Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

 

Yesterday, I shared my method for making an Old Fashioned All-Butter Pie Crust. Today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite fillings for a double-crust pie… Strawberry Rhubarb.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie tastes like summer to me. The lemony tartness of rhubarb plays wonderfully with the sweetness of ripe strawberries. It’s a magical pairing. The farmer’s markets are teeming with ripe red strawberries now, and rhubarb is only available for a few months out of the year. If you’re going to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie, now is the time.

Here are some fun facts about the word “rhubarb” from the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink:

In the early days of radio, when the noise of an angry crowd was needed, actors in the studio were asked to mumble “rhubarb” over and over, which provided that rumbling ambiance. A “rhubarb” is also a slang term for a heated fight or argument in a baseball game.

It also happens to be a fantastic way to add a touch of tartness to a strawberry pie.

When shopping for rhubarb, look for stalks that are crisp, bright pink, thin, and clean looking (no damage from insects or disease). The thinner and darker pink the rhubarb is, the sweeter it will be. Avoid stalks that seem too old or slimy.

If it’s late in the season, you may only be able to find thicker, lighter-colored stalks. These will work, as long as they’re crisp and not rubbery. They are, however, more tart than the smaller, pinker stalks, so you may want to use less in the pie and substitute strawberries instead (1 cup rhubarb to 5 cups strawberries). The older stalks may have a stringy outer skin that needs to be peeled off. You can peel it using a potato peeler, or you can just grab the stringy edges and peel it using your fingers.

Most strawberry rhubarb pie recipes call for half strawberry, half rhubarb. With that ratio I find the rhubarb much too overpowering… too tart for my taste. I end up having to add more sugar to make up for the tartness. The last time I made this pie, I used a larger amount of strawberries and a smaller amount of rhubarb, which provided the perfect balance of flavors for me. I use minute tapioca to thicken the pie, so I don’t get that goopy pinkish sauce that results from using flour or cornstarch as a thickener. Tapioca is the perfect thickener for fruit pies.

This strawberry rhubarb filling goes wonderfully with my Old Fashioned All Butter Pie Crust, or you can substitute your own favorite pie crust recipe. Enjoy!

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups sliced ripe strawberries (small berries halved, large berries sliced)
  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup minute tapioca
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 double pie crust recipe (like my Old Fashioned All-Butter Pie Crust)
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp turbinado sugar (optional)
Servings: 1 9 inch pie (8-10 slices)
  • Have your pie crusts rolled out and ready to go before you begin. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place sliced and halved strawberries into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Place rhubarb in the mixing bowl with the strawberries.
  • Add sugar, minute tapioca pearls, and salt to the fruit. Stir for a minute or two until all the fruit is evenly coated with sugar, tapioca and salt.
  • Pour the mixture into the lower crust of your pie.
  • Cut the butter into small chunks and dot the top of the filling with it.
  • Cover the pie with the upper crust. Seal the pie and crimp the edges. For detailed instructions on this, see my recipe for Old Fashioned All-Butter Pie Crust.
  • I like to add an egg wash to the pie (optional)-- whisk together an egg yolk with 1 tsp of water, then brush the top of the pie lightly to coat it.
  • Slit the top of the crust to make a few small vents. I like to sprinkle the top of the crust with turbinado sugar for a sparkly finish (optional).
  • Place pie on a cookie sheet (in case the filling leaks) and place the pie in the oven. Let the pie cook for 10-15 minutes until the top of the crust begins to look golden and blistered.
  • Turn oven down to 375 degrees F. Cook the pie for about 30 minutes longer, until the juices from the berry filling begin to thicken and bubble through the vents in the upper crust. Don't worry if the filling leaks out through the vents a bit, this is totally normal and hard to avoid with a juicy fruit pie. It's part of the charm. :)
  • Remove pie from oven.
  • Let pie cool on a wire rack for 2-3 hours. During this time, the juices will thicken and the filling will set.
  • Serve and enjoy! Pie will stay fresh for about 3 days out of the refrigerator if kept in a cool, dry area. Keep in the refrigerator to extend shelf life for up to a week.

About Tori Avey

Tori Avey acts as editor and curator of The History Kitchen, where she shares her own food history writing and seeks out creative contributors from throughout the culinary world. Tori also writes an award-winning kosher food blog, The Shiksa in the Kitchen. She explores the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...
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Category: Baked Goods, Desserts, Kosher - Dairy, Recipes, Vegetarian, Vintage Recipes

Comments (30)Post a Comment

  1. That looks FABULOUS! Do you think the tapioca would work for fresh peach pie, as well?

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Lisa! Yes, tapioca will totally work for a fresh peach pie. Just toss the peaches with the sugar, any spices you want to add, and tapioca– I use about 1/4 cup for 5-6 cups of diced fruit (you can use less or more depending on the consistency you want). Works like a charm! And it gives a way better consistency than flour or cornstarch, in my opinion. Picked up the tip from Aunt Chick’s Pies, the vintage cookbook I mentioned yesterday. That woman really knew how to make pies! :)

  2. Móna Wise says:

    This looks gorgeous. Our rhubarb has come and gone already but there will be more in the autumn. I will have to pair it with Apple though and wait till next year to try it with the strawberries! Great looking crust too.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Mona, the rhubarb season is way too short! We’re nearing the end of it in SoCal, too. I bet it will be fantastic with apples! Great idea. I might have to try that come autumn. :)

  3. Just shared this with my sister-in-law who loves rhubarb pie. :-)

  4. Samantha says:

    Oh my… what a fab job! Baking is not my thing at all…I certainly need to try this! Rhubarb is my moms all time fav! You never find rhubarb anything nowadays..

    • Tori Avey says:

      It’s one of those old-fashioned gems. I really love the flavor, but only when it’s paired with something sweet, so the tartness doesn’t overwhelm…

  5. Betty Anastas says:

    that was neat to learn the meaning of the word rhubarb…

  6. This pie is such a tasty classic and you have done a wonderful job. Stunning photos-Yum!

  7. cakewhiz says:

    oh how decadent! your instructions are so clear that i am sure i can make this myself too :D

  8. Linda says:

    Such a pretty pie! I would love a slice right now!

  9. Natalie says:

    That pie crust looks amazing, seriously! I’m a bit of a pastryphobe but this looks so gorgeous I may have to rethink!!

  10. Dawn says:

    Great crust! Not that I don’t love what’s underneath it but I want to pull that top layer off right now and devour it.

  11. Your pie making skills are fantastic! Look at that crust… perfection!!

  12. Kelly says:

    Tori, you’re killing me!! That crust… so golden gorgeous and I can taste the rhubarb from here… beautiful!

  13. This is just so lovely, Tori. I’ve never had rhubarb in my 24 years. Sad, I know. Rhubarb isn’t that big of a thing in my family or perhaps even the Chinese culture. Now you’ve got me wanting to go research the history of rhubarb :-) The filling looks excellent but ooh, I’m in love with the crust! As we all know, I’m a crust girl and yours looks sublime. I’ve not made many pies in my life, maybe two, and the crusts were very eh. This looks thick and delicious! Can’t wait to read the previous crust post!

  14. This is in my top 3 favorite pies ever !(blueberry and pecan being the other 2) so I just love your post! Tapioca in pies is an old trick my grandmother shared with me decades ago. It works great.

  15. The addition of tapioca is brilliant…this is really a gorgeous recipe :)

  16. Amy says:

    FYI: Rhubarb freezes well! Clean and slice it to the size you want, and freeze in small freezer bags in the quantity you use for pie/cobbler or whatever. Love to have it on hand for when the mood strikes, and I’ve never seen it for sale canned or frozen, except as jam. It also pairs GREAT with blueberries. We call that combo “bluebarb.” Thanks for the great-looking recipe! Now to scrounge for more stalks in the garden . . .

  17. Marie says:

    I used this recipe today to bake a pie, upon request from my father, and he said that it was the best strawberry and rhubarb that he’d ever had in his life. Not only that, but your recipe was very easy to follow as it was my first time baking a pie entirely from scratch, hahah.

    Thank you very much for posting this!

  18. Katy says:

    I will give this recipe a try. My strawberry-rhubarb pies never stay together so perhaps the tapioca will work. What you do you think about adding some balsamic vinegar to the mix? I always add a little when I make this flavor of pie but I don’t know what it will do to the tapioca (although I should since I am a chemist, 8>O)

  19. Francesca says:

    Have been ‘tasting’ rhubarb-strawberry pie for years and
    finally found some today..the supermarket had it in with
    the red swisschard so I’ve always overlooked it and suggested they put it where it can be more easily located…just cleaned my strawberries and ready to bake. Rhubarb was free for the asking when I grew up in Ohio but certainly priced like gold her in Texas. No matter, I’ have some now and am
    looking forward to my pie. We also cooked it as a side dish for dessert when I was a young’un.

  20. Deidre says:

    Ok, I don’t make pies often, but my dad asked me to try a strawberry rhubarb…so I went looking on-line and found yours! It;s in the oven right now, and smells great BUT, silly me–I forgot the dabs of butter on top!! Hopefully I haven’t ruined the whole thing! I’ll let you know how it turns out…..( to be cont’d!!)…

    • Tori Avey says:

      Don’t worry Deidre, it will probably turn out fine. The butter adds moisture and gives the filling a bit more flavor, but it should still taste good. Let me know!

    • Deidre says:

      Thank you Tori!!! Your recipe is a hit– both with my dad and my hubby, and even my sister and nephew loved it!! Today I’m doing some smaller pies for my mother-in-law (gulp!!), cuz the hubby says that it tastes “as good as my mom’s!” Love having a rhubarb patch in my backyard! And missing the butter in the first one, wasn’t a big deal, either! Dad said it tasted great! Thanks, again…!! :)

    • Tori Avey says:

      That’s great to hear Deidre! Good luck with the MIL. ;)

  21. Kate says:

    I made this pie with your crust recipe for my Father in-law’s birthday today, and it was a huge hit. My brother in-law asked me to make one for his birthday, too.

    The tapioca really does make a difference. I’ll never use cornstarch again. I added a teaspoon each of vanilla and cinnamon and substituted half of the white sugar with brown to make it more to the family’s taste, though.

    Thanks for the great recipes. I’ll definitely use them again.

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