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This Old Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is a winning combination of sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb and just enough sugar. The addition of the crumbly almond crust is perfection! Don’t be wary of rhubarb, it’s superb in this dessert!
Rhubarb is one of those fruits (or is it a vegetable?) that people either seem to love or to hate, but it is ubiquitous in old cookbooks because it was the first fruit to arrive in the Spring. My Dad is definitely in the “Love Rhubarb” Camp. He didn’t tell many stories about his childhood, but he did mention nostalgically (several times) that his Mom used to grow rhubarb in her garden and she made the best rhubarb pies.
Though pies get a lot of love in autumn, with roundups like 20 Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes, sometimes a new springtime pie will catch my fancy. Plus, since pies are my safe-space, even with my Dad’s glowing recommendation I felt the need to ease into my rhubarb culinary experience with a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. No easing necessary – it was darn good!
In my American heritage cookbooks rhubarb is primarily used in pies (i.e. strawberry rhubarb pie)– probably because it needs copious amounts of sugar to be edible! It was so common as a pie filling that the first cookbooks refer to rhubarb as “pie plant”. Fun fact just for you. If you need to make a pie to build your confidence before making your way to rhubarb ambitions, my Mixed Berry Pie would be the place to start!
This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe comes from The Settlement Cookbook, but the Almond Crust is from the American Woman’s Cookbook. It has an unusual mixing method where you mix the cornstarch with the fruit first then whisk the egg with sugar in a separate bowl. The egg mixture is poured on top of the prepared fruit mixture.
Strawberries and rhubarb both release a lot of juice when they are cooked, so this pie is definitely a little runny even when cooled. The key to a thicker filling here is to make sure it bakes long enough!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
For the Double Almond Pie Crust:
To prepare the pie crust:
- Make sure all ingredients are either frozen or very, very cold. Mix dry ingredients and cut in shortening with a pastry blender until they are worked into the dry ingredients and are the size of peas. Be careful not to over work it because it is these chunks that give the pastry that flaky quality.
- Add beaten eggs with a fork just until incorporated. Add just enough water to hold dough together. I used 4 tablespoons but this will vary. You want the dough to stay in a ball, so if chunks are falling out, then add some more water. It doesn’t take as much as you think! Divide into two.
- Roll each half into a ball, place on plastic wrap, and flatten into a disk. Refrigerator for several hours or over night.
- Roll both disks out to ¼ inch thick. This dough is more fragile than my other go-to crust, so I use the rolling pin method for transferring the dough to a pan. Gently roll the dough onto the pin and unroll it over your pie dish.
- Decoratively crimp the edges, place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutest. If your pastry warms up too much prior to going in the oven then if will not be flakey.
To prepare the pie:
- Preheat oven to 425. Line pie plate with pastry and place on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator.
- If rhubarb is still green, peel with a vegetable peeler. This is unnecessary if it is ripe and pink!
- Slice both rhubarb and strawberries into ¼ inch pieces.
- Place into a bowl and sprinkle mixture with cornstarch. Toss to coat.
- Whisk together egg and sugar vigorously until light and fluffy.
- Pour strawberry rhubarb mixture into the prepare pie crust. Do not mound up the filling like one does with apple pies. It will not cook down, just over.
- Pour egg mixture over the top.
- Cover with top pastry or with a lattice top, if desired. Trim off excess overhang (anything more than ½ inch over the edge) with kitchen scissors. Pinch top and bottom crust together and roll under. Crimp decoratively.
- Chill 30 minutes.
- Brush the top crust with heavy cream and generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar. This is optional but divine, so I wouldn't skip it!
- Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes and then reduce to 325°F until the filling is bubbly. Cover the edges of the crust after 20 minutes with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. (It will depend on your oven but about 30-45 minutes of total cook time should be enough!)