Cookie-Crumb-Crusted Rhubarb Cream Pie

By Gail Gordon Oliver

If you're anything like me, the thought of making a piecrust makes you cringe. I can do it, and it usually comes out well, but I find it a chore. Here's a way to make a crust that couldn't be easier. Use any hard, non-iced, non cream-filled cookie of your choosing. My favourite with this recipe is GoGo Quinoa's organic Orange and Mango Cookies, and one boxful is the perfect amount. Ginger snaps would be a great choice, too.

I like rhubarb desserts best when they're naked, unadulterated by strawberries. But feel free to use any combination of rhubarb, strawberries or even apples.

Makes 6 servings

Cookie-crumb crust

Approx 200g plain or flavoured cookies without icing or cream (to make about 2 cups of cookie crumbs)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

1 1/2 lbs rhubarb, sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)

3/4 cup coconut sugar or granulated sugar

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup milk

3 egg yolks

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup whipping (35%) cream

2 tsp icing sugar

Make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies into fine crumbs. In a medium bowl, mix the crumbs and butter together until combined well. Transfer the mixture to an 8- or 9-inch pie plate. Using clean hands (knuckles work best), press the mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust in a 350º oven until lightly browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes.

Make the filling: In a medium saucepan, stir together the rhubarb, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, milk, egg yolks and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the rhubarb is soft but not mushy, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until the mixture is chilled, at least 90 minutes.

Assemble the tart: Pour the rhubarb mixture evenly into the crust. Whip the cream and icing sugar until the soft-to-medium peak stage. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie. Serve immediately. (Alternately, the pie can be assembled, refrigerated overnight, and topped with whipped cream just before serving.)

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