1894 Vintage Rhubarb Meringue Pie

This pie project came about by accident as all good ideas do. When I picked rhubarb yesterday, I just realized I no longer had any metal pie plates. I had divested of so much stuff when I moved it’s hard to keep track sometimes.

I bought this 5¢ deposit Table Talk tinned steel pie plate from a local eBay seller this morning and it is perfect for my needs. The tin layer has worn away, but with or without the tin coating, its still functions as a pie plate. IMHO steel pie plates are perfect.

It just needed a bit of a facelift, A video of the facelift will be upcoming, as will a video of the making of the Rhubarb pie. Non-stainless steel in the kitchen is treated just like cast iron, keep it seasoned and it will keep doing its job.


I had intended to make a ‘Table Talk’ era pie for the occasion, but I was reading “Rhubarb Or Pie Plant Culture: Illustrated: the Best Varieties: Essential Points in Growing Good Rhubarb: how Rhubarb Pays, Compared with Certain Crops.” by Fred S. Thompson, published in 1894  as one does, and these are the pie recipes it contains. I’d never even seen a rhubarb pie like this and figured I’d give it a go.

As you can see no amount of rhubarb, no oven temp and no time….so I was winging it based on past pies and research. This is the recipe I will use next time:

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb Pie
preheat oven 350ºF

3/4 lb rhubarb
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp of lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
1 pie crust
3 egg whites
3-4 tbls powdered sugar
1 whole egg, beaten

Peel the rhubarb and roughly chop.
Stew rhubarb with lemon juice until tender,
stir in sugar while still warm, let cool a bit
add tblspoon or two of the rhubarb to the yolks, then add the yolk mixture to the rhubarb.

Line pie plate with crust.
Paint the entire crust with the other egg.
Pour the rhubarb into the pie
Add a tinfoil pie shield to the edge of the crust.
Bake 350ºF for 50-60 minutes until nearly firm.

Meringue top:

Whip egg whites until stiff, fold in powdered sugar
Keep in fridge until the pie comes out.
Covered the pie completely from edge to edge
make it pretty if you desire.
Only remove the pie shield if the edge of the pie is underdone.
Bake about 12-15 minutes until meringue is browned and firm

I subtracted all my misjudgements. Any other similar recipe I found online has added ingredients to ensure the textures: cornstarch, flour, instant pudding, tapioca etc.. This is as plain as it gets. I was kinda freaked when the rhubarb collapsed into a thick puddle and lots it’s lumpiness, but that was what it was supposed to do. And I was SHOCKED, that once it left the oven it continued to firm up. I really haven’t cooked enough deserts to know it would do that.

Back to work on the youtube video.