A delicious pie doesn’t have to be complicated! This strawberry rhubarb pie recipe is easy to make, tasty, and captures the flavors of spring. It’s impressive enough to take to a family potluck picnic and simple enough to serve with your weeknight dinner.
What does strawberry rhubarb pie taste like?
To me, strawberry rhubarb pie tastes like spring! I can’t eat a slice without being reminded of the freshness of the season. Rhubarb itself is a tart vegetable. Strawberries, on the other hand, are sweet. Together, the tartness of the rhubarb sets off the sweetness of the strawberries, resulting in a pie that’s the perfect level of sweetness. Pair that with a flaky crust and some zest from an orange and you’re left with pie perfection!
Is this pie gluten-free?
It can be! To make this pie gluten-free, all you need is a gluten-free crust. If you’re not worried about gluten in your pie, you can make your strawberry rhubarb pie with a regular pie crust. The choice is yours. Both crusts are flaky, buttery, and super simple to make. The filling is naturally gluten-free!
What do I need to make strawberry rhubarb pie?
It might surprise you to learn there are only a handful of ingredients needed to make strawberry rhubarb pie.
- Strawberries—roughly 2 ½ cups, chopped
- Rhubarb—roughly 2 ½ cups, chopped
- Sugar—both brown and granulated sugar
- Orange juice—freshly squeezed or store-bought
- Two pie crusts—homemade, gluten-free, or store-bought
- An egg wash—a large egg beaten with a tablespoon of water
- Tapioca starch
The key to flaky pie crust is to keep things cool! The butter in the crust needs to be cold, and the water that’s added should be ice cold. The dough should be kept in the fridge so it stays cool and should only be removed right before rolling out your crust.
How do I make strawberry rhubarb pie?
This is a super simple recipe to make, and it only involves a handful of steps.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. While the oven is heating, mix your fruit, sugars, orange juice, and tapioca starch in a large bowl until the sugar has dissolved.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out your pie crusts and line the bottom of the pie dish with the first crust, fluting the edges.
- Fill your pie with your prepared fruit mixture and cover with the second pie crust.
- Brush the top of the pie with your egg wash.
- Bake for 70-75 minutes, covering the edges of your pie crust about halfway through with aluminum foil or a guard so they don’t burn.
- Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least three hours before serving.
- Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can also sprinkle sugar on the top of the pie as it cools for a sweet addition.
When covering your pie with the top crust, you can slice it into strips and weave them to create a lattice pattern. If this is too challenging, you can also cover the pie with a full circle of crust, cutting a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Both will create delicious pies!
Picking and prepping fresh rhubarb
Rhubarb is a vegetable that acts like a fruit. It’s important to prep this vegetable carefully before cooking with it, as the leaves of the plant are poisonous. When picking fresh rhubarb, grasp the stalk by the base of the plant. Gently twist and pull the stalk upwards and it’ll separate from the plant. Rhubarb season generally runs from mid April to late June.
After harvesting, cut away all the leaves. These are poisonous and shouldn’t be anywhere where pets or small children can find them, so dispose of them carefully. Wash your stalks well and use a veggie peeler to remove any large blemishes. Keep rhubarb stalks whole until you plan on using them. When you’re ready to make your pie, cut the prepared rhubarb stalks into ½-inch pieces.
Can I use frozen fruit?
Absolutely! If you had an abundance of fruit the previous year, it’s a great idea to learn how to freeze strawberries and how to freeze rhubarb. This extends the life of your fruit, which you can then use to make strawberry rhubarb pie no matter the season!
If using frozen fruit, keep in mind that it contains more water than fresh fruit does. It’s a good idea to thaw the fruit the night before over a colander to remove some of the water. You might also have to add a little more tapioca to your strawberry rhubarb pie recipe in order to thicken the pie filling.
How is the filling thickened?
The natural pectin in fruit can help your pie thicken—but strawberry rhubarb pie isn’t cooked long enough for pectin to be enough to hold your pie together. Some bakers use cornstarch or flour as a thickener, but these do better in cooking than in baking because they can cause your pie to taste chalky or floury.
So instead, this recipe uses tapioca to thicken the pie filling. Tapioca doesn’t require a cooling off period to thicken, there’s no unpleasant taste, it’s not affected by acidic ingredients, and it won’t break down and become runny after the cooking process is over. That’s what makes tapioca the perfect pie thickener.
To give the tapioca time to thicken properly, it’s best to allow the fruit mixture to sit for at least ten minutes prior to pouring it into the pie crust to bake.
Why is my strawberry rhubarb pie runny?
A few different things can cause runny strawberry rhubarb pie.
- You used frozen fruit without thawing—If you’re going to use frozen fruit, allow it to thaw for a day to release excess water. It’s a good idea to set your frozen fruit in a colander over a bowl to allow the water to drip out as it thaws.
- Your pie was cut too soon—It’s tempting to cut into your pie as soon as it’s removed from the oven. However, it takes at least three hours for the pie to cool enough for you to cut it. As it cools, the pie solidifies as the fruit juices and tapioca gel together.
- Too much water in your fruit—Because fruit is mostly water, it can make the pie soggy as it releases liquid during the cooking process. If you have particularly juicy berries or are otherwise concerned about this, allow your fruit and sugar mixture to sit for at least thirty minutes (don’t add the tapioca right away!). Liquid will gather at the bottom of your bowl, which you can then drain out. Then you can add the tapioca and bake the pie.
How to store strawberry rhubarb pie
Strawberry rhubarb pie will store well in the fridge, freezer, and even on the counter. Fruit pies that have completely cooled can sit on the counter at room temperature for up to two days. If you need to store the pie for four to five days, wrap the top loosely in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it in the fridge.
You can store strawberry rhubarb pie in the freezer for six to eight months. To store your pie in the freezer, wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Pull the frozen pie out of the freezer and thaw it in the fridge for a day before allowing it to come up to room temperature on the counter when you want to serve it.