Classic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
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Nothing signals the start of summer like strawberries and rhubarb, and there’s no better way to use strawberries and rhubarb together than in a classic strawberry rhubarb pie.
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There’s just something about a freshly-baked pie sitting on the counter that makes a house feel like a home, don’t ya think? A fresh pie on the counter just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling, no matter what time of year it is!
But pies really are a quintessential summer dessert, often brimming whatever fresh fruit is in season at the time. And one of the first fruit pies of summer is the humble but delicious strawberry rhubarb pie.
We go strawberry picking every year at a local U-pick farm, and we’re lucky to have two huge established rhubarb plants on our property. We actually had three when we moved in last year, but we had to remove the largest one to clear beds for our front garden. (You should have seen the root we dug out… It was as big as a tree root!)
This year I made two strawberry rhubarb pies back-to-back because I was working on a new pie crust recipe. I always used to make a really basic crust with just flour, water and butter or lard. But I was gifted a book for my birthday last month called First Prize Pies by Allison Kave, and I learned an even better crust recipe that uses cream instead of water, which keeps the fat content of the pie dough higher, which, in turn, helps make the pie crust even flakier.
I decided to try it out and my pie crusts turned out perfectly both times, and I’m now a believer in using cream (or whole milk) in my pie crusts, so I’ve updated my all-purpose pie crust recipe to reflect my new pie ideology:)
Also, I added a bit of apple cider vinegar because vinegar is said to help prevent gluten strands from forming, which keeps the pie crust from getting too dense. Because a good pie starts with a buttery, flaky crust!
As for the filling, I stuck with a classic strawberry rhubarb pie filling that uses cornstarch as a thickener. You could use flour as well, but I find cornstarch works better as a thickener and makes the filling less cloudy.
Otherwise it’s just strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and a little lemon… and it is delish!
How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
This pie is actually really simple to assemble and bake. Once you’ve made your pie crust and allowed it to rest in the fridge for an hour or so, preheat the oven to 425ºF, flour your surface and get ready to roll out your crusts.
Take your crust out of the fridge and roll out your bottom crust. Transfer your bottom crust to a 9-inch pie plate and trim any overhang.
*Pro Tip: To easily transfer your crust to your pie plate, fold each crust in half and then in half again, then transfer to your pie plate and unfold gently.
Using a fork or a knife, make some small holes in the bottom of your pie crust to allow steam to escape and helps the crust to cook more evenly (this is called “docking”). Then brush the bottom crust with a little egg wash, which will help protect the bottom crust from getting soggy.
Next, make your pie filling. Mix together strawberries, rhubarb, lemon juice and zest, sugar, cornstarch and salt until well combined. Scoop filling into bottom crust.
Roll out your top crust and either cut it into a lattice and assemble or place whole pie crust on top, trim the overhang and tuck the top crust over the bottom crust for a good seal. Then crimp the edges or use a fork to press around the edge.
Brush on a little egg wash over the top crust and sprinkle a little sugar on top (raw/turbinado sugar is best) and cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape (if you’re not using a lattice crust).
To bake, place pie on the bottom rack in your oven (or move rack down) to prevent top crust from getting too brown and bottom crust from not cooking enough. Bake at 425ºF for 20 minutes, then turn your oven down to 350ºF for another 30 to 40 minutes.
Allow pie to cool completely on the counter before serving.
Pairs well with strawberry or vanilla ice cream:)
How to Freeze Fruit Pies
You can also make this pie ahead of time and freeze it baked or unbaked.
If freezing pie unbaked, put it in the freezer as soon as you’ve assembled it. Allow it to freeze completely for about 24 hours, then seal in an airtight freezer bag or wrap in plastic wrap a couple times to make sure it’s completely covered.
Bake your unbaked pie from frozen as per the recipe below, but add an extra 5 to 10 minutes or so at the end.
Frozen unbaked pies should last in the freezer for up to three or four months.
To freeze a baked pie, allow pie to cool completely before putting it in the freezer. Pop it in the freezer uncovered for 24 hours until it’s completely frozen, then seal in an airtight freezer bag or wrap in plastic wrap a couple times to make sure it’s completely covered.
To reheat frozen, baked pie before serving, preheat oven to 350ºF and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (times vary depending on how hot your oven runs, so check it after about 20 minutes and keep your eye on it).
Frozen baked pies should last in the freezer up to six months.
Whether you bake it fresh or freeze it first to enjoy later, in the end no matter how you slice it, strawberry rhubarb pie is the quintessential dessert for those first warm summer nights.
What’s your favourite pie flavour???
P.S. Looking for an easy way to enjoy seasonal fruit pies all year long? Check out the following recipes for how to can blueberry pie filling and how to can cherry pie filling at home, and you’ll always have homemade fruit pie filling read to go in your pantry!
Until next time:)
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