Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is a quintessential American dessert that heralds the arrival of spring with its vibrant colors and tantalizing balance of sweet and tart flavors. This classic pie combines the sweetness of strawberries with the tangy bite of rhubarb, all wrapped up in a flaky, buttery crust. It’s a seasonal treat that has earned its place at picnics, family gatherings, and on diner menus across the country.

The origins of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie are as intertwined and complex as the lattice crust that often adorns it. Rhubarb, a vegetable that behaves like a fruit in the culinary world, has a long history. It was initially cultivated in Asia over 2,000 years ago for medicinal purposes. It wasn’t until the 18th century that rhubarb was used in cooking, and later in pies, in Britain and America. Strawberries, on the other hand, have been enjoyed since Roman times and were first cultivated in France in the 1750s. The marriage of strawberries and rhubarb in pie form is a relatively recent phenomenon, reflecting a perfect blend of Old World tradition and New World innovation.

The pie’s popularity soars during the late spring and early summer months when both strawberries and rhubarb are in peak season. This is when the stalks of the rhubarb are at their most tender and the strawberries their most fragrant. The combination of these two ingredients creates a unique flavor profile that is both refreshing and comforting. The acidity of the rhubarb cuts through the sweetness of the strawberries, while the berries’ juiciness softens the sharpness of the rhubarb.

What sets Strawberry Rhubarb Pie apart from other fruit pies is its texture. The filling should be thick enough to hold together when sliced but still ooze with juicy goodness. Achieving this balance often involves the use of thickeners such as cornstarch or flour, which help to set the filling without diminishing the bright, fresh flavors of the fruit.

The crust plays an equally important role in the pie’s overall appeal. A well-made pie crust is a thing of beauty – golden brown, with a texture that manages to be both crisp and tender. It serves as the perfect counterpoint to the soft, syrupy filling. Some bakers prefer a traditional double-crust pie, while others opt for a crumble topping or a decorative lattice that allows the vivid red filling to peek through.

While the recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie may vary from one region to another, or even from one family recipe book to another, there are some common elements that define this beloved dessert. Freshness of the ingredients is paramount; there is no substitute for ripe, in-season strawberries and firm, glossy rhubarb stalks. Sugar is used judiciously to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit without overpowering the rhubarb’s tartness. And patience is key – allowing the pie to cool before slicing ensures that the flavors have time to meld and the filling sets properly.

Beyond its delicious taste, Strawberry Rharb Pie is steeped in nostalgia. For many, it evokes memories of childhood, of berries picked fresh from the garden, and of kitchens filled with the sweet aroma of baking. It’s a pie that seems to capture the essence of home and hearth, of sunny days spent outdoors, and of the simple pleasures of sharing a meal with loved ones.

In recent years, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie has also found its way into the realm of food trends. Chefs at high-end restaurants have reimagined the humble pie in various forms, from deconstructed versions to elegant tarts. Yet, even as it is elevated to gourmet status, the pie retains its soulful roots. It remains a testament to the power of simple, seasonal ingredients to create something truly extraordinary.

As with any dish that has a deep-rooted cultural significance, there are debates among aficionados about what constitutes the “perfect” Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Some argue for the inclusion of additional flavorings, such as vanilla or orange zest, to complement the fruit. Others insist on a minimalist approach, letting the pure flavors of strawberry and rhubarb shine through. There are discussions about the best type of crust, the ideal ratio of fruit to sugar, and even the proper way to serve the pie – warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or cold with a dollop of whipped cream.

Regardless of these differences, the enduring appeal of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie lies in its ability to bring together contrasting flavors and textures in harmonious delight. It is a pie that celebrates the bounty of the land, the joy of eating seasonally, and the pleasure of savoring each bite. Whether served at a casual family dinner or presented as a sophisticated dessert course, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie remains a beloved symbol of American culinary tradition – a sweet reminder of the ties that bind us to the past, to the earth, and to each other.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Enjoy a delectable slice of summer with this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, featuring a perfect balance of sweet and tart, encased in a flaky, golden crust.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings


  • 1 double-crust pie crust
  • 2 ½ cups rhubarb chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 ½ cups strawberries washed, hulled and cut into pieces about the same size as the chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons minute tapioca
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Extra sugar for sprinkling on top of crust


  • Prepare double-crust pie crust recipe. Roll out one half of the crust and cover the bottom of a pie dish, while reserving the other half of the dough for the top crust.
  • Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a large bowl and pour out into prepared crust. Slice the butter into small chunks and place them around the top of the strawberry rhubarb filling.
  • Roll out the remaining half of the pie crust and gently place it over the filling either as a solid crust with slits cut into it for ventilation or by cutting into strips and laying them out in a lattice pattern. Crimp to seal edges.
  • Make an egg wash by beating the egg with 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl, then brush it over the top of the pie with a pastry brush and sprinkle the top of the pie with a teaspoon or two of sugar.
  • Loosely cover the edges of the pie with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is a golden brown.
  • Let the pie cool for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.
Keyword pie
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