French Rhubarb Pie

“Not too many people cook or use rhubarb these days, but this is definitely a pie worth baking. I have fond memories of it growing up.” – Calla Ferre

“Given to me by my very dear friend Helen Ripley while we were living at Harvard Forest, Petersham, Massachusetts.” – Jean Hansen

More of the story: “When my husband Bob was getting his Masters in Forestry at Harvard Forest, we lived in an old mansion which a philanthropist had renovated and converted into four apartments. Previously, the mansion had been owned by a religious cult called the Adonai Shomo. Among other strange practices, they would not eat any food from under the earth (i.e. potatoes, carrots, etc), but they did grow much of the food for their commune on the grounds, among them, berries, apples, and lots of rhubarb. The cult had died out long before, but the crops remained. My next door neighbor was Helen Ripley. Helen’s husband had been an executive with Good Year Tires, but decided to get out of the rat race and pursue forestry. While at Harvard Forest, he did much of the maintenance, and Helen did a lot of the cooking. She told the boys that if they brought home rhubarb, she’d make them a pie whenever they wanted. Well, they brought home rhubarb most every day to make this French Rhubarb Pie. It was good pie!” – Jean Hansen

French Rhubarb Pie

Course: Pies


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Raw Rhubarb
  • 1 Unbaked Pastry Shell
  • 1/3 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Flour


  • Mix sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons flour, and vanilla. Add rhubarb.
  • Put in unbaked pie crust and cover with crumbs (cream 1/3 cup butter and brown sugar, cut in 3/4 cup flour and work into crumbs).
  • Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) for 15 minutes, then in slow oven (325 degrees) until done.

1940s Recipe – Helen Ripley

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