Craving rhubarb, sans oven
May 13, 2019 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Catastrophic oven failure means that my rhubarb custard pie is a no-go. Does anyone have any stovetop rhubarb recipes that you are fond of?

I was preheating the oven for a rhubarb custard pie when the heating element on my oven failed (Spectacularly so! Fun!)

Now I have a pound of uncooked rhubarb and no oven. In addition to the rhubarb, I have a decently well stocked kitchen, a pound of strawberries, and ingredients for a custard pie. Is there anything I can make on the stovetop that will be nearly as delicious as my pie would have been?
posted by geegollygosh to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would make some rhubarb compote and maybe buy some pound cake or biscuits to put it on.
posted by briank at 5:48 PM on May 13 [6 favorites]

Make the rhubarb compote as described above, but stir some cut up strawberries into it a couple of minutes before you take it off the heat. They go beautifully together and the strawberries benefit from not being cooked as aggressively as the rhubarb. You can eat this with a spoon, or over ice cream, or with yogurt. If your custard pie ingredients can turn into a basic vanilla pudding, I bet the compote would be delicious over it.
posted by telepanda at 5:53 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Did the element at the top or the bottom fail?

If the top, you still might be able to use the oven if the damaged element isn't arcing or shorting (most of the time a spectacular failure causes an open circuit) but you might want someone standing near the box ready to flip the circuit breaker if you try to turn the oven on again.
posted by jamjam at 5:57 PM on May 13

Might be the better part of valor to let the oven alone, actually.
posted by jamjam at 6:04 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]

Do you have a big pot with a lid that will fit your custard dish inside it? If so you can put a bit of water in the bottom, and an overturned bowl to lift up the custard dish and steam it with the lid on for 45 min or an hour. I'd use a Graham cracker / butter crust since steamed flour crusts are not everyone's cup of tea.
posted by ananci at 6:29 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Might be the better part of valor to let the oven alone, actually.

I mean, now that I've remembered where the fire extinguisher is (which I didn't at first), I'm totally prepared for an electric fire, but I still might sit this one out.
posted by geegollygosh at 6:29 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]

Rhubarb syrup (boil rhubarb with water and sugar, strain) makes excellent drinks. But if you want something more solid, go for a compote and top it with rolled oats (toasted on the stove top) and butter to replicate a crumble.
posted by metasarah at 6:36 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

You could make a Rhubarb fool, maybe? You can make a fool with any fruit, so if your rhubarb is ruined, any fruit will do.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:44 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]

Thanks everyone! I went with the compote and topped it off with whipped cream which was meant for the custard filling. It was no custard pie but it was pretty good.
posted by geegollygosh at 7:08 PM on May 13 [4 favorites]

Sounds delicious, but if you find yourself in a similar predicament, rhubarb (and strawberries) freezes well, and there is nothing like a strawberry rhubarb pie in December.
posted by Liesl at 7:37 PM on May 13

I haven't tried it but there is a whole category of stovetop rhubarb desserts cooked in a cast iron pan like this one.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:26 PM on May 13

I mean, the traditional British answer would just be rhubarb and custard. i.e. sweetened cooked rhubarb and pourable egg custard (or indeed Bird’s instant custard). It’s classic old-fashioned comfort food, no need to make it into a pie.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 11:53 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Admittedly late here, but in the event that you find yourself in this predicament again, certainly you can do any number of compotes, jams, or achaars to add a zip to whatever meal, but you can also pickle it! It goes great in salads of every kind. But if you want to keep things on the sweeter site there's always ice cream or fosters, jellies or donuts. Worst case, you can drink it, or add even more alcohol to it.
posted by zsh2v1 at 8:07 AM on May 14

I’m late too. I cut up a few stalks (maybe 4 medium or 3 large), add a splash of water and a scant 1/4 cup sugar and any pie or cake spices, then simmer stirring occasionally till toothsome over pretty low heat. Eat over vanilla ice cream. Never use a recipe because I’m lazy and it’s always worked.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 5:06 PM on May 14

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