A favorite summer fruit pie with the classic combination of fresh sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb in a homemade buttery and flaky crust. Simple, old-fashioned strawberry rhubarb pie is bursting with seasonal flavors!
I’m a late comer to rhubarb and this classic pie. Never had rhubarb growing up, nor as an adult. I just assumed it was somehow inedible and an acquired taste, never had any desire to check it out myself. But every spring, I eye those strange but beautiful stalks at the farm stand.
After a good friend told me it was her husband’s favorite pie, and one of my daughter’s chiming in the same, I tried some from a grocery store bakery. I really liked it and knew homemade would be even better. Spring and early summer is the perfect time for making this pie with local rhubarb and strawberries in abundance.
WHAT IS RHUBARB?
It’s technically a vegetable that most of us think of and treat like a fruit. It looks like pinkish-red celery and has a tangy tart flavor, perfect for pies and baking.
Only the stalks are used for cooking and eating, the green leaves are poisonous. If you find any on your stalks, make sure to trim them off and discard.
Here’s what you’ll need for this pie:
- Strawberries and rhubarb fresh and seasonal is best. Buy double the rhubarb when you see it, it won’t be in the market the next time you go. It freezes beautifully with hardly any prep work.
- Sugar and tapioca to sweeten and thicken the filling. I love quick cooking tapioca for thickening summer fruit pies.
- Flour, butter and ice water for the easy homemade flaky crust.
- Egg and milk or water for the egg wash to brush on the pie before baking, sprinkled with sugar. It makes for a beautiful golden and glossy crust!
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE
Step 1: Make the pie dough. Cut in butter and add ice water until dough holds together. Divide and shape into two discs and refrigerate to chill.
Step 2: Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the strawberries and rhubarb with the tapioca and let sit for about 15 minutes.
Step 3: Roll out the pie dough, fill with fruit mixture and dot with butter. Top with other rolled out pie dough and seal and crimp edges. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake!
RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS
- Early summer is the perfect time to make this pie with both fresh rhubarb and strawberries in season. That said, rhubarb freezes beautifully. Just cut off any green leaves, trim and cut into approximate ½-inch pieces. Spread out on a sheet pan and freeze. Then transfer frozen rhubarb to a freezer bag for storage and use later for another pie or crisp!
- While quick cooking “Minute” tapioca is my preferred thickener and I highly recommend it, you can substitute with the same amount of corn starch.
- Vanilla and either orange or lemon zest are nice additions to the filling but you can totally leave them out. Basically, no worries if you don’t have any on hand.
- Let the pie cool a bit before slicing so that it gels up a bit and doesn’t run all over the place. It’s delicious on it’s own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Don’t wait as long as I did to try rhubarb, it is so good in this pie or in a crisp. The classic pairing of sweet with tart can’t be beat. It may just win you over and become your favorite summer pie! xxo- Kelly🍴🐦
Here are some other summer fruit pies, crisps and cobblers you might like:
- Tart Cherry Pie (with fresh or canned cherries)
- Peach Pie
- Farmstand Blackberry Peach Cobbler
- Fresh Blackberry Crisp
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes (2 sticks)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water
- 2½ cups strawberries, sliced thickly about 1 lb/16 oz.
- 3 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut in ½-inch pieces, discard any poisonous leaves about 1 lb/4 stalks
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup "Minute" tapioca comes in a small red box
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest optional
- 1 tablespoon butter, to dot over filling
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk or water
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling
Make the pie dough.
- In large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and sugar. Add chilled, cubed butter and mix with finger tips or pastry blender until the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with ice water, one tablespoon at a time until dough can come together in a ball. Divide in two, flatten discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine sliced strawberries and rhubarb in bowl. Add sugar, tapioca, vanilla and zest (if using) and toss gently and thoroughly to combine. Let sit about 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- Roll out one disc of dough on floured board. Place in bottom of 9-inch glass pie plate, dough will hang over edges of plate. Spoon in strawberry-rhubarb filling and all accumulated juices. Dot with one tablespoon of butter.
- Roll out second disc of dough for top crust. Carefully lay over filling, seal edges by trimming and folding/pinching dough edges together. Crimp with fork tines or with fingers. With tip of sharp knife, cut 4 or 5 slits in top of crust and a tiny hole in the middle so pie filling can vent while baking.
- Whisk together egg wash (egg and milk or water) and brush lightly all over top of pie. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes, then rotate pie and turn oven down to 350º. Bake another 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and filling is thick and bubbly through the vents.
- Cool on rack. It will thicken more as it cools.
- Fresh, sliced rhubarb freezes well. I buy extra when available to freeze, it's a very short season.
- You can substitute corn starch for the tapioca, but my preference for summer fruit pies is quick cooking tapioca (in the little red box).
- Let the pie cool, if you cut in right away, the juices might be too runny. It will gel more as it cools.
- To store pie, cover loosely with foil or plastic wrap and keep on counter for 2 or 3 days, or refrigerate for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.