Good Ol' Summertime Rhubarb Custard Dessert With Cookie Crust

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 50 mins

A delicious cookie crust, a sweet-tart creamy custard loaded with rhubarb, topped with an (optional) amazing meringue. Works with frozen or fresh rhubarb. RHUBARB GROWING HINTS: water freely while it is growing; fearlessly remove the flower buds (they look kind of like white broccoli) before they open--if you don't the plant puts more effort into flowering than in making thick juicy stalks--can't have that!; harvest stalks throughout summer, then discontinue plucking spears in early August; snap off or cut stems at the base (right above the ground); rhubarb leaves are a GREAT mulch around the rhubarb bed, to keep the weeds down.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Crust

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 12 cups white flour
  • 12 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • Filling

  • 8 cups diced rhubarb (one long, thick stalk will generally yield about one cup of 'barb)
  • Custard

  • 6 egg yolks (whites are used in the meringue)
  • 1 12 cups sugar
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 12 cup milk or 12 cup cream
  • 12 cup flour
  • Meringue

  • 6 egg whites
  • 14 cup sugar (2 tsp at a time)
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350; butter a 13x9 pan.
  2. Cream butter with flours and sugar, spread in prepared pan, pressing into corners and bottom; bake for 5-10 minutes (it will get bubbly--sort of).
  3. While that is cooking, cut up the rhubarb.
  4. In a blender or a mixer bowl, beat eggs until foamy and fluffy, add sugar and continue mixing, then add other ingredients until thick and rich; set aside (rewhip right before pouring into pan with rhubarb).
  5. When crust is baked, spread rhubarb pieces evenly (press lightly into crust--lightly!); pour custard over rhubarb; return pan to the oven for 45 minutes (knife poked in middle comes out clean).
  6. While THAT is cooking, prepare meringue; beat eggs until forming soft (firm) peaks, adding sugar 2 teaspoons at a time, then salt and vanilla last, mixing until stiff.
  7. At end of baking time, remove pan from oven, turn heat up to 425; spread meringue over rhubarb/custard, smooth with a spoon into pretty swirls.
  8. Brown for five minutes; set the timer--it can burn very quickly!
  9. VARIATIONS: Skip the meringue and use whole eggs in the custard; switch out some of the rhubarb for strawberries or raspberries; use all white flour instead of wholewheat in the crust.
Most Helpful

I followed the recipe EXACTLY as written, but I think some of the proportions seem off. 1 cup of butter in that shortbread crust made it absolutely soaked and dense, nothing resembling a cookie crust. And 8 cups of diced rhubarb seems like too much. I had quite a bit chopped up and it measured only 6 cups, which was plenty because the custard barely covered it. I baked it exactly as directed but my custard never set and I couldn't get the knife to come out clean even after an hour. I finally pulled it out of the oven as the top was getting very brown and even starting to crack. So I added the meringue layer and crossed my fingers. The flavors are nice but the consistency was too soupy for my taste. I might try as little as 1/4 cup butter in the crust layer and stick with 4-5 cups of rhubarb because I think it releases liquid during baking and interferes with the custard and crust to make it all soggy. I'm open to advice here because apparently I've done something wrong.

Andyrain June 05, 2011

I actually got to try this in person made by Debber and it is soooo good!!! I loved that she added strawberries to it as well. I am excited to try and make this for this 4th of July weekend! Thank You Debber

livabelle June 30, 2009

My mouth waters just from reading this! Can't wait to try it.

Jemima Taffycat June 19, 2007