February 29, 2016

Rhubarb Custard Hand Pies


These hand pies are a sweet addition to a brunch buffet — and a sophisticated alternative to standard danishes.



Rhubarb Filling

  • 1 lb. rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut into 1/2″-thick segments, or frozen chopped rhubarb
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, or brown sugar (light or dark brown)


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • 1 egg
  • Coarse sugar for dusting


Yield: Six 3 1/2-4" diam. pies

Make rhubarb filling:

  1. Place rhubarb and sugar in a small-to-medium saucepan with sugar and stir to combine. Cover and cook at medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for 5 minutes or until rhubarb is partially broken down. Refrigerate until cold, up to 5 days. (Note: Yields enough filling to triple recipe; also delicious spooned over yogurt or toast.)

Make custard:

  1. Combine the milk and 2 tbsp of the granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Bring milk to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp sugar with the egg, egg yolk and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture until combined. Off the heat, whisk the contents of the bowl back into the remaining milk in the saucepan.
  2. Return saucepan to stove and over medium heat, whisk constantly until the mixture reaches a boil and thickens. Continue to cook for 30 seconds past the boil, whisking constantly. Off the heat, whisk in the butter pieces and vanilla. (Optional: Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.) Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Unroll refrigerated pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Place parchment paper on 1-2 cookie sheets.
  2. In a small bowl, beat egg with 1 tbsp water.
  3. Using cookie cutters or glasses with a diameter of roughly 3 1/2″, cut out 12 circles from dough. Lightly brush half of them with the egg wash. With a sharp knife, cut an approximately 1/2″ X in the centre of the remaining rounds.
  4. Spoon a heaping tsp of custard in the centre of the egg-washed rounds. Then top with a heaping tsp of rhubarb directly on top. Place the remaining rounds on top, and very lightly, with the tines of a fork, press a rim around the edges.
  5. Carefully move pies to cookie sheets with 1″ of space between each.
  6. Lightly brush the top of each pie with egg wash, then sprinkle liberally with course sugar.
  7. Bake for 22 minutes or until golden and cooked through, and serve warm. Store leftover pies in the fridge, and rewarm in a 325° oven.

Tip: By rerolling the leftover pieces of dough, you can get up to 2 more hand pies. Roll them to approximately 1/8″ thickness.


Find more easy brunch recipes in the H&H Party Planning Guide.


Stacey Brandford


Styling by Sasha Seymour; food styling by Ashley Denton for judyinc.

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