Rhubarb Buttermilk Pie with Oat Crumb Streusel

Rhubarb Buttermilk Pie with Oat Crumb Steusel

My husband loves custard pies of all kinds. Whether it’s a chess pie, brown sugar pie or just plain custard pie, these are his favorites. I, on the other hand, could never eat custard again in my life and still be perfectly happy. Something about the soft, jiggly, slippery texture of custard is wholly unappealing to me. So I was very surprised last fall when I made an Apple Buttermilk Pie and actually enjoyed eating it! The buttermilk part of the filling was not a traditional, stiff custard, but instead was a creamy, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth type custard. I liked that pie so much that I’ve been craving it lately. Since it seemed a little strange to make an apple pie just as the weather is beginning to feel Springy, I decided to try the same pie with a rhubarb filling in place of apple. And I think I like it even better with rhubarb. This is the rare fruit pie that is almost as rich as a chocolate dessert, but the tangy rhubarb provides a nice contrast to the sweet, rich custard. I would really suggest eating this with a spoonful of softly whipped cream on top, but ice cream would be nice too.

I use my usual shortening pie crust for this pie, but any 9-inch pie crust will do. I even like the Marie Callendar’s frozen pie crusts, in a pinch.

Rhubarb in pie shell

Rhubarb and buttermilk custard

Rhubarb Buttermilk Pie with Oat Crumb Streusel


  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
  • Rhubarb Mixture:
  • 2 pounds fresh rhubarb cleaned, trimmed and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • Buttermilk Custard:
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Oat Crumb Streusel:
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large mixing bowl, toss the rhubarb with the 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. Let sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the custard.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla for the custard until they are well-combined.
  3. Pour the rhubarb mixture into the unbaked pie shell then pour the custard mixture on top. Place the filled pie on a sheet pan and put in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
  4. While pie is baking prepare the streusel topping: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the whole-wheat flour, oats, brown sugar and salt until mixed. Add the pieces of butter and cut them in using a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture is moist and can be formed into a ball. Form the mixture into a flat patty and place in a bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  5. Once pie has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven and crumble the frozen streusel topping evenly over the top of the filling. Return to the oven and bake until the custard is almost set, but still a little jiggly in the center, another 30-45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Cover leftovers and store in the fridge.
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Rhubarb Buttermilk Pie with Oat Crumb Streusel

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