I know it’s been a while since the last Overthinking Classics but the series is back and it brought a good recipe with it. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie seems to be a clear favorite among my friends and family. And it easily occupies a spot in my top three all-time favorite pies. Coconut Cream still reigns supreme but this ruby red stunner is forever nipping at its heels. This post includes a blueprint for a successful non-runny-or-gummy fruit pie filling, a solid all-butter pastry recipe, and a detailed (too detailed?) video that shows the entire baking process from tip to tail. So without further ado let’s overthink this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
So let’s start where the pie starts – the pastry. I think the greatness of a pie hinges on the quality of the pastry, so it pays to spend your time and attention here. As I mentioned, this is an all-butter pastry. But you can replace half of the butter with shortening. That’s what my grandmother did, so it is most certainly allowed. I prefer the flavor of an all-butter pastry, but adding shortening to the mix does yield a slightly flakier pastry and it is easier to work with. So decide what is more important to you. But regardless of what you choose, I promise you will have delicious pastry in the end.
Now, let’s talk filling. This filling features a nearly even ratio of strawberry to rhubarb. There is slightly more strawberry because it does such a brilliant job of balancing the more assertive rhubarb. You can feel free to tinker with this ratio but make sure the final total weight remains the same. You can also play with the sugar content. The recipe below calls for a modest 2/3 cup of granulated sugar. I like the tartness of rhubarb, so I played it conservatively. But if you have more of a sweet tooth, feel free to up the sugar. I wouldn’t exceed 1 cup, though.
Okay, let’s discuss the lattice situation. Lattices get a bad wrap. I think people make them seem more complicated than they actually are. I mean, you could make them more complicated if you wish. But to my mind, the classic pie lattice is supposed to be a little rustic. That is part of the pie’s charm. All you have to remember over/under, over/under. And use strips that are the appropriate length for the portion of the pie they’re meant to occupy. But if you really can’t do the lattice, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is an excellent candidate for a closed lid. Just remember to cut vents to avoid pie explosions.
And that’s everything you need to know about this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and if you need to know more, I over-explain everything in the video below because I can’t help myself. I hope you make this at least once this season. It really is a classic for a reason.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- 1 9" deep dish pie plate
- 1 pizza or pastry wheel
- 1 pastry cutter optional
All Butter Pastry
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- ½ cup ice water
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
- 400g (14 oz) fresh strawberries hulled and quartered
- 150g (5oz) fresh rhubarb coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar **
For the Pastry
- Place the all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Add the granulated sugar and salt. Whisk to combine.2½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 1½ tsp salt
- Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture. You can either do this with a pastry cutter or you can use the rubbing method. Simply toss the butter in the flour so it’s coated. Then roll the cubes of butter between your thumb and index fingers to create thin leaves of butter. Work quickly with cold hands.1 cup cold unsalted butter
- Once the flour mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, pour in the ice water. Work the water into the flour mixture using a rubber spatula until a dough starts to form. Turn it onto the counter and knead it briefly to bring the dough together. The dough should be shaggy, so don’t over-knead it.½ cup ice water
- Cut the dough in half with a bench scraper and press each half into a disc and wrap with parchment paper. Chill the pastry in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight. ***
For the Filling
- Place the strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl. Add the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir until the fruit is coated and set aside.400g (14 oz) fresh strawberries, 150g (5oz) fresh rhubarb, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup cornstarch, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ake one disc of pastry and place it on a well-floured surface. With a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll the pastry out until you have a circle that measures about 12” in diameter. Keep rotating the pastry as you roll to prevent sticking.
- Once you’re happy with your circle, roll it onto the rolling pin before unfurling it across your 9” pie plate. Gently tuck your pastry into the plate. Push the pastry into the edges of the plate but don’t stretch it.
- Pierce the pastry all over with a fork and spoon in the filling. You will have noticed a fair amount of liquid has gathered in the bottom of the bowl you had your filling in. Try to add as little of that to the pie as possible. **** Dot the surface of the filling with the butter.2 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- Retrieve the other disc of pastry from the fridge and place it once again on a well-floured surface. Roll the pastry out to a circle measuring 9” in diameter. Using a pastry or pizza wheel, cut the pastry into strips. Arrange the strips on top of the pie in a lattice formation. Just remember over/under, over/under. And select pastry strips that are the correct length for their position on the pie.
- Once your lattice is on there, collect those edges and form a ridge. You can borrow some pastry from the meatier edges and use them to flesh out the thinner edges. Then using your thumb and index fingers, crimp the pastry. Transfer the pie to the fridge and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes. While the pie is chilling, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Once the oven is up and the pie is chilled, brush the egg all over the pastry and sprinkle it with the sugar. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven and a sheet pan on the lower rack. This will catch any drips. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 and place a crust shield on the crimped portion of the pie. ***** Return the pie to the oven and bake for another 50 minutes.1 large egg, 1 tbsp demerara sugar **
- Take the pie out of the oven and let cool for a few hours before slicing and serving. The cooling time will allow the filling to solidify, so you can get a nice clean slice.