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June 20, 2022  |  Food & Drink

Our baking expert weighs in on what you need to make the perfect strawberry rhubarb pie

How to make a strawberry rhubarb pie

Whether you have never tried strawberry rhubarb pie or you love to experiment with new desserts with a combination of delicious flavors, this tasty pastry doesn’t disappoint. That’s because the flavors of the two key ingredients complement each other perfectly for a pie that’s not too sweet and just a little tart. 

Strawberry rhubarb pie may not be as popular as classic pies like apple or cherry, but it’s likely to become one of your favorites once you’ve sampled it. For professional tips to assist you in making mouth-watering pie at home, we consulted our expert Andrea Boudewijn, who is a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef.

What is rhubarb? 

Rhubarb is a vegetable that grows in clusters with long stalks and broad leaves. These perennial plants thrive once well-established and produce numerous stalks. The stalks, which range in color from green to pink to red, are the edible parts of the plants,

If you are familiar with rhubarb, you may have heard that parts of the plant are toxic. While the leaves contain the toxin oxalic acid, the stalks are safe to eat both raw and cooked. 

What does rhubarb taste like? 

The rhubarb flavor is a tad sour and can be described as tart or tangy. That’s why it’s common that rhubarb recipes also call for sugar and often include sweet fruits, such as strawberries and apples. 

Why should I try strawberry rhubarb pie?

Rhubarb isn’t used in recipes as commonly as other fruits and vegetables, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. Boudewijn said there are key reasons for indulging in this unique dessert. “It’s a lovely combination of tart and sweet and looks beautiful when sliced. This is a perfect springtime pie when both strawberry and rhubarb are at their peak season.”

Even though strawberry rhubarb pie is a seasonal treat if you opt to use fresh ingredients, Boudewijn advised that there is an option when fresh strawberries and rhubarb aren’t available.   “There are lovely cans of pre-made strawberry-rhubarb pie filling on Amazon,” she said.

Ingredients for strawberry rhubarb pie

When making strawberry rhubarb pie, there are countless recipes to be found online. Boudewijn advised on the basics, including ingredients for the filling and crust and the steps for putting it together. She also described the items you’ll need, from pie pans to pie carriers

Filling

The filling of a strawberry rhubarb pie requires rhubarb, strawberries, cinnamon, corn starch, brown sugar, white sugar and salt. 

Crust

A pie crust requires vegetable shortening, unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, white sugar and ice water. 

Boudewijn’s steps for making a strawberry rhubarb pie

Below are Boudewijn’s steps for combining the filling ingredients, making the crusts, including a lattice top, putting the pie together and baking it to perfection. These steps will come in handy for preparing your favorite strawberry rhubarb pie recipe.

Filling: Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl (rhubarb to salt). 

Crusts, top and bottom: Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening and butter with a pastry blender. Blend in ice water a few sprinkles at a time until the dough forms moist clumps. Bring the dough together into a ball and cut it in half. Flatten each half into a disk, then plastic-wrap each. Refrigerate until firm (I do this a day ahead so that they’re very cold and firm).

Building and baking: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and let your chilled dough sit at room temperature until it softens slightly. Then, roll out one disk of dough on a floured work surface in a round shape, about 4 inches larger than your pie pan. Gently put the rolled-out dough in your glass pie dish, and carefully press it into place. It may be crumbly, so do your best, and patch pieces where needed.

Roll out the second disk on a lightly floured surface, and cut it into 12 to 14 1/2-inch-wide strips with a pizza cutter. Spoon the filling into the crust, then arrange six or seven dough strips over the filling, spacing evenly. Form a lattice by placing remaining dough strips across the first set to form a grid. Press the ends of the dough strips into the overhang from the bottom crust, then trim it even around the sides.

Scramble the egg yolk in a cup, then brush it over the crust. Transfer the pie to a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until the crust is golden and the filling thickens, which takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool it completely, or dive in with a fork while it’s still hot like I did. 

Strawberry rhubarb pie FAQ

Q. After it’s baked, does strawberry rhubarb pie need to be refrigerated?

A. You can keep a strawberry rhubarb pie on a table or counter for 24 to 36 hours. After that length of time, you should transfer it to the refrigerator. Always keep the pie covered to help maintain freshness. 

Q. Why do I need cornstarch to make a strawberry rhubarb pie?

A. Ideally, pie filling shouldn’t be too soft or runny. According to Boudewijn, cornstarch will thicken the filling’s consistency. 

Q. What nutrients does rhubarb provide?

A. Rhubarb is packed with antioxidants, calcium, fiber and vitamin K. It also contains potassium and vitamin C. 

What you need to buy to make strawberry rhubarb pie

Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Pie Plate, Set of Two

Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Pie Plate, Set of Two

Boudewijn recommends glass pie plates for the best results. This set is made of durable Pyrex.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Vollrath Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set

Vollrath Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set

Stainless steel bowls are ideal for mixing ingredients. This set includes five bowls in a variety of versatile sizes. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Spring Chef Dough Blender

Spring Chef Dough Blender

According to Boudewijn, a pastry blender is a must-have for preparing the dough for pie crusts. This model is made of stainless steel and has a grippy rubberized handle. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

John Boos Maple Wood Cutting Board

John Boos Maple Wood Cutting Board

If you use fresh strawberries and rhubarb in your pie, you’ll need a cutting board to prepare them. This model is made of strong maple wood and features a reversible design. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Ebuns Marble French Rolling Pin

Ebuns Marble French Rolling Pin 

This rolling pin’s marble construction and tapered design are ideal for rolling out dough. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

KitchenAid Classic Pizza Wheel

KitchenAid Classic Pizza Wheel

This pizza cutter is well-made, has a sharp blade and is dishwasher-safe. What’s more, it comes in handy for cutting pies. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Kitchenatics Cooling Rack

Kitchenatics Cooling Rack

Once your pie is done baking, Boudewijn recommends a cooling rack for placing it fresh out of the oven. This stainless steel model is a half sheet size, which works well for pies. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Wusthof Chef’s Knife

Wusthof Chef’s Knife

Wusthof’s 8-inch chef’s knife features a durable build and a contoured design that’s comfortable in your hand. It’s constructed to chop recipe ingredients with ease. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Berglander Serving Set

Berglander Serving Set

Not only is this serving set useful for cutting and serving pie, but it boasts an elegant gold finish that makes it perfect for special occasions. It includes a pastry knife and a server. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Picnic at Ascot Pie and Cake Carrier

Picnic at Ascot Pie and Cake Carrier

If you plan to take your strawberry rhubarb pie with you to share with friends, you’ll need a pie carrier. This model has an attractive design, top and bottom zippers and a lifetime warranty. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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