Strawberry rhubarb pie is MY pie. The one that I would choose over all others. The one that I wait 10 months out of the year for and spend the other two hoarding rhubarb as if the apocalypse is upon us. I grow it, I buy it, I steal it from neighbors’ yards. Nothing stands between me and rhubarb in these late spring and early summer months.
Strawberry rhubarb is also the pie that carries the most memories for me. My grandmother made it and my recipe is a variation of hers. For some reason, pie gets more street credit if it comes from a grandmother. Add to that a Hungarian immigrant grandmother (though strawberry rhubarb has nothing to do with Hungary) and you have a legit legacy happening there. It’s become my mission to perfect this pie.
Truth be told, the original recipe was better in my memories. It needed a little enhancement, so I have spent the past few years adjusting the recipe in the hopes of perfection. The one thing standing in my way was the inevitable juice factor – my pie was delicious but habitually runny. I had almost resigned to the fact that it was just going to be this way until a happy little accident happened to me last week.
I was preparing a dessert that called for rhubarb to be coated in sugar. Somewhere along the way I didn’t get past this step and bailed on my plans for that particular dessert. A couple of hours later I decided to make a pie and found that the sugar had helped release much of the water from the rhubarb. I proceeded with my pie to find that it was PERFECT. I’m not kidding – compact, beautiful and not runny at all! This was too good to be true.
I made pie again my usual way. Delicious but runny.
I made pie again the new way letting the rhubarb sit in sugar ahead of time. Delicious and NOT RUNNY!
People, I have put the final piece of the puzzle together and I give you the best strawberry rhubarb pie recipe.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
1 recipe for a 9 inch pie crust (or best of both worlds pie crust)
- 2 1/2 cups rhubarb diced about 1/2 inch thick
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups strawberries, quartered to make cubes about 1/2 inch thick
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or just a good squeeze of a lemon)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4T melted butter
Preheat oven to 400
Place 2 1/2 cups of diced rhubarb in a medium bowl and toss with 1/3 cup sugar. Let rhubarb sit for at least an hour while you prepare pie crust. You can also do this the night before and let it sit covered in the refrigerator.
Prepare pie crust as directed and refrigerate for an hour. This can also be done a day ahead of time.
Roll dough into a 12 inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Place carefully in 9-inch pie plate, crimp edges and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
You will want to make your topping first so that your filling does not sit too long in the pie shell. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and melted butter in a medium bowl and stir until crumbs form. Set aside.
Place strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Add the dry mixture to the fruit, stir to coat evenly and turn filling into chilled pie shell.
Generously sprinkle the pie with the topping mixture.
Bake on the center rack at 400 degrees for 40 minutes until juices bubble. Cool at least three hours before serving.