Rhubarb is a beautiful summer “vegetable” (technically) that is so bright and cheerful. It has a tart flavor but can be sweetened and used in many desserts. Last year, I made a Lemon Rhubarb Bread with it, but lately I’ve been seeing strawberry rhubarb pies and recipes everywhere. This was my first strawberry-rhubarb pie: my first time baking and my first time eating it. I was pleasantly surprised. I was unsure of how the strawberries would be baked, but all I noticed was their sweet flavor when I had my first bite. The rhubarb maintained their structure and did not mush. I found this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and made only minor adjustments. I found the pie to be a little too sweet, so next time, I’ll add less sugar. Their idea of macerating the rhubarb and some strawberries worked so well: I was shocked at the amount of liquid that came out of the fruit almost immediately. With the Fourth of July approaching, this is the perfect summer pie to make! All it needs is some whipped cream and blueberries to finish off the patriotic colors. Have a wonderful holiday!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (slightly adapted)
Crust (or your favorite recipe):
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces and chilled
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup chilled vodka
¼ cup cold water, plus extra for brushing
7 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
3-4 cups strawberries, quartered
3 tablespoons instant tapioca
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Crust: in a food processor, combine 1 ½ cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt and pulse until combined. Add the butter and coconut oil and process again until combined and the mixture begins to form into clumps and all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the other cup of flour. Pulse until the mixture has combined and the dough is broken into bits.
- Put mixture into a large bowl and sprinkle it with the vodka and water. Stir and press dough until it sticks together.
- Divide dough in half and form into two four-inch discs and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for one hour. Let dough sit on counter for 10 minutes before rolling out.
- Filling: While the dough is chilling, combine the chopped rhubarb and sugar in a bowl and microwave for 1 ½ minutes in order to help macerate the rhubarb. Stir and microwave again if the sugar is not dissolved. Add in one cup of strawberries and stir again. Set aside for 30 minutes and stir again about half way through.
- Drain the rhubarb and strawberry mixture in a fine strainer and put the juice in a saucepan. Add the remaining strawberries to the rhubarb liquid and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture reduces to about 1 ½ cups and becomes syrupy. Mash the berries.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add the strawberry mixture and tapioca to the drained rhubarb and stir to combine.
- Roll out one disc of dough and ease into a 9 inch pie plate. Roll out other disc and set aside.
- Pour filling into pie dish and gently place the second rolled-out dough on top of the pie. Trim edges of dough and pinch sides together.
- Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Cut slits into the top of the pie.
- Place pie onto parchment covered baking sheet and bake until crust is set and top starts to brown. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, continue baking for 30-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
- Let cool on rack for 2 ½ hours before serving.