Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Classic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is the epitome of summer! It’s tart and sweet with a buttery flaky crust!
Overview of Recipe
- Difficulty Level: Intermediate
- Components Used: Classic Pie Crust
My grandmother’s strawberry rhubarb pie is still in my memory the best pie I’ve ever had. It took me a bit of maturity before I appreciated the tartness of the rhubarb, but once I did, I looked forward to it every year.
The taste of rhubarb is so unique, and one that is difficult to describe. Eaten raw, it is both very tart and somewhat savory. But mixed with some sugar and sweet strawberries, the tartness is contrasted and the combination is so vibrant!
How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Step-By-Step
I am a huge fan of making homemade pie crust, especially for fruit pies. If you are new to this skill, I have a very detailed video tutorial on how to make homemade pie crust that will help you. I promise the buttery and flaky crust is worth it for this special pie!
Make the Pie Pastry
Making any fruit pie does require a bit of planning! You want to start the crust at least 5 hours before you plan on serving the pie. The dough will need some chilling time and you also need to let the pie fully cool before slicing so that the filling thickens up. I typically make the pie the day before serving.
To make the pie pastry, whisk the dry ingredients together and then rub the butter and shortening into the flour until you have a lot of little pieces and some big pieces of fat throughout.
Add your ice water bit by bit until your dough holds together when squeezed. Divide it in half, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, but preferably an hour.
Roll Out the Bottom Crust
Once your pie dough has chilled, you can roll one piece out for the bottom crust. You always want to roll it at least an inch and a half wider in diameter than your pie plate so that it will sit nicely into it without having to stretch it.
Fit the plate with the bottom crust and trim the edges. Then place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling to keep it chilled.
Make the Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
If you’ve never worked with rhubarb before, it is sold in the produce department and looks a lot like reddish/pink celery. You also want to treat rhubarb like you would celery. Wash the stalks and cut off the ends. Then slice into half-inch pieces. Some people peel it a bit before slicing, but I never find this necessary.
For the strawberries, just wash and quarter or half. I like to keep them fairly chunky so they don’t break down too much in the filling. Mix all of the fruit together with sugar, and some lemon juice to really bring out the rhubarb’s tartness. I also love adding just a touch of cardamom to the filling as it pairs really well with strawberries and rhubarb. But that is optional.
Add the filling to your prepared bottom crust and dot the top with butter to add a bit of richness to the filling. Set aside while you roll out the top crust.
Top the Filling with the Top Crust
A strawberry rhubarb pie is traditionally topped with more traditional pie pastry, though some do opt for a streusel topping and you can do that if you prefer.
I think a lattice crust looks so lovely and classic for this pie and it is what I usually opt for. Though you can just place a full piece of pastry on top and cut vent holes if you like.
To make a lattice, roll out your second piece of pastry and cut it into roughly one-inch strips. Lay strips of dough across the filling going one direction and spaced about 1 inch apart. Fold back every other strip half way, lay a strip of dough across going the opposite direction, and unfold the folded strips back over so that the new piece is weaving in and out of the other pieces.
Continue this process by folding the strips back and creating a basket weave pattern with your dough strips. Trim and fold the edges of the pie and then crimp the seal. Finish the pie off by brushing it with an egg wash and then sprinkling it with granulated or coarse sugar for added texture.
Bake the pie on a preheated pizza stone or sheet pan. This will help the bottom crust set quickly and help prevent a soggy bottom.
Why is my filling runny?
Typically when a strawberry rhubarb pie filling (or really any fruit pie) is runny it has to do with either the pie not cooking long enough or it not cooling long enough before slicing.
Fruit pies do take quite a while to bake and you want to make sure that the juices are rapidly bubbling before you take it out of the oven. Check the juices in the center of the pie and not just on the edges to make sure they are bubbling. This is essential for the filling to thicken.
The filling also needs to cool completely before slicing in order for it to fully gel. This is the hardest part, but it is so worth it!
How do I prevent a soggy bottom?
My best tip for making sure the pie crust is crisp on the bottom is to preheat a surface for the pie to bake on before it goes into the oven. I like to use a baking stone, but two sheet pans stacked together also works well. This hot surface will help set the bottom crust quickly so that the moisture from the pie doesn’t make it soggy.
Can I use frozen fruit?
I recommend using fresh rhubarb and fresh strawberries if at all possible for this pie. It will have the best texture and flavor as frozen fruit releases a lot of liquid. It typically requires a longer cooking time to fully gel and the fruit can get overcooked in the process.
If you do want to try it with frozen fruit, I recommend letting it thaw completely and draining off the liquid before combining it with the other filling ingredients.
- Note: I recommend reading through the full recipe before starting so you can a feel for the whole process. There are also a lot more notes and step-by-step photos in the preceding post that are helpful.
For the Crust
- 360 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 5 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 170 grams (12 tablespoons, 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- 60 grams (5 tablespoons) shortening
- 114-168 grams (8-12 tablespoons, 120-180 milliliters) ice water
For the Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
- 335 grams (12 ounces) fresh strawberries
- 560 grams (1 1/4 pound) fresh rhubarb
- 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar, light or dark
- 30 grams (¼ cup) cornstarch
- 1 gram (¼ teaspoon) kosher salt
- 30 grams (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, optional
- 28 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the Egg Wash
- 1 large egg
- 14 grams (1 tablespoon) water
- Extra sugar for topping, turbinado (raw) or granulated sugar (optional)
PREPARE THE CRUST:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, and salt. Add the butter and shortening to the bowl and use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the fat through the flour until it is evenly distributed in pea size pieces.
- Add the ice water to the bowl 1 tablespoon at a time and use a silicone spatla to gently nudge the flour into the water. Do not aggressively stir or mash the flour and butter down. Once large clumps of dough start forming, gather the dough up and press it together. If it crumbles, add a little more water. If it holds together then you are ready to chill.
- Press the dough together into a ball and divide it in half. Wrap each half in a piece of plastic wrap, pressing it down into a disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (preferably 1 hour) or up to 3 days before using.
- Right before rolling out the crust, position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and place a sheet pan or baking stone inside to preheat. The pie will bake on the preheated surface which will prevent a soggy crust.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C.
- Roll out half of the pie dough and fit a 9-inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate with it. Trim the edges leaving about 1/2-inch hangover. Do not crimp the edges. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare your filling.
MAKE THE FILLING:
- Slice the rhubarb into about 1/2 inch pieces. Remove the strawberry stems and quarter them (or half if very small).
- Combine the fruit, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice ,vanilla extract, and cardamom if using. Gently stir with a spoon or spatula until everything is evenly incorporated. The butter will be dotted on top of the filling before adding the top crust.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE:
- Add the filling to your pie plate with your raw bottom crust. Dot the butter all around the top of the filling.
- Roll out your top crust and fit it over the top of your filling. You can do a lattice crust (see images in post) or a full top crust with slits cut into it.
- Trim the edges, and fold then over together creating a lip. Crimp the crust all the way around to seal.
- Combine the egg and water together for the egg wash and whisk vigorously until well combined and very smooth. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar if desired.
- Place the pie on a foil lined sheet pan to help catch spills and place it on your preheated baking stone or sheet pan. Bake at 400°F/205°C for 30 minutes then turn down the heat to 350°F/175°C and bake for an additional 45-55 minutes until the filling is bubbling in the center, not just on the edges. Watch the crust and lay a piece of foil over the top of the pie once it is finished browning, usually around the 45 minute mark.
- Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and let cool for a minimum of 3 hours before slicing to allow the filling to thicken.
- Pie can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Frozen Fruit: This pie works best with fresh fruit. However, if you would like to make it with frozen fruit, let it thaw completely and drain the liquid off before combining the rest of the filling ingredients.