Rhubarb arrived in the United States in the 1820's. It came through Maine and Massachusetts and moved westward with the European settlers. The term rhubarb is a combination of the Ancient Greek rha and barbarum; rha is a term that refers to both the plants and to the River Volga. The plant grew along the shores of the River Volga, the largest river in Europe that flows through central Russia.
As a child I remember dipping stalks of wild rhubarb into the sugar bowl. I know my mother has never paid for rhubarb, it was always given to us by family and friends who had an abundance of rhubarb growing on their property. Often my Mom would stew the rhubarb and we would eat it with toast. However, our favourite was and still is her rhubarb pie.
This pie is the most sought after dessert in our family. It would not be uncommon for me and my siblings to fight over that last piece. My brother is lucky, his birthday is in May, when rhubarb is in season, he always requests rhubarb pie for his birthday dinner. A simple recipe with a simple fruit.
Mom's Rhubarb Pie
1 cup of rhubarb
1 cup of white sugar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of melted butter
1 tablespoon of water
Mix well the sugar, cornstarch, melted butter, water and eggs. Add the rhubarb to make the custard mixture. Turn into a 9 inch pie shell and bake at 350F for one hour or until set.
More old-fashioned recipes by Family Historians