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Old-Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

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Berry good pie.

Nothings says spring dessert like good, old-fashioned strawberry rhubarb pie recipe. This is a classic recipe: sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb, and an all-butter crust in one perfect pie.

slice of strawberry and rhubarb pie served with dollop of whipped cream

Meet this classic, double-crust strawberry rhubarb pie recipe

When it comes to springtime’s best pie, you simply cannot do better than a classic strawberry rhubarb pie. The happy pink color, sweet-tart flavor of the fruit filling, and buttery homemade pie crust is a perfect flavor combination that looks as wonderful as it tastes.

Strawberry rhubarb pie sometimes gets an unfair reputation for being complicated because there’s a risk that the filling will be watery instead of thick and juicy. That’s because strawberries and rhubarb have such high water contents. (More on that below.) But this recipe has the right technique and ingredients so you will never have to worry about this.

The only thing you’ll have to worry about? Trying not to eat the whole thing.

ingredients for pie on wooden countertop
Simple ingredients combine for a delicious pie filling that’s easy to make.

Rhubarb Season + Other Rhubarb Basics

Depending on where you live, rhubarb will be available (usually at farmers markets) between March and June. April and May tend to be the best windows of availability.

Selecting Rhubarb: Choose rhubarb like you’d choose celery or chard. You want it crisp, perky, and rich in color. Don’t buy rhubarb that is brown or dinged up too badly.

Peeling and prepping rhubarb: You don’t need to peel rhubarb, but I recommend (like celery) cutting off the tips of the stalks. Never eat rhubarb leaves, which are actually toxic due to oxalic acid.

bowl of cut strawberries and rhubarb in bowl with empty pie dough shell
Pour the filling into the pie shell, leaving some of the juice behind.

What does rhubarb taste like?

Rhubarb tastes tart. Very tart. So tart, in fact, you probably do not want to eat it raw. (See also: cranberries.) But combined with sugar, vanilla, strawberries, and maybe a little lemon juice for brightness, the flavor mellows into something that is still tart, but in a way beautifully sweet way.

Perfecting the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling: Pro Tips

This is a classic, simple homemade pie to prepare, but there are some rhubarb and strawberry tips and info you’ll want to know to make this a truly successful pie.

pie filling in pie shell before baking
Pour the pie filling into the pie shell immediately, or wait about 10-15 minutes for the sugar to pull some liquid from the pie if you want a thicker filling.

1. Why is my strawberry rhubarb pie runny?

Strawberry rhubarb pie can be runny if the fruit is combined with sugar and other filling ingredients, then poured into the pie shell and baked right away.

Both rhubarb and strawberries have high water content. Rhubarb is about 94% water; strawberries are about 90 to 95% water. When these fruits are combined with sugar and baked — both of which draw moisture from the fruit — the result can be strawberry rhubarb soup encased in crust.

But you can easily fix this problem with the right ingredients and techniques. Read below.

rhubarb strawberry pie filling in pie dough shell

2. How to thicken rhubarb pie filling

There are two things you need to thicken rhubarb strawberry pie filing: 

  1. The right thickener, and
  2. Time to let the fruit marinate in the sugar in a mixing bowl before adding it to the pie crust.

This recipe uses cornstarch as a thickener. Cornstarch will ensure that the filling is jammy, not runny. By letting the sugar draw some of the water from the fruit before baking, you decrease the overall percentage of water in the filling, making it thicker when baked. Science!

strawberry rhubarb pie recipe

How to make this strawberry rhubarb pie

This is a classic, old-fashioned pie recipe, perfect for spring. Here’s what you need to know:

Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this pie:

  • 4 large stalks of fresh rhubarb (about 3 cups when cut into pieces)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (about 3 cups strawberries)
  • Pinch salt (about 1/8 tsp)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • Lemon juice
  • Pie dough (enough for two crusts)
  • One egg for egg washing the top of the crust

baked strawberry rhubarb pie on wire cooling rack

Directions

  1. Make the pie dough and divide into two flat rounds. Chill for at least one hour, or up to 24 hours. If you don’t chill the dough, it will not be as flaky or tender. Want to skip the crust? Make it a crisp by topping it with a simple streusel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and grab an 8″ or 9″ pie plate. I like to bake in glass because it helps get a browned bottom crust, but any sturdy standard pie pan will do.
  3. Prepare the fruit. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until fully blended. Distributing the cornstarch like this will ensure you don’t have cornstarch clumps in the filling.
  4. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, and a squeeze of lemon juice with the sugar mixture, and toss to combine. Let sit for about 15 minutes. While you do this…
  5. Use a rolling pin to roll out the pie dough rounds until they’re one solid inch wider than the pie dish. Chill, covered, until ready to use. Drape the bottom crust into the bottom of the pie pan. Don’t worry about the excess crust; you’ll trim it. Give the fruit mixture a stir. Use a large spoon to spoon the filling into the pie pan, leaving about half the juice behind. Dot the top of the fruit with the butter.
  6. Drape the second pie dough over the filling. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the excess dough from the pie, leaving about a 1″ drape on all sides.
  7. Tuck the draped dough lopping off the edge of the pie upward, folding it down onto the rim of the pie. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges and seal the two doughs. Lightly brush the egg wash over the pie. Do not do too thick of an egg wash or you will get little omelets on your dough.
  8. Bake 50 minutes to one hour, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling.
  9. Cool completely to room temperature before serving.

This strawberry rhubarb pie will keep for up to two days in the fridge, covered. Be sure to serve it at room temperature.

What to serve with this pie

I love this pie all on its own, but topping this with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to complement the tartness of the pie equals pure perfection. Whipped cream also works well, but ice cream is the best choice.

slice of strawberry rhubarb pie

If you love this recipe for strawberry and rhubarb pie, you’ll also enjoy these other recipes:

strawberry rhubarb pie recipe

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

A homey, classic strawberry rhubarb pie recipe that's sweet, tart, and gorgeously pink, all with a buttery pie crust. This is the ultimate springtime dessert.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Pie Dough Chilling Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords:: apple pie, dessert, rhubarb, spring recipe ideas, strawberries
Servings: 8 people (makes one 8" or 9" pie)
Calories: 286kcal
Print

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe for perfect pie dough
  • 3 cups rhubarb, chopped about half-inch thick (about 4 stalks)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, green tops removed and berries halved (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 squirt fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Instructions

  • Make the pie dough and divide into two flat rounds. Chill for at least one hour, or up to 24 hours. If you don't chill the dough, it will not be as flaky or tender. TIP: Want to skip the crust? Make it a crisp by topping it with a simple streusel.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
    PRO TIP: I like to bake in a glass pie pan because it helps get a browned bottom crust, but any sturdy standard pie pan will do.
  • Prepare the fruit. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until fully blended. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, and a squeeze of lemon juice to the sugar mixture, and stir well to combine. Let sit for about 15 minutes.
    TIP: Distributing the cornstarch by stirring it with the sugar, cinnamon, and salt ensures you don't have cornstarch clumps in the filling.
  • While the fruit marinates in the sugar mixture, use a rolling pin to roll out the chilled pie dough rounds until they're one inch wider than the pie dish. Chill, covered, until ready to use.
    TIP: If you stack one pie dough on top of the other, be sure to separate the doughs with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Drape one pie dough into the bottom of the pie pan. Don't worry about the excess crust; you'll trim it. Give the fruit mixture a stir. Use a large spoon to spoon the filling into the pie pan, leaving about half the juice behind. Dot the top of the fruit with the tablespoons of butter.
  • Drape the second pie dough over the filling. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the excess dough from the pie, leaving about a 1" drape on all sides. Tuck the draped dough lopping off the edge of the pie upward, folding it down onto the rim of the pie. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges and seal the two doughs.
    Whisk the egg and use a pastry brush (or your fingers if you don't have one) to lightly brush the egg wash over the pie.
    TIP: Do not do too thick of an egg wash, or you will get little omelets on your dough. We're just going for a light gloss.
  • Bake the pie for 50 minutes to one hour, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling.
    TIP: I like to bake pie on a lined sheet pan to catch any bubbling juices that may drip over the edge of the pie plate while baking.
    Cool completely to room temperature before serving. Serve with good vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition information is provided for courtesy purposes only, and is an estimate not verified by medical or nutrition experts. Read the full nutrition disclaimer.

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