Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
It’s really, really good.
I’m so happy to finally share a solid strawberry rhubarb pie recipe with you. This is actually a recipe I played around with a few days ago and while I have weeks of content stored in my drafts, I couldn’t hold off on sharing this one.
I looooove her. ♥
How flippin’ awesome are rhubarb desserts? It’s taken me years to warm up to them. Things like strawberry rhubarb pie, rhubarb crisp, crumble, cake, the whole rhubarb shebang. To be honest, strawberry rhubarb pie never stood a chance when I was growing up. Mom always had it around and while everyone else seemed to rave about it, I couldn’t get on board with… magenta celery pie. I mean when you’re 12 you’ll pretty much convince yourself anything and if rhubarb looks like celery, I’m certainly not eating it for dessert.
MY MY MY. Look how the tables have turned. Never did I imagine myself saying the words “my favorite strawberry rhubarb pie” and never did I imagine myself writing about it on the internet because the internet ties up mom and dad’s landline and I want to be a dolphin trainer when I grow up.
Also, what is a blog?
18 years later, magenta celery pie is at the tippy top of my list. One of many to come! Let’s get right into it because I have a hankering this will be your favorite recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie too.
Strawberry and rhubarb are meant to be because the sweet flavor of strawberries balances out rhubarb’s tart/sour bite. Rhubarb is fantastic in pies, crumbles, crisps, and the sort because it needs all the sugar it can get. I like to use an almost equal amount of strawberries and rhubarb in the pie filling: about 3 cups of chopped rhubarb to 2 and 1/2 cups strawberries. Strawberries let out so much juice, so I like to have a slightly lower amount.
If you’ve never cooked or baked with rhubarb before, have no fear. It’s sold in the grocery store without its leaves (they’re toxic!) and can be prepped the same way as celery. Give the stalks a good wash, cut off both ends and slice. You’ll want 1/2 inch slices for this pie.
One common issue with strawberry rhubarb pie is the whole “mushy puddle” situation. Bottom line: the filling is known to be a soupy mess. I asked around and found that instant tapioca is usually the fix. (Thank you, neighbor, for chatting about pies with me while Jude chased squirrels around your yard for an entire hour. Also, I’ll miss those baking chats!) I didn’t have any tapioca in my cupboards and wasn’t about to show my face in the grocery store AGAIN that day, so cornstarch was my choice. It was perfect– every time I tried it. I didn’t have a sloppy problem when cutting into the pie using cornstarch, which is exactly what I was hoping for. To combat the mushy puddle situation, I simply spooned the filling into the crust– leaving all the pooled liquid behind.
Also in the filling: orange juice. Just a smidgen of it– 1 Tablespoon. It pairs so wonderfully with strawberry and rhubarb. Mom likes to use a mix of brown and white sugars, which tugs at my heart strings. All hail brown sugar’s flavor!
Also: pats of butter to reeeeeeally make things rich. I like this pie already.
I haven’t even mentioned the pie crust yet! I always use my standard pie crust recipe. I wrote a novel about how much I love this pie crust in case you’re really bored. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds: flaky and buttery. A mix of shortening and butter produce the absolute best texture. I won’t get into too much detail today but shortening helps create that flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Butter gets us that unparalleled flavor. Make sure both of these fats are cold. When the fat melts as the pie bakes, its steam helps to separate the crust into multiple flaky layers. You won’t get that with warm butter and warm shortening.
Speaking of… do you SEE those flaky layers in the crust? I want to bake 50 pies this summer just so I can eat this pie crust as much as possible. Dare me? I’ll do it!
Coarse sugar on top for a little pie sparkle. Always and forever pie sparkles.
Feel free to use store-bought or substitute your favorite pie crust. Also– you can switch up the pie’s topping. Maybe you want a crumble topping? Go for it. Or a streusel topping of sorts? Be my guest! Get creative. Strawberry rhubarb filling doesn’t judge; it tastes lip-smackin’ perfect in just about any which way.
My only request is that you finish her off with a pile vanilla ice cream. There’s no other way to eat magenta celery pie, ok?
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- homemade pie crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; 1 for bottom 1 for top)
- 3 cups sliced rhubarb (1/2 inch pieces)
- 2 and 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
- optional: coarse sugar for garnish
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
- Make the filling: Stir the rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, orange juice, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Set filling aside as the oven preheats.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9x2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the filling into the crust, leaving all of the excess liquid in the bowl (you don't want that in the filling-- discard it). Dot the pieces of butter on top of the filling.
- Arrange the lattice: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a circle that is 12 inches diameter. Using a pastry wheel, sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut strips 1/2 - 1 inch wide. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Press the edges of the strips into the bottom pie crust edges to seal. Use a small knife to trim off excess dough. Crimp the edges with a fork, if desired. (Alternatively, you can simply cover the filling with the 12-inch pie dough circle. Cut slits in the top to form steam vents. Trim and crimp the edges. Or a crumble or streusel topping would be great.)
- Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg/milk mixture. Sprinkle the top with a little coarse sugar, if desired.
- Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350°F (177°C) and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
- Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tip/Freezing: This a great pie to make 1 day in advance since it is so juicy - the filling will have time to set overnight. The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Prepared filling can be frozen up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
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