Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – Old fashioned recipe thickened with tapioca. More strawberry, less rhubarb for just the right amount of tartness.
I’m revisiting one of the first recipes I covered on my blog – Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. This refreshed version features beautiful new photographs by my talented friend Kelly Jaggers.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie tastes like summer to me. The lemony tartness of rhubarb plays wonderfully with the sweetness of ripe strawberries. It’s a magical pairing. The farmer’s markets are teeming with ripe red strawberries now, and rhubarb is only available for a few months out of the year. If you’re going to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie, now is the time.
Here are some fun facts about the word “rhubarb” from the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink:
In the early days of radio, when the noise of an angry crowd was needed, actors in the studio were asked to mumble “rhubarb” over and over, which provided that rumbling ambiance. A “rhubarb” is also a slang term for a heated fight or argument in a baseball game.
It also happens to be a fantastic way to add a touch of tartness to a strawberry pie.
When shopping for rhubarb, look for stalks that are crisp, bright pink, thin, and clean looking (no damage from insects or disease). The thinner and darker pink the rhubarb is, the sweeter it will be. Avoid stalks that seem too old or slimy.
If it’s late in the season, you may only be able to find thicker, lighter-colored stalks. These will work, as long as they’re crisp and not rubbery. They are, however, more tart than the smaller, pinker stalks, so you may want to use less in the pie and substitute strawberries instead (1 cup rhubarb to 5 cups strawberries). The older stalks may have a stringy outer skin that needs to be peeled off. You can peel it using a potato peeler, or you can just grab the stringy edges and peel it using your fingers.
Most strawberry rhubarb pie recipes call for half strawberry, half rhubarb. With that ratio I find the rhubarb much too overpowering… too tart for my taste. I end up having to add more sugar to make up for the tartness. The last time I made this pie, I used a larger amount of strawberries and a smaller amount of rhubarb, which provided the perfect balance of flavors for me. I use minute tapioca to thicken the pie, so I don’t get that goopy pinkish sauce that results from using flour or cornstarch as a thickener. Tapioca is the perfect thickener for fruit pies.
This strawberry rhubarb filling goes wonderfully with my Old Fashioned All Butter Pie Crust, or you can substitute your own favorite pie crust recipe. Enjoy!
Beauty Shot Food Photography and Styling by Kelly Jaggers
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- 4 1/2 cups sliced ripe strawberries (small berries halved, large berries sliced)
- 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup minute tapioca
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 double pie crust recipe (like my Old Fashioned All-Butter Pie Crust)
- 1 large egg yolk (optional)
- 1 1/2 tbsp turbinado sugar (optional)
- Have your pie crusts rolled out and ready to go before you begin. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place sliced and halved strawberries into a medium mixing bowl.
- Place rhubarb in the mixing bowl with the strawberries.
- Add sugar, minute tapioca pearls, and salt to the fruit. Stir for a minute or two until all the fruit is evenly coated with sugar, tapioca and salt.
- Pour the mixture into the lower crust of your pie.
- Cut the butter into small chunks and dot the top of the filling with it.
- Cover the pie with the upper crust. Seal the pie and crimp the edges. For detailed instructions on this, see my recipe for Old Fashioned All-Butter Pie Crust.
- I like to add an egg wash to the pie (optional)-- whisk together an egg yolk with 1 tsp of water, then brush the top of the pie lightly to coat it.
- Slit the top of the crust to make a few small vents. I like to sprinkle the top of the crust with turbinado sugar for a sparkly finish (optional).Place pie on a cookie sheet (in case the filling leaks) and place the pie in the oven. Let the pie cook for 10-15 minutes until the top of the crust begins to look golden and blistered.
- Turn oven down to 375 degrees F. Cook the pie for about 30 minutes longer, until the juices from the berry filling begin to thicken and bubble through the vents in the upper crust. Don't worry if the filling leaks out through the vents a bit, this is totally normal and hard to avoid with a juicy fruit pie. It's part of the charm. 🙂
- Remove pie from oven.
- Let pie cool on a wire rack for 2-3 hours. During this time, the juices will thicken and the filling will set.
- Serve and enjoy! Pie will stay fresh for about 3 days out of the refrigerator if kept in a cool, dry area. Keep in the refrigerator to extend shelf life for up to a week.