The best strawberry rhubarb pie! This double-crusted strawberry rhubarb pie is sweet, tart and totally delicious. A flaky crust garnished with fresh sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb, and lemon zest filling. The recipe includes tips & tricks, such as how to avoid a soggy bottom.

rhubarb strawberry pie

There’s this famous expression, “as easy as pie”.

What?

Making pie is definitely not easy!

Fruit pies are especially tricky as they release a lot of liquid during baking. For my first double-crusted pie, I went all in with some of the juiciest fruit around: strawberries & rhubarb.

It was a challenge. It took me four attempts until I got a result I was happy with.

Let’s see:

Attempt #1: A real disaster! The bottom crust was completely raw and swimming in a pool of strawberry juice. The very definition of a soggy bottom. The pie still tasted great though!

Attempt #2: Second attempt. To make sure the pie was thoroughly cooked through, I moved it to the bottom part of the oven (rather than in the middle) and increased the baking time to 2h30. I was worried the pie would overbake, but it turned out perfectly cooked and the filling remained moist despite the longer cooking time. Not a bad result, but it’s a long wait.  The top crust collapsed/caved in for some reason the day after the bake. Some more tests are needed.

Attempt #3: To prevent the dough from collapsing again, I increased the amount of fruit in the filling. I also lowered the cooking time to 1h20. However, I forgot to also increase the amount of cornstarch, which resulted in somewhat liquid result (but still better than attempt #1).

Attempt #4: Success at last! I increased the cornstarch and also decided to add it after draining the fruit to avoid draining the starch along with the juice. This time the filling set perfectly.

Verdict? Delicious. I like my strawberry rhubarb pie to be tart. If you prefer yours sweeter, add some more sugar to the recipe.

rhubarb pie

Tips & tricks

1) Chill, chill, chill

Pie making takes time and patience. The pie dough will need to be chilled at different points in the recipe. You cannot rush this process.

Why?

Refrigerating the dough relaxes the gluten, making it less elastic and easier to roll. It also firms up the butter, which softens and melts as you work the dough. This will cause your dough to stick to the surface, forcing you to add more flour and making the crust tougher and less flaky.

Simply put, the colder the ingredients, the flakier and prettier your pie will be.

Used chilled ingredients

Butter should be kept refrigerated until used and you can add ice cubes to the water used to form the pie dough.

Prepare the dough ahead of time

Prepare the dough a day ahead and chill it overnight, so it can absorb all the liquid. If not possible, prepare the same day and chill for at least 1h.

Chill the dough again after rolling it out and lining the pie pan.

This will help relax the dough and prevent it from shrinking in the oven. If you’re making a double crusted pie, roll out the top crust on a tray and chill for 30 minutes.

Chill a last time once the pie is assembled

This will make it easier to cut nice vents.

2) Avoiding runny fruit pies

Strawberries are made up of 90% of water. They will release that water during baking, which is why you often end up with a puddle of juice and the infamous “soggy bottom”. Getting the pie to set properly is really the main challenge when making this pie.

Through my different attempts, I found that the following worked for me:

Macerate and drain the fruit

Drain as much of liquid as possible from the fruit before baking: place the chopped fruit in a bowl and stir in the sugar. Let sit for at least 30 min. Discard the resulting liquid.

Add the thickener after draining the fruit

Adding the thickener at the same time as the sugar means some of that thickener will be drained off with the liquid, and the thickener is crucial for the setting of the pie. I therefore recommend to add it once all the juice has been drained from the fruit.

Let the pie cool before cutting it

The pie will set as it cools down. If you cut into it too early, it will not have had time to do so and you will end up with a soggy mess. Let it sit for 2h-3h before cutting it. If you prefer to eat your pie warm, you can reheat it in the oven before serving.

strawberry rhubarb pie recipe

3) Place the pie on a tray lined with parchment paper

As the fruit starts to cook, the filling will start to bubble and potentially even splatter. By placing the pie on a lined tray, you will have to spend less time cleaning up your oven!

4) Bake the pie long enough

The baking time will really depend on your oven and the fruit you choose.

Bake at 220°C (400F) for 20 min, then reduce the heat to 180°C (375F) and continue to bake for 60-80 min, depending on your oven. This might seem like a lot, but my different tests showed me that you cannot overbake the fruit! Even after 2h30, the fruit was still moist.

The only thing to look out for is to not over brown or burn the crust. If the top of the pie starts to get too brown, cover it with aluminium foil.

5) Bake on the lowest oven rack

Baking the pie on the lowest oven rack will help prevent a soggy bottom. I left mine on the lowest rack for the whole baking time, but some people also like to move it to the middle. See what works for you!

6) The pie is ready when…

The pie’s juices must be bubbling thickly through the vents. This is required so that the cornstarch can absorb liquid and thicken the filling.

strawberry pie slice

strawberry rhubab pie slice
5 from 1 vote
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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The best strawberry rhubarb pie! This double-crusted strawberry rhubarb pie is sweet, tart and totally delicious. A flaky crust garnished with fresh sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb, and lemon zest filling. The recipe includes tips & tricks, such as how to avoid a soggy bottom.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

All-Butter Crust

  • 320 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 225 g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 mm (1/2-inch) pieces
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) cold water
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) ice cubes

Strawberry rhubarb filling

  • 700 g (6 cups) strawberries de-stemmed, washed and chopped strawberries
  • 500 g (5 cups) rhubarb peeled and cut into 10 mm (1/2-inch) pieces
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest about 1 lemon
  • 225 g (1 cup + 6 tbsp) sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 70 g (1/2 cup) cornstarch

Eggwash

  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • a small splash of milk

Instructions

Prepare the all butter crust:

  1. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.

  2. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay).

  3. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.

  4. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining.

  5. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.

  6. Divide the dough into halves, shape the dough into flat discs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow

  7. After 1 hour, take one of the dough discs out of the fridge. Leave to soften for 5-10 minutes so that you don’t crack the dough and roll it out on a floured work surface (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 22cm (9 inches) diameter pie dish and place back into the fridge.

  8. Remove the second dough from the drive and roll out as described previously into a circle roughly 12-inches in diameter. This time placed the dough on a tray and refrigerate. This will be the lid for our pie.

Prepare the filling:

  1. Place the rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon zest into a bowl. Combine the sugar and salt in a separate bowl and stir into the fruit. Set the filling aside and let macerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Drain the juice from the filling and stir in the cornstarch. Set aside

Assemble the strawberry rhubarb pie:

  1. Spoon the filling into the crust. 

  2. Cover the filling with the 30 cm (12-inch) diameter pie dough circle. Press the top and bottom pie dough overhang together, then using a pair of kitchen shears, trim the edges of both pie crusts until they overhang the edge of the pie plate by 1.5 cm (1/2 an inch) all the way around. 

  3. Fold overhang under itself to form a thick rim; Tuck top edge under bottom edge and crimp: with thumb and index finger of one hand, gently press dough against knuckle of other hand; continue around the pie.

  4. Cut five vents in the top crust for steam. Refrigerate pie for at least 30 minutes to set the crimp.

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (428F).

  2. Prepare the egg wash by mixing the egg, salt and milk and brush top crust with egg wash and bake the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven for 20 minutes.

  3. Reduce the temperature to 190°C (374F) and bake for at least a further 1h05 or until you can see the thickened juices bubbling out of the vents. I cooked mine for another 10 minutes for a deeper golden color on the top of the pie, but this will depend on your oven. Stay close to your oven during baking. If the top starts to get too dark, tent it (cover with foil) to avoid overbaking.

The best strawberry rhubarb pie! This double-crusted strawberry rhubarb pie is sweet, tart and totally delicious. A flaky crust garnished with fresh sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb, and lemon zest filling. The recipe includes tips & tricks, such as how to avoid a soggy bottom.

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2 comments

  • Alexandra 26 June 2018   Reply →

    It looks amazing! And explanations of mistakes are a great way to help others-thank you very much! Will try to make it!

    • Nathalie 5 July 2018   Reply →

      Thanks Sasha!!

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