Rhubarb Meringue Pie {1928}

What do you do when you have a freezer full of last summer’s rhubarb and a limited time before serious freezer-burn sets in?

You search through your vintage cookbooks for a suitable recipe, of course!


The winning recipe was discovered in my 1928 edition of “The Rector Cook Book” by George Rector…


…that is apparently a signed copy! That was fun to discover!


I’d never heard of George Rector before thumbing through his cookbook, but a quick google search turned up some interesting information. He was, apparently, a very popular chef during the 20’s and 30’s. In addition to running a restaurant very popular with Broadway celebrities, he was also featured in newspapers, movies, and radio broadcasts during his day.


My copy of his cookbook holds some neat treasures tucked within its pages: clipped recipes accompanied by darling illustrations that, judging by the style of the ladies’ dresses, show that it was used at least through the early 30’s.


There are also a couple remnants of the jacket that have survived as bookmarks.

I was quite intrigued by his recipe for “Rhubarb Meringue Pie,”  a combination I’d never considered before, and gave it a try.


The recipe included very specific instructions for preparing the rhubarb, which I followed the best I could since I was starting with frozen.

The process of preparing the custard-y filling looked like I was making a very runny macaroni and didn’t appear too appealing before baking.

The crust, however, was beautiful. It rolled out nice and thin and was a wonderful dough to work with.

And, in the end, it all came together into a beautiful pie.


A unique flavor combination, it had all the tangy deliciousness of rhubarb pie that was balanced out by the sweetness of the custard and the light, fluffy topping. I’d definitely make it again!

I’ll add the recipe under the cut so you can try it too! Tell me what you think!

The Recipe:


Rhubarb Meringue Pie:


2 cups Rhubarb

3 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp salt

Meringue Top:

3 egg whites

6 tbsp sugar

Wash rhubarb and cut in one-half  inch pieces. Place rhubarb in colander and pour boiling water over and let drain. Beat egg yolks and add sugar, flour and salt which have been sifted together. Stir rhubarb into mixture and pour into a well lined pie plate and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) 45 minutes. When cool cover with meringue made by beating egg whites till stiff, then folding in sugar. Place in hot oven or under broiler flame 1 minute until meringue is lightly browned. To make undercrust cut pie crust recipe in half.

Pie Crust:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup shortening

Cold water (about 4 tbsp)

Sift flour and salt. Cut in shortening, add enough water to cut into a soft dough. Toss on slightly floured board, pat and roll out. Cut recipe in half for single crust or shell.

2 thoughts on “Rhubarb Meringue Pie {1928}

  1. That pie crust recipe has less fat than I’m used to (it’s less short haha, does that make it tall?) mine is 4:2:1 flour:fat:water. Although sometimes I’ll add a splash of vodka from the freezer if I have it 😛

    But what a cool combo! I love rhubarb and merengue is fun to make.


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