Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Do I have a favorite pie? Why, yes. Yes I do.

Do you have a favorite pie?

I really love pie. It’s such a versatile dessert, I always have the ingredients to make some variety of its pastry goodness, and I honestly can’t think of a kind I don’t like. Unless of course it’s a pie that comes from the dark side. I don’t like dark side pies.

I believe all pies fall into one of two categories:

1) The “I can’t stop thinking about you because you’re a state fair blue-ribbon prize winner/hall of fame rock star” pie.

OR

2) The “dark side” pie. Also known as the “soggy-bottomed, overly-gelled filled, pretty-to-look-at-but-awful-to-taste, stink-fest” pie.

I don’t like these pies.

This pie, my friend, is not a “dark side” pie. As Yoda would say, this one has the force on its side it does. (Have I mentioned that I also love Star Wars?)

Oh man, do I love Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, in spite of — or perhaps because of — its old-timey charm; at their best, cooked strawberries taste like cotton candy and rhubarb is the perfect almost citrusy-sour contrast. Strawberry Rhubarb is my favorite pie.

Let me tell you a story.

A few weeks ago, my awesome pie-making boss told me he had access to obscene amounts of rhubarb. (yes!!!) The Lord provides. Yesterday, he called to ask me how many cups I wanted. Through my pure glee and excitement over a sour plant, I said, “five, yeah, five  cups — enough for two pies. Thanks Naidl.” Awesome. Five cups of rhubarb coming my way. Then, he sweetened the deal by offering to cut it up for me. Double Awesome.

So today, I received eight cups (three more than requested!!) of pre-cut rhubarb from Ryan Naidl. Boom!! Thanks Naidl. Best boss ever.

Action had to be taken people. In between discipleship, Bible study, training and some MPD, I made pie. Don’t say you don’t have time to make pie. There’s always time for pie.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Your favorite pie crust
3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. (I like to fold my gently around the rolling pin to transfer it more easily, then roll it onto the pie plate.)

Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.

Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.

Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When full cool (several hours later) the juices gel.

Do ahead: Pie should keep for up to three days at room temperature but I have never, ever seen one last that long.

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