If early summer were to have an official dessert, we’d cast our vote for strawberry rhubarb pie. It’s fresh and fruity, tart and tangy, and simply bursting with seasonal goodness. Rhubarb, which is technically a vegetable instead of a fruit, is one of those types of produce that you may only be able to find during a very narrow window of time. Southern Living says that rhubarb season tends to run from April to June, although it may only be available in your area for part of this time. Strawberries, fortunately, are readily available at any time of year, but if you think you might want to make this pie for Pi Day, you’ll need to stock up on rhubarb when it is in season and then freeze it for later use.
Recipe developer Mackenzie Ryan of Food Above Gold tells us "Pie is my favorite dessert! " With an amazing recipe like this one, it’s sure to be your favorite, too. Keep an eye out for rhubarb, and be sure to snap it up as soon as you see it in the store, that way you won’t have to wait until next year to enjoy this delicious treat.
Get the ingredients you need to make strawberry rhubarb pie
The trickiest part of this recipe, of course, will be scoring the rhubarb. Luckily, strawberries are much easier to come by, and fresh ones of decent quality are available in supermarkets year-round. In addition to these two star ingredients, you’re also going to need two 9-inch pie crusts as well as both brown and white sugars, cornstarch, salt, an orange, a lemon, vanilla extract, butter, and an egg. As a finishing touch, Ryan also suggests using coarse sugar to top the pie. If you don’t have any, however, it’s not a crucial part of the pie. You could simply use granulated sugar, or you could just skip this step.
Prepare the pie crust
If you’re not quite ready to make your own pie crust, don’t worry, this recipe makes use of ready-to-bake pie crusts. If you do want to go the homemade pie crust route, though, it will just make this strawberry-rhubarb pie extra scrumptious.
Whichever dough you choose to use, you’ll start by spreading one of the crusts out over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan, leaving a little crust hanging over the pan if possible. Slice the other crust into strips anywhere from 1 to 2 inches wide, then place the pie pan and the crust strips in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Make the strawberry rhubarb pie filling
Slice the rhubarb into 1/2-inch chunks. Remove the strawberry stems and green stoops, then cut each berry into quarters. Zest and then juice the orange and zest the lemon. You can then put the rest of the lemon back in the fridge for later use, since the zest is all you need for this pie.
Place the rhubarb and strawberries in a large bowl, then add both sugars along with the cornstarch, the salt, the juice, the orange and lemon zest, and the vanilla. Stir everything up gently until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Let the pie filling sit for 10 to 15 minutes before you assemble the pie so the cornstarch can thicken things up a bit. At this point, you should preheat the oven to 425, that way you won’t have to wait for it to heat up once you’ve put the pie together.
Assemble the strawberry rhubarb pie
Take the pie crust out of the fridge and pour the filling from the bowl into the crust. Ryan says to try to leave as much liquid in the bowl as you can, explaining that if there’s too much liquid in the pie, the filling will probably overflow at some point during the baking, "This leaves a huge mess to clean up after it scorches," she tells us, and goes on to say, "even though you may be tempted to, just leave it [the filling] behind. "If it pains your heart to let anything delicious go to waste, you can always put it in a sealed container and refrigerate it or freeze it for use in another cooking project –- perhaps thicken it up to use as a sauce or make a mini cobbler.
Top the pie with the lattice strips, weaving them over and under to make a "basket" pattern. Pinch the pie edges together to seal them or use a fork to crimp them, then trim off any excess crust. As a final touch, beat the egg in a small bowl, then brush the beaten egg over the lattice and sprinkle it with coarse sugar, should you have this on hand.
You’ll need to keep an eye on the pie as it bakes
Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips, then put it in the oven to cook for 25 minutes. At this point, the pie won’t be done cooking, but you’ll need to take it out of the oven and use pie shields or strips of aluminum foil to cover the edges of the pie. Put it back in the oven, turn the heat down to 350 degrees, then let it bake for 35 more minutes. When it’s done, the lattice should be golden brown and the filling should be nice and bubbly.
Serve the pie with a side of summertime joy
Take the hot pie out of the oven and then let it cool thoroughly. And by thoroughly, we do mean thoroughly -– Ryan says this strawberry rhubarb pie should sit for at least three or four hours before you slice it. This pie is delicious slightly warm or straight out of the fridge cold, and while you can top it with a scoop of ice cream or a blop of whipped cream if you like, there’s really no need as it’s perfection itself in its unadorned form. Serve it with a tall glass of lemonade or sweet tea and you’ve just created the perfect summer afternoon memory that will linger until rhubarb season comes around again next year.
- 2 9-inch pie crusts
- 3 ½ cups rhubarb, cut into ½" pieces
- 4 cups quartered strawberries, stem removed
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg
- coarse sugar
- Spread the pie crust over the bottom of the pie pan, leaving some overhang if possible. Cut the second pie crust into pieces for the lattice and refrigerate both until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, mix together the strawberries, rhubarb, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, orange juice and zest, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Stir until coated and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove the crusts from the fridge and pour the filling into the pie pan, being careful to leave as much of the extra liquid behind in the bowl as possible.
- Add the top crust in a lattice pattern alternating under and over. Crimp together the edges of the crust with a fork or your fingers and cut off any excess.
- Beat the raw egg in a small bowl, then brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle it with the coarse sugar.
- Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove the pie from the oven, place a pie crust shield or aluminum foil around the edges, then return it to the oven.
- Reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake the pie for another 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving.