In the springs of my youth, the enormous rhubarb leaves in my mom’s garden were so big, I continually won in Hide and Seek. I had no idea what it tasted like, but with its gorgeous red stalks I convinced myself its fruit had to be wonderful. The joke was on me. When I finally had my first nibble, I couldn’t believe it. I refused to even taste the pie mom made with it.
Thank goodness I got over THAT.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Pie Crust (makes enough for a double crusted 9-inch pie)
1-1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (4 g) sugar
1 tsp (4 g) salt
10 T (141 g) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (59 ml) ice water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse on and off to mix. Add the butter and pulse the machine on and off until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
With the machine running, trickle in the ice water through the feed tube, just until the dough gathers together. (If the dough seems dry, add up to 1 T (15 ml) more water, a little at a time). Remove the dough from the machine and divide it in half. Flatten each half with the palm of your hand to form a thick disk. Wrap the two disks in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap it and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of waxed paper to form a circle about 1/8-inch thick and two inches larger than the pie plate. Work quickly, as the dough can become sticky.
Use a spatula to help lift the dough and fold it loosely in half. Gently transfer it to the pie plate, centering the corner of the dough in the center of the plate. Open up the dough and press it lightly into the plate to fit. If the dough should tear, just press it gently together. Trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill while you make the top crust.
Remove the second disk of dough from the fridge. Roll it into a circle, roughly one inch larger than your pie plate (for example, create a 10” diameter circle for a 9” pie). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill until ready to fill and bake the pie.
Pie crust adapted from a recipe by Epicurious
Note: It’s not necessary to blind bake (pre-bake) this pie shell.
4 cups (400 g) fresh rhubarb, sliced
2 cups (332 g) fresh strawberries, sliced
1-1/3 cups (264 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (28 g) cornstarch
1 T (15 ml) fresh squeeze lemon juice
Slice the fruit and set in a large bowl. Add sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. Let it sit for a half hour or so. It will release liquid which you can drain before transferring the filling into the pie shell so the pie is not too liquid-y).
(Pro tip: if you boil this leftover liquid until it thickens to syrup consistency, it’s great later as an ice cream sauce. Refrigerate before using).
1 large beaten egg
Granulated sugar (optional) (or Turbinado if you’d like a slight crunch)
Using a pastry brush, brush the egg over the entire crust right before baking. If desired, add a light sprinkling of sugar as well.
Assembly and Baking:
Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Remove both pie crusts from the fridge. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the filling into the bottom pie shell. Place the second pie crust on top and cut 4-6 slits in the top. If you’ve always wondered how to crimp the edges together with decorative aplomb, Spruce Eats has a wonderful demonstration of some techniques here.
Place a piece of parchment (or foil or Silpat) on a baking sheet (this makes cleanup easier as fruit pies often drip while baking).
Bake the pie at 425°F (218°C) for 15 minutes, then (without opening the oven) turn the heat down to 375°F (191°C) and bake for another 50-60 minutes. You’ll know it’s perfect when the crust is golden brown. Remove and place on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Vanilla or French Vanilla ice cream are the classic pairings with this pie, and here’s a version you can make yourself!
Adapted from a recipe by Melanie Branchflower. Thanks mom!