place the strawberries atop the pie and dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving or serve the berries alongside the pie. Enjoy!

 

Personal Notes

  • Again, I used the Basic Flaky Pie Crust recipe referenced with Pie #8. 
  • I thought I pretty much followed this recipe verbatim, but something must have been off a bit.  Either my pie crust shrunk or I used five cups of rhubarb instead the required four because the custard topping I made was a little too much for the crust to hold.  I filled it beyond capacity which is why it seeped over the edges of the crust.  Not pretty.
  • Due to the similar ingredients, the custard reminded me of my cheese cake making days, so I really felt at home in the kitchen making this pie.
  • My family couldn’t wait to dive into this pie, so I hate to admit, it was still a tiny bit warm when we sliced it up.  Like the directions above, I recommend waiting until it has cooled completely.  It is firmer thus easier to serve and it tastes better too.
  • I have to rate it in the high 9’s.  Thanks Greg!  You were right. 

 

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