Hello, Rhubarb! I’ve been looking all over for you. You weren’t at my local Shaw’s or Stop and Shop. Nor were you at the pretty little, overpriced “farm stand” in the next town over (no true farm stand worth its salt should be without rhubarb in late May and early June!). I did see you tucked into a corner at Hannaford, but you weren’t looking your best – bedraggled and rather wilty, as if you couldn’t be bothered to put your face on to go to the grocery store. I don’t blame you, I don’t always bother either. I bought a few stalks of you anyway, in case that was all the appearance you were going to make. Finally, finally, I caught sight of you when we went strawberry picking last weekend. There you were, in a REAL farm stand, proud and tall in your perfect deep pink and green. Gorgeous! I snatched you up and brought you home with me, so delighted to have found you.
Now that I have you, I have to figure out what to do with you. A google search seems to produce recipe upon delicious recipe and I find myself frozen with indecision. A fruit crisp would be nice, but oats are not kind to my blood sugars, not to mention brown sugar, and I am not certain yet that I can come up with a decent substitute for these ingredients. I do intend to make some sugar free jam with you and perhaps your friend, the strawberry, but I need to break out my canning equipment and haven’t yet had the time. What to do, what to do?
Wait, now, something just caught my eye. Something a little different. Ah yes. Custard. And pie. Together. Custard pie. Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Pie. I can make that. And I am pretty certain I can make it low carb and still make it taste good. A nut crust instead of regular pie crust, a little stevia in the filling instead of sugar, eggs, cream…what’s not to love? I feel a recipe makeover coming on!
The Results This is a good solid recipe and I would recommend it, but it wasn’t quite “rhubarby” enough for me. After my month long search for rhubarb, I want some honest-to-goodness rhubarb flavour. I am dreaming of the rhubarb crisp my mother made last summer (just before I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes). Now that was rhubarby! The tartness of the rhubarb came through, despite what I imagine to be copious amounts of sugar, and complemented the crisp topping perfectly. Mmmm, mmmm!
In this case, I think that the rhubarb taste I am seeking got a little lost in the custard filling. Still, it’s a tasty pie in it’s own right and I happily recommend it to low-carbers as a yummy, easy to make dessert that shouldn’t throw your diet/blood sugars off course. By my calculations, a decent-sized slice of this pie is only 10g total carbs, or 5.5g if you subtract the erythritol.
And my husband and kids liked it too!
Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Pie
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups rhubarb, thinly sliced
1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (to firm up filling)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp non-bitter stevia extract (more if you would like it sweeter).
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine crust ingredients and press evenly on bottom and sides of pie pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until crust begins to brown.
Increase oven heat to 400F.
In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries and erythritol. Carefully sprinkle xanthan gum over mixture and stir very well to combine. Spread strawberry rhubarb mixture over crust.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, vanilla and stevia extract. Pour evenly over strawberry rhubarb mixture in crust.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350F. Bake for another 30-35 minutes, or until filling is completely set. Let cool in pan.
Serves 10. 10g total carbs, or 5.5 net carbs per slice.