Although the calendar says that we have reached the spring equinox, the time when the days and nights are approximately of equal duration, I’m finding it hard to believe. Ice and snow still cover the fields and rocks. Even the temperatures have been cold, and the sap in the maple trees hasn’t started to run. Fortunately, at least is the culinary world, there is one sure sign of spring: the eggs are coming!
For those of us who eat primarily off the Maine food system, local eggs in the winter are hard to come by. Most fowl, chickens, turkeys and ducks, only lay eggs with ten or more hours of light. To market eggs year round, large production farms will use commercial lighting to stimulate nature’s natural process.
Here in Maine, triggered by the lengthening daylight, the ladies have started to produce in earnest. This abundance of eggs is a welcome symbol of spring. We are enjoying our eggs daily; scrambled or fried for breakfast, quiches and omelets for lunch, poached eggs smothered with Hollandaise sauce, eggs dropped in Hot and Sour soup, even eggs on pizza. The incredible, edible egg is nature’s most nearly perfect food.
I adapted the recipe for Easy Fruit Custard Pie from a glossy food magazine that was extolling the virtues of spring produce like asparagus and rhubarb. The photograph was beautiful, but obviously the piece was written for another part of the country. (My rhubarb is frozen; either underground or in the freezer.)
This recipe doesn’t have a pastry-type crust, and can be prepared in just one bowl (a blender or mixer). I tested it with frozen strawberries that were defrosted just enough to cut into small pieces. There was a “crust” layer on the bottom, and the silky satin custard was the perfect combination with the vanilla-infused fruit.
For a crowd (think Easter dinner), the recipe for this simple fruit dessert could easily be doubled. This pie would be delicious with raspberries, blueberries, even peaches. Maybe even rhubarb, this summer!
Easy Custard Fruit Pie
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 tablespoons Melted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1¼ cups fruit (strawberries, raspberries, peaches) or rhubarb
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 or 10-inch pie plate.
- Cut the fruit into 1-inch pieces and scatter over the bottom of the pie plate.
- In the bowl of your blender or mixer, combine the eggs, milk, melted butter, sugar, flour and vanilla. Pour over the fruit.
- Bake until the custard is set, about 55 minutes to 1 hour. When it’s baked, there will be a “crust” on the bottom, custard in the middle, and the fruit on top!
- Yield: six pieces