Friday, July 16, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

My fiancé LOVES strawberry rhubarb pie, it’s one of his all time favorites and he rarely has an opportunity to have it. Last year I made him strawberry rhubarb crisp for his birthday because I didn’t have a pie plate. Until that time, I had never had rhubarb, but I ended up really enjoying the strawberry rhubarb crisp and so did the fiancé.

A few months back we passed the clearance shelves at a store and found a glass pie dish for $3. Remembering my excuse for not making pie, my fiancé bought it for me.

Not having a pie plate was a very convenient excuse for not making pies; truth is I was a little nervous about trying to make a pie. I had never made one before and I had this impression that pies were very hard and complicated to get right; everything from the dough to the filling was a potential disaster.

Since I no longer had my convenient excuse I figured it was time to face my fear and bake a pie…besides if the pie didn’t turn out it wouldn’t be the end of the world by any means. So I decided I would surprise my fiancé for his birthday for two reasons: 1) surprises are more fun on your birthday and 2) if he didn’t know it was coming he wouldn’t be disappointed if it didn’t work out and all he got was ice cream for dessert instead of pie a la mode.

I thought about using store bought pie dough, but I figured if I was going to jump into pie making I might as well go all in, so I went in search of a pie crust recipe. Thankfully I didn’t have to search far, Pioneer Woman has one in her cookbook, “Perfect Pie Crust”…Woo Hoo! If Pioneer Woman trusts the recipe and calls it ‘perfect’ then it’s good enough for me; she’s never let me down before. I did have a slight hesitation when I realized there was no sugar in the recipe and it was recommended for her Chicken Pot Pie recipe, but at the end it also recommended the recipe for dessert pies so away I went. (Another reason why you should always read the full recipe start to finish before you begin cooking.)

I don’t currently have a pastry cutter, so I improvised and used a couple of knives and a large fork instead. This is something I’ve done before with other recipes that called for a pastry cutter…I really need to get one soon though if I’m going to be making any more pies…hint, hint honey ;)

This pie dough does require a little planning ahead, just an FYI. I also didn’t get my dough to roll out quite as smoothly and pretty as Ree’s but it still worked and it ended up delicious and flaky…it really is a “Perfect Pie Crust”.

For those of you that have the cookbook, the recipe is on page 128. For those of you that don’t have the cookbook, what are you waiting for? Go buy one right now!

Now onto the filling, unfortunately I couldn’t find a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie via the Pioneer Woman. I set out to Tasty Kitchen and a few other online resources; but I didn’t find one that completely won me over. So I combined elements from a few recipes, along with the recipe from last year’s strawberry rhubarb crisp, and created a version I hoped would work. Sure enough it did work and it was wonderful!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Follow recipe on page 128 of Pioneer Woman Cooks

3 ½ - 4 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ¼ - ½ inch slices (~1 ½ - 2 pounds rhubarb from the store)
3 ½ - 4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced (~ 1-2 16-ounce containers)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
a little lemon juice squeezed from ½ a small lemon

Egg Wash
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Prepare bottom of pie crust and place in fridge until ready.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place sliced strawberries in medium bowl. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over sliced strawberries and stir. Place sliced rhubarb in a second medium bowl. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over rhubarb and stir. Let sit as you prepare and measure other ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Add in strawberries, rhubarb, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix together.

Begin rolling out top pie crust and cutting strips for a lattice top. Once you have the majority of strips cut, take the bottom pie crust out of fridge.

Pour the strawberry rhubarb mixture into pie crust. Cover the filling with the pie crust strips in a lattice pattern.


Cut off any excess dough and pinch the top crust and bottom crust together to seal. (I tried to make my border pretty with this trick I saw on Martha Stewart one time, but I obviously still need some practice in that area.)


You could save some time and just roll out the second pie crust and cover the entire top of the pie, just be sure to cut slits into it for the steam to get out.

Place pie plate on cookie sheet; it makes it easier to get in and out of the oven (it also avoids a mess in your oven if your pie bubbles over, but luckily mine didn’t!). Brush the egg wash over the crust.

Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until crust turns golden brown and filling bubbles, about another 1 hour and 30 minutes (I might have left mine in there just a tad longer). Transfer pie to rack and cool.

Just out of the oven

Serve warm with ice cream or let it cool completely and serve on it’s own as a refreshing treat.


My strawberry rhubarb pie experiment was a huge success! My fiancé LOVED this recipe, probably more than anything else I’ve ever made him


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