strawberry rhubarb pie

I usually try to shield you from examples of my various forms of Crazy, but in this case, it’s just too relevant not to own up to. You see, I’ve got all sorts of superstitions about pies, with each and every harebrained theory derived from some near or actual pie disaster in my past.

making pie doughpie dough pacmancannot resist the flutedunbaked lattice-top

There’s the theory that pies can smell fear; if you’re certain your pie will be a mess, it becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Then there’s the theory about making anything but the simplest lidded pie in the summertime, as the heat and humidity defies any level of air conditioning and makes your pie dough melt apart, no matter how many times you chill the dough. I also believe that pie recipes can be curses, because not every apple has the same level of sweetness, tartness and liquid and it’s nearly impossible to come up with a core recipe that works each time.

strawberry rhubarb pie, unbaked

In short, my pie superstitions could be summed up as, “Shh. The pie can hear you.”

Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, I would like to take this moment to tell my inner crazy person to, seriously, chill out. Some recipes are just wonderful. Some pies are delicious, even if they are not the height of consistency each time you bake them. Certain pies, like, say, this Lattice-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, should be made every Memorial Day weekend, creating the most delicious bridge between rhubarb and strawberry season, during the most welcome break between winter and summer.

strawberry rhubarb pie

It even fits neatly onto a list of 30 Ways to Be a Good Guest, except for the part that you don’t get to clean out the remaining scraps in the tin with a fork by yourself, once you’re alone with it again. Sigh.

strawberry rhubarb pie

Lattice-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 1997

Oddly enough, despite having a quarter-cup of cornstarch in it, my filling was on the wet side. However, when I came home I read all 134 comments about this recipe on and found not a single mention of wetness, thus I’ve decided that it was just a freak fruit occurrence or bad measuring on my part, and not worth warning you about. Especially because this was gone in about 4.2 minutes, and I didn’t hear anyone complain.

Update: Because so many readers reported sloshiness — i.e. this pie tends to be too wet — I’ve updated this recipe with an improved version: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, Improved. It might be worth checking out before proceeding with this one.

Serves 8

For crust
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons (about) ice water

For filling
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Make crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. [Alternately, you can use a pastry cutter to make your dough, as I did.] Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

[Still worried about your pie dough? Check out my Pie Dough 101. I used this dough recipe this time, however, and found it just wonderful. It closely follows one I posted a while back.]

Make filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.

Assemble Pie: Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish [er, I used a metal one and it was just fine]. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about another 25 minutes. [The original recipe suggested a total baking time of 1 hour and 55 minutes. No joke. Mine was done in just shy of an hour.] Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

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173 comments on strawberry rhubarb pie

  1. Kai

    Delurking to say that the phrase “pies can smell fear” TOTALLY make me spray coffee on my monitor. I concur though, I am pretty convinced bread can smell fear too.

  2. “Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter flass pie dish.” – typo on flass:)

    Great looking recipe.

  3. margo

    Hello. A long time lurker and huge fan – I’ve been telling all my friends to check your blog.

    I too, burst out laughing at this post. I also make pie, and I’m always being asked the hows and whys of my pastry… My answer is always “DON’T BE SO AFRAID OF IT!”.

    And then, the other part of the answer is, “MAKE A LOT OF PIES.” Because, really, you can’t get good at it if you only make pastry 2 or 3 times a year. Can you?

  4. I´m still regretting not being able to really try rhubarb while I was there, so this pie is only adding fuel to the fire, and I´m gonna have to find a way to find some rhubarb in Buenos Aires somehow. Having said that, I agree with your fear of pies, the whole fruit juice element can mess with many recipes, but this one looks superb. Care to FedEx a slice?

  5. I kind of hate you a little bit, because this is my FAVORITE kind of pie, and while rhubarb grows in my brother’s Iowa backyard like a weed, I have trouble finding it in Texas. When I do, it’s at a fancy place like Central Market and I pay out the nose for it. But NOW I have to find it, and make this pie, and it’s all your fault.

  6. I too believe that pies can smell fear. Actually, I think any pie dough other than CI’s Foolproof pie dough can smell fear. Okay. Lemon meringue pies really do smell feat too. This looks beautiful! I have yet to try rhubarb. I just had my first asparagus of the year last week, so I guess I’ll try rhubarb next week.

  7. Brooke

    I made the strawberry rhubarb crumble you mentioned in your 30 ways post, and it was a huge hit at the barbecue we went to this weekend. I cannot wait to make that crumble topping again – it was delicious with just the right amount of lemon flavor from the zest. I think I’ll try it with peaches and raspberries later this summer. This one sounds excellent as well. Thanks as always!

  8. I have to get over my pie fear. It worked beautifully over Thanksgiving, but last summer’s failure still gives me panic attacks. I do want to make this so much, because rhubarb is one of my favorite things ever. And what better time than now? Hope you had a lovely long weekend.

  9. LKP

    Someone made one of these at a BBQ I went to yesterday! I think they used frozen strawberries instead of fresh–it was good, but I’ll bet fresh strawberries would be SO MUCH BETTER! Yum!

  10. Dawn

    I also made your Strawberry Rhubarb crumble to take to a party over the weekend, and it was 1/2 gone before I could snap a picture of it! Served warm with fresh whipped cream with vanilla bean, and it was unbelievably delicious! Love that tartness with the sweet and the crumble top was the perfect ratio! Thank you Deb!

  11. deb, this is a vicarious recipe for me. i just can’t. i just CAN’T. AND IT PISSES ME OFF!

    shortening just seems so weird. is it weird? and so often i can get the pastry/crust to look ok but taste so incredibly mediocre.

    i kinda gave up. not proud…

    the pies know that i am beyond daunted…

  12. Wow, you have rhubarb already? Looks like I should move. My dad totally agrees pies can smell fear- he stopped making them 15 years ago after one too many pie crusts “ended up on the ceiling.” I used to think they exploded when he took them out of the oven, but maybe he dropped them?

    Your crust looks amazing- more like pottery than pastry!

  13. I’ve been browsing your site for some time now; and I had to comment on this FANTABULOUS gorgeous pie. I love this site; I adore the way you write about the preparations, how you agonize – and your recipes always seem so completely wonderful! One of these days I will have enough courage to attempt one of your recipes! This just may have to be the first – before I develop a fear of PIES!

  14. i definitely agree that pies can smell fear. the one pie recipe i was sure going to be a failure was watery and runny — all my others have been just fine. gah!

    i love rhubarb right now! this is an absolute classic.

  15. Ha! I, too (along with half your commenters) made the starwberry rhubarb crumble this weekend. I think something went awry with either measuring or my fruit, though, because the fruit was somehow really….gummy? Not the fruit, but there was a lot lot of filling-ish stuff around the fruit. I don’t know. I did adore that crumble topping though and I’m willing to blame myself. I will blog it later this week and the pingback will tell you there are gummy-looking photos on view.

  16. Wow! I thought it was just my own crazy. I have been known to “trick” my pie dough into submission by appearing overly nonchalant. As in “I’m not afraid of you. This is so easy, why would I ever break a sweat over you?”. Um, yes. Outloud.

  17. Juliet

    I grew up in Minnesota, so rhubarb is a required rite of passage from Spring into Summer. Our family favors rhubarb custard pie.

    I now live in Phoenix, AZ. Rhubarb just isn’t the same here, especially at $5 per pound! I’m used to grown in the garden fresh and practically free rhubarb.

    Here’s to hoping that when my uncle comes for a visit next month he brings some rhubarb with him…I’d love to try some rhubarb strawberry pie. The bonus would be streching out the rhubarb to make is last longer. Yum.

  18. Phoebe

    I’ve been making that exact pie for a few years now, it’s awesome. I made a straight rhubarb pie a couple of weeks ago, and a strawberry rhubarb crisp this weekend, so I don’t know if I’ll get around to making it this year. I seem to recall mine being kind of runny on the first day (like if I bake it in the afternoon, it’ll still be pretty runny after dinner, even if it’s completely cool), but it firms up quite a bit by the next day.

  19. Drea

    i have absolutely no self control when it comes to rhubarb. every weekend i try to not buy armfuls of the stuff at the greenmarket and bake yet another pie, but i just can’t help myself! none of my friends seem to mind too badly:) i recently discovered arrowroot. it thickens much more nicely than cornstarch. give it a try.

  20. Annie

    This was the post that finally, after months of meaning to, got me to send a link for your site to my mother, who endowed me with an extreme prejudice toward flaky, homemade pie crusts, as well as the taste and technique for so many more fabulous homebaked things — not to mention fondness for good writing!

    Beautiful pie, by the way…

  21. Virtual high-five! You conquered your nerves and got a great-looking pie out of the deal. Now you just need to find a way to apply this to public speaking.

  22. Madeline

    What a stunning pie! You need to keep picturs of that one around to show future pies who’s boss.

    Oh, I can’t wait for my rhubarb to get ripe already. I need that pie right now.

  23. Ann

    You could not be more correct. I was so terrified of my first pie – ONLY bc I read about being fearful of them; otherwise, I would’ve been fine. The filling? No prob! But the crust? And all the folklore? Had me spinning and full of the fear of god. Needless to say, a very simple crust recipe turned out disastrously, which is ridiculous.

    I swear, someone needs to invent a anti-pie-fear pheromone spray so the pie cannot smell the fear on us ANY longer. That’s all.

  24. funny enough, i don’t fear pies or doughs. they have always managed to come together for me. i do fear, however, puff pastry, now that was an utter disaster.

    i have found that my dough/crust recipes from william’s and sonoma have never failed me. the photos are excellent, the tips marvelous, and the crust always comes out delicate and smooth.

    as for that summer/humidity issue, i have found the freezer is the better option. it gets it cold and solid fast.

  25. It’s funny that you head up a post on strawberry rhubarb with a debate on whether recipes are a benefit to pies, because I almost never use recipes but I lovingly take out my great grandmother’s strawberry rhubarb pie recipe every time I make it and follow it to a T. It also has a delicious adaptation for rhubarb custard pie. When I look at your (via Gourmet) ingredient list, it looks a lot like Grandma’s, so I’m sure it’s wonderful.

    As for the pie dough, I am pretty sure it can hear you, and occasionally likes to be troublesome even when you give it no reason.

  26. Jennifer

    This has been my go to recipe for a couple years now. It’s so wonderful! I also have to tell you that I have used this recipe as a jumping off point in winter when the craving hits – using frozen strawberries and rhubarb and making a kind of rustic pie with puff pastry. It takes about 10 minutes to put together and is completely delightful.

  27. I just bought 4 pounds of rhubarb last Sat, and rhubarb pie is one of the things I am going to make. Do you think I can use all rhubarb here?

  28. It’s gorgeous! I’m quite the fan of strawberry-rhubarb pie…I just made one, actually. I’m always afraid I’m going to spell rhubarb wrong when I type it.

  29. Sooz

    I’ve been wooing pie for over 30 years and it just scoff’s at me. We are not a good match; it knows I love it more, so I’m it’s bitch. I finally figured out the runny pie thing, well, with apple pie anyway. I’ve always steered clear of flour as a thickener in pies fearing a pasty flavor and an opaque look to the juices that I don’t like, but I’ve been wrong about least with apples. Apple pie juices aren’t very clear anyway. So, I mix a couple of Tbsp’s of flour in with the sugar and let the fruit ‘juice out’. Before I put the apples into the pan, I stir in a couple Tbsp’s of melted butter till it’s nice and blended in rather than dot it on the apples in the pan. The flour cooks long enough in the pie to lose the raw flour flavor, sucks up the butter and makes a lovely fruit gravy that works well with the natural pectin in the apples. Uh-oh, I’m starting to get cocky about it, and pie gods will not be pleased. Shh!

  30. Sooz

    BTW..your pie looks wonderful. I love strawberry rhubarb pie, but I’ve never made one cuz I’m not sure about how to choose rhubarb. How do you choose rhubarb?

    Pie crust is what I fight with. No humidity probs in CA, so that’s not my’s just fear. I try too hard and then I fail. Been doing it for 30 years with every crust recipe under the sun and I still fight the good fight!

  31. Emily

    Hey — I just made this same recipe from epicurious last weekend! It turned out deliciously, but I would say that I used 4 HEAPING Tbs of cornstarch, and it set up really perfectly… So that probably amounts to at least 5 regular Tbs of cornstarch..


  32. tricia

    The pie looks beautiful! Rhubarb desserts are perfect for memorial day weekend. I made the “Rhubarb Tart with Brown Butter Streusel” from the Epicurious site this past weekend. I highly recommend it if you are looking for more uses for rhubarb – it is sooo good!

  33. Margot

    I believe pies smell fear 100%. My mother has always made dough and all pies from scratch-a skill she has tried to bestow on me. I have refused to learn to make dough in the past being POSITIVE it won’t be as good as hers. This pie might make me change my mind…especially since my sister took to pie dough like a duck to water. Now just need to psych myself up-“You’re going down dough!”

  34. JR

    Sooz, some people say that the redder the stalk, that better the flavor. I’ve had equal luck with stalks that are green or red tinged. The most improtant thing is to choose firm stalks. If you find your rhubarb a touch limp, put it in a little water to refresh it.
    Here is more rhubarb info:

    PS In a pinch I’ve started using Krusteaz’s Pie Crust Mix. Easy as pie… ; ) (tasty too!) It becomes too easy to use it ALL the time because with it I have no fear, and can worry about something else! (Like whether or not there is enough vanilla ice cream in my freezer!)

  35. Jana

    This looks amazing! My only concern is that “solid vegetable shortening” which, as far as i know, is just a fancy name for trans fat… Do you think i can replace it with margarine or more butter? We don’t really have frisco in Brazil anyway…

  36. deb

    Shortening is available without trans-fats from both Crisco and Spectrum. However, butter can easily be replaced. (Some people swear that shortening makes for a lighter, flakier dough. But butter, as always, has the best flavor.)

  37. You absolutely rocked this pie! People certainly do have funny feelings about pie. You pie superstition made me laugh. I was raised helping my Dad make pies in the kitchen, so I don’t have the same fears. I just man handle the pie until I get what I want. ha! I think I have a gravy superstition. I’m terrified of a Thanksgiving where I’ll be called upon for gravy! Perish the thought!!!

  38. Ooooo, I have been wanting more recipes to go with our giant Rhubarb plant and this looks like a great one. I’ve needed a good pie recipe. I also just posted today about Rhubarb Crumb Cake that my family makes every year. It’s time to stock up on the Rhubarb desserts.

  39. A

    That’s funny, I have a bread recipe that is exactly the opposite: my mother’s recipe has an unwritten step that involves running about the house, wringing your hands, and declaring “The rolls aren’t rising! It’s going to be a disaster!” I tried omitting it one time and Bad Things Happened, so I wrote it in.

    “Let rise 1 hour. Panic that rolls do not seem to have risen yet. Let rise one more hour.” Works like a charm!

  40. We must think alike — I made this exact same pie (from Bon Appetit) a month and a half or so ago. I don’t remember having any trouble with the filling, though as I point out in my post, you need to make sure you let it cool completely (hard as it may be) so that the filling has time to fully solidify. I love making pies, and I’ve never had one fail me (even July 4th pies in humid nyc). I imagine that it is an intimidating business, though, which is why I made the foray into a slideshow on how to make pie crust on my blog (it also shows how to make it by hand, since I don’t have a food processor, and also how to roll the dough out with a wine bottle, since I don’t have a rolling pin).

    Check it out!

  41. In response to a question from Deb on Food Junta: I have to admit, I never once refrigerated the pie for its whole week-long life…and it stayed solid the whole time. And didn’t poison anyone.

  42. Stephanie

    I’ve been reading your blog and drooling over the yummy looking photos for some time now. Can you direct me to a recipe for strawberry silk pie? I’m picturing something with a strawberry custard-like filling.

  43. AngAk

    Have you given up on the Vodka pie crust recipe? Your pie looks just lovely. My rhubarb is just 5 inches high so I must wait a bit. But—I found a big ziplock bag full of cut rhubarb in the freezer at the cabin and not one bit of frost on it. Yeah! here is another site with lots of rhubarb recipes and info.

  44. Paula

    I just had a disappointing pie experience. Tried a recipe for Amish Rhubarb Pie that I found online. It had a crumb crust and sounded yummy. I used diced rhubarb that I had frozen and that turned out to be a big mistake, though I’m quite sure I’ve used frozen fruit in pies in the past. The bottom crust was limp and soggy and the filling much too oozy. Anyone else have this problem?

  45. Sarah

    My favorite pie crust recipe uses 3 parts butter and 1 part butter flavored shortening. Great flavor, and holds its shape nicely when baked!

  46. Mmm, I’ve only had this classic pie once before, but I loved it! It was totally unexpected considering rhubarb is a vegetable? I just saw a rhubarb pie recipe the other day and wondered how well it could do without the strawberries, especially when they’re so sweet, huge and of cheap right now.

  47. Kim

    Hands down, I have never seen anyone turn out a pie as good as you. A family get together up North in a few weeks; includes a daughter coming from Alaska with a suitcase full of rhubarb from her garden. It is the best rhubarb I have ever had, and I am going to try your pie.

  48. I remember my grandmother’s strawberry rhubarb pie — it looked nothing like yours. Believe me — that is a huge compliment to you!
    Keep up the great work on your site.

  49. Jhane

    I too made this exact pie for memorial day even before seeing it on your blog, and my filling was runny as well! However, this could have been due to the fact that I cut pieced out only after 30 min (smelled too good I guess). After letting it rest awhile it thickened up considerably.

    I used a different dough recipe, my grandma’s— but the filling for this pie was surpisingly great! I love rhubarb and just collect recipes that use it!

    Love the site! Can’t wait to check it and see what’s new!

  50. Amelia

    My fruit pies *always* used to come out horribly wet and juicy, and I finally came up with a (dare I say) nearly fail-proof approach. My trick is to macerate the fruit with the sugar for about twenty minutes, then drain the juices into a small saucepan. Add the cornstarch (often much less is required) and boil until clear and thickened. Return that thickened juice to the fruit, and proceed with filling the pie. Cornstarch requires heat to thicken, and my theory is that the pie juices don’t get hot enough to boil for a sufficient period of time to thicken properly in the oven prior to the pastry being finished. It’s a little fussy, and adds two more dishes to the prep, but is, in my opinion, sooooooo worth it!

  51. I love the theory about the self fulfilling prophecy – I basically assumed my lemon meringue pie would be a disaster…and then it was. Your strawberry rhubarb pie looks good, I love that combination! And oh! Will you pleeease make a lemon meringue pie? I’d love to see your photos :)

  52. Having never successfully made a fruit pie, I am more then apt to believe your pie superstition. This pie looks so gloriously perfect, I’m not even sure I could begin to live up to these standards, but I’d sure like to try. It’s just so pretty…

  53. deb

    I don’t know a foolproof method, but I had a tremendous amount of success and barely any shrinkage when I used a method I described a couple months ago from Dorie Greenspan.

    You freeze the (in that case) tart dough, already in the pan, completely, for about 30 minutes. Because you’ve frozen it, she says you don’t need pie weights. Instead, you butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Bake it for 25 minutes, then remove the foil carefully and bake it another 10 minutes.

  54. Sara

    I made this pie for a dinner party last Saturday. It was really wonderful. The only thing that was unexpected was the length of time it took to bake. After baking it for the amount of time you did in your kitchen, the pie was NO WHERE NEAR done! The crust was still pale and the inside just a runny mess. I ended up baking it for a total of about an hour and a half. The middle still looked really runny but after it cooled completely, it was just fine. It was a huge hit. I don’t know what’s going on with all our ovens……..

  55. deb

    Very interesting! So you found the 1 hour 55 minutes in the original recipe to be closer to what your pie needed?

    I wonder if this is the secret to the runniness myself and a few others experienced–more baking time, esp. with a lattice top, would clearly dry up the filling a bit. Yet I bake apple and other pies for 50 minutes to an hour, so it seemed logical that this pie would be about the same…

  56. meg

    My pie, following your recipe, is baking in the oven as I type. So – I don’t know yet what the outcome will be! It’s a first pie for me, and I hadn’t yet read the notes that pies smell fear – I’m certain it could read my sheer terror!
    My major problem was figuring out how to transfer the rolled out dough to the dish. Simply “transferring” was not an option available to me, as the dough ripped or flopped or folded over – it was not going to be transferred easily. Any tools? Tricks? Ideas of what went wrong? I followed the above recipe to a “t” but that transferring bit was an awful moment of freak-out badness!
    I’ll let you know how it turned out ;)

  57. deb

    If your pie dough gets too soft/warm, it will be hard to transfer. Next time, slide it onto the back of a baking sheet and stick it in the freezer for a couple minutes and it will firm up again. This happens especially quickly in the summer, even if you have the a/c on. The dough, it can feel the heat and humidity outside. (See? Superstitious.)

  58. Kristy

    I made this pie Sunday evening. I had never had rhubarb, and I was very curious but skeptical. It was the first time I’ve made a fruit pie from scratch. It didn’t look anywhere near as beautiful as yours, and I too had trouble transferring the dough to the dish (I just mushed it around with my fingers once it was in the dish until it was passable). I think it baked a total of 55 minutes, and it was slightly runny but not terrible. However, the ugliness, the beat up crust, and the runniness (if that’s a word) didn’t matter a bit once we started eating it (especially with vanilla ice cream – to me personally there’s no reason to eat fruit pies without it :) ). I will definitely be making it again (and soon).

  59. I just found your blog and I love it, this pie looks perfect! I love your crazy personality because I totally relate… and I could not agree more that if you say you will fail and it will be a mess then it will… positive thinking in positive outcome out!! You go girl… BAKE ON!

  60. I made this pie on Sunday and it was delicious! Everyone loved it. The crust turned out perfect and the lattice tutorial was very helpful! I posted about it on my blog. Thanks SK!

  61. Jess

    Wow. Great photos & receipe! I had never made a pie before (despite my love for baking) and decided to give it a go last Sunday. I didn’t notice the “about” note on the 10 tbl of water, and ended up with some sticky dough! Nothing a little extra flour couldn’t fix. The pie looked pretty (more like the ugly stepsister compared to yours) and my friends crushed it in a matter of 10 minutes. Great success! Now I wonder what kind of pie to make next… hmm….

  62. Sara

    Honestly, I can’t remember how long I baked it exactly. I used a glass pie pan with the advantage of being able to see how the bottom of the crust was browning. After 55 minutes it was really pale. So I think I added another 20 and then another 20. If I hadn’t had a irritable husband rushing me out the door to the aforementioned dreaded bbq, I probably would have left it another 10. My concern with that long baking time was that the top crust would become too brown. That didn’t happen.

    One tip for transferring crust: after rolling it out to the size you want, start at one side and roll it loosely around the rolling pin, place it at the edge of the pie plate and then roll it out over the plate. Then gently lift it a bit and ease it down into the pie plate. I think the key to working with pie dough is to roll it out quickly before it warms up too much.

  63. cybercita

    i just ate a friend’s rhubarb pie, and she told me a great trick: put some of the flour and sugar on the bottom crust, then add the fruit and the remaining sugar, flour and butter. the crust was quite crisp on the bottom.

  64. Katherine

    I made this on Saturday and I loved it. I love your website! I also ended up with a very wet filling and followed the directions exactly. Mine probably baked for a good hour and a half before I pulled it out. Thank you so much!

  65. shayna

    too wet? hmm… my filling seems like it’s a little on the not-wet-enough side. I thought maybe it was because I added a little extra fruit (those last few strawberries weren’t going to make it another day, eek) but wouldn’t that make it… wetter? I don’t know, but it smells fantastic. It’s for our anniversary, and it’s the Boy’s favorite pie, so really, I don’t think it can miss…

  66. Erika

    I followed your recipe and mine too came out on the wet side, but I chalked it up to the extremely fresh and juicy strawberries I used, delicious!

  67. Just took this out of the oven. I baked it for just over an hour and it looks great. The filling firmed up sometime in the last 10 minutes. Now I’m just hoping that it tastes as good as it looks … I guess I’ll find out tomorrow at the party I’m taking it to!

    BTW, I managed to click my way back to your lattice pie directions before I started baking, and I’m glad I did. That method works wonders!

  68. as a Southerner, i have loved pie forever and ever, requesting it for my birthday instead of a cake, even as a child. but i have only very recently come into a love for strawberry rhubarb pie, as we are in and about canada for the summer, and it is abundantly available here. we have been trying different ones everywhere we go, and i have been anxious to try to make my own, so i was so excited to see this recipe and i will definitely be trying to make this gorgeous pie when i get home. if i can find the rhubarb, i will introduce it to as many arkansans as i can!

  69. Jessie

    Thanks for the reminder that people will love and adore and devour my pies even if I am convinced the filling may be a bit too wet. I will never completely get over my pie-perfectionist tendencies, but I can try.
    And I agree with Margo (May 27 post): practice makes perfect. For all of you out there who want to be the one bringing the pie-masterpiece to the bbq or family reunion . . . get in the kitchen and make some pies! The worst that can happen is that the first few flop and you have to force yourself and your closest friends to eat them. It’s a tough duty, but someone’s got to do it.

  70. MFM

    I always had problems with wet pie fillings. Then I found a lovely raspberry pie filling that didn’t turn out runny. It called for approx 3 tbsp cornstarch, and approx 2 tbsp quick cooking tapioca pearls. When I’m being particularly paranoid, I use rounded tablespoons. The recipe calls for the tapioca and cornstarch to soak with the fruit while you’re making the pie crust. I’m sure the same proportions would work perfectly with the strawberry-rhubarb. I’ve become a fan of the motto that there is no such thing as too much thickener for fruit pies.

  71. I used this recipe to make my first homemade crust. I will never buy store bought crust again! I made this for Sunday dinner at my in laws. My mother in law who usually eats a little dessert, ate 2 pieces! Great recipe!

  72. mae

    i’m in love with this recipe and your website! i know i’ll be coming here all the time from now on.. great, easy-to-follow instructions and helpful pictures. thanks!

  73. I just made this pie, and it still turned out runny. I live in Thailand and my oven is the size of most peoples microwaves. I know it cooks differently but very runny. I will make it with the tapioka suggestion next time. In Thailand we can get rhubarb now but not in the spring so for us it is more of a holiday dessert and I am trying to perfect this before Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe I’ll try again next week

  74. Farrel

    I just made this pie yesterday, and it came out absolutely gorgeous. By far the best rhubarb pie I’ve ever had! I did have to bake it for an hour and a half though; at just one hour, the middle of the pie was a bit too runny.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  75. Becky

    I grew up in Colorado and Nebraska, where rhubarb was imprinted in my pie-brain, and have lived for the last 30 years in Texas, where we do indeed pay five dollars a pound for the pleasure. When I make rhubarb pies, I always make extras to share with all the other immigrants from the colder northern states. I use an oil pastry crust from the old Betty Crocker cookbook, which is what my mom always did. I much prefer the flavor over the shortening crusts, find it easier to work with, and always get compliments. I’m wondering if there are other fans of the oil crusts out there?

  76. This looks amazing!

    I made my first lattice crust pie a few weeks ago. I needed detailed instructions as I could never even braid hair, let alone weave a pie crust.

    Strawberry rhubarb is my sweetie’s favorite so I am baking this for him tomorrow. Doubting that it will be as beautiful as yours, but I’m betting it will be as tasty.


  77. Hi Deb, my husband is making this right now and wondered when to sprinkle the sugar on top. Do you do it right before baking or at some point during the baking?


  78. i too had a problem with runny filling after trying this recipe. i tweaked it a little and added 1/2 a packet of gelatin tossed into the filling (unfortunately making the recipe non-vegetarian) and it stabilized it pretty good.

  79. Jeff

    If I may say so; I believe the wetness could be attributed to strawberries just because they are notoriously wet finicky little buggers… :) but I couldn’t agree with you more on a ‘foolproof’ method as it really takes a couple of attempt until you get comfortable preparing pie dough. Have you tried a recipe that calls for vodka?

  80. truebloodfan

    i tried this recipe today, and the flavor is incredible. however my pie is not only very wet, but a juicy runny mess. i waited until completely cooled to cut it, but it regardless it had not gelled properly! i think a different thickening agent, or a different method is needed for this recipe to work. i would love to make it again-next time properly thick.

  81. Tina

    Amazing pie!! First attempt at a strawberry rhubarb and it came out very yummy! I had to use frozen rhubarb (small, midwest town is lacking in the fresh stuff at the moment) and substitute flour for cornstarch (as I started the pie at 11pm and didn’t have quite enough). All that being said, it was amazing and wonderful and, I think, benefited greatly from my “You are going to be an amazing pie! I am not afraid to make you” attitude (see superstitions bit at beginning :D)
    Thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes and step-by-step instructions. I love this site!!!

  82. Angie

    Yes, the pies listen. Say nice things. :) As I am making a pie, I like to repeat “I know you want to be a pie. You want to be a lovely, yummy pie. I will help you be that pie. You’ll be wonderful.”

  83. Ben E

    I made this for my first pie ever, crust and all, last summer. It came out fantastic! (fortunately, since I had the audacity to make a double recipe blindly.) I look forward to doing it again.

  84. Rachel Hanson

    The filling for this pie is delicious and the crust is probably the best crust I’ve ever had. Not being an experienced pie maker, I was going to chicken out and use a “no fail” recipe I have, but gave this one a try because of the ingredients I had available. Wonderful all the way around.

  85. I just made this pie the other day for my sister’s birthday…it was wonderful! I did find, however, that my baking time was closer to that of Bon Appetit’s. Regardless, thank you for sharing this recipe – it was a HUGE hit!!

  86. grace

    I tried to tell this pie who’s boss, but it still didn’t shape up as I wanted it to. I think the crust came out rather well, but the filling – when I took it out of the oven, the top fruit was drying out, and the rest was still swimming in juice. I should have read previous recommendations for thickening here first. I ended up pouring out some of the wet – haven’t tasted it yet, but I have a bad feeling about the bottom crust. I think it may have been a case of too much juicy fruit piled too high.

  87. I made this pie yesterday after strawberry picking at Kruger’s Farm here in Portland, OR. This was my FIRST pie ever and it was sooo tasty! Mine was a little juicy, but I’ve definitely eaten much wetter pies. :) I just took your no fear attitude and went for it. Thanks so much for the recipe. It will be a keeper and I’m going to try more pies now that I know I can do it! I’ve linked to this recipe in a summer tutorials post on my blog, The Handmade Experiment.

    Thanks again! Any suggestions for a berry cake? My littlest is turning 1 on the 6th of July and she LOVES berries.


  88. Hi Deb, I know you posted this awhile ago, but I just got the nerves to make it last night. It was beyond delicious, but I definitely had the the wetness issue. I read all of your comments beforehand, so I was sort of prepared for it (pie smelling fear of wetness?) but could not prevent. Perhaps runny pies are just the way to go!! Once the leftovers set in the refrigerator overnight, we just poured out any extra juice in the pan and not all of the slices are just about perfect. At the end of the day, who cares when it tastes so great!
    Thanks for your great website,

  89. Stephanie Davis

    Thanks so much for this great recipe!! This was only the second pie crust I have made, and the first time I used rhubarb, and it turned out amazing!!! I don’t think my husband had ever had rhubarb before, and he said he is definitely a fan now!!! thanks so much for the great recipe, and the directions that made my second pie crust a success!!!

  90. Joy in DC

    Hi there! Made this last evening but used Martha’s pate brisee recipe (I didn’t have veg shortening around) for the crust and my pie was ready in just shy of an hour. My filling was a little runny, but that could have been due to cutting the pie before it was completely cool (I couldn’t wait any longer!). This morning the filling seemed to have firmed up. Thanks as always for sharing the recipe.

  91. Shawna

    I made this a couple of weeks ago and it was PERFECT – my dream Strawberry-rhubarb. I did pour off the juice from macerating the rhubarb & strawberries with sugar & cornstarch, and brought it to a boil to thicken before pouring back over the filling in the crust. I baked it for a long time (60 mins+, not sure exactly) until the crust was golden and the juices were bubbling slow and thick.

  92. Dustin

    Discovered I can make pie w/ random ingredients hangin’ out in the fridge. Yesterday apple/rhubarb… today strawberry/rhubarb. Good stuff!

  93. Crystal

    I just have a question! An older gent came to me and asked if I knew how to make a Rhubard Pie and I said that I never heard of it and he went to explain to me of what he ment and I told him that I would look it up to found a Strawberry Rhubard Pie. To make a long story short. Is there any such thing as a Pecan Rhubard Pie?

  94. Hello – I’m a recent follower of your blog. Love. It.

    Just chiming in on the watery aspect and adding my two cents on the recipe’s flavor. Mine turned out watery even after being chilled overnight in the fridge. Strawberry-rhubarb pie is my number one favorite pie. I lost my ‘original’ recipe and decided to try yours. Mine used flour instead of cornstarch. I wonder if that would work better as a thickener. Also I really didn’t like the cinnamon as it detracted from the flavor of the strawberries and clashed with the tartness of the rhubarb. Perhaps I’ll give this a second try some time but with flour and no cinnamon! :)

  95. Carol

    Just made this recipe tonight – it was fabulous! The crust was not my favorite flavor-wise but it held up well and was not soggy. The filling had a lot of liquid at first (no surprise with this kind of pie) but I was able to spoon some of it out from one corner, which helped. I baked it for a full hour. Love the blog by the way – thanks for sharing!

  96. Charly

    I made this pie exactly as followed, and the sweet/tangy combination was perfect, but it was waaaay too liquidy. The second time I put 2 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp instant tapioca, and it was a perfect consistency! Still moist but no pool in my pie dish.

  97. EV

    Just wanted to say that here in Dallas, I’ve found frozen rhubarb at my local Kroger and fresh rhubarb at a nicer Kroger closer to the city. So to Jess all the way up there in the comments, you don’t have to go somewhere fancy like Central Market (and it runs out FAST over there) :)

  98. Randi

    I made this for Thanksgiving with frozen strawberries and rhubarb . . . and a frozen pareve pie shell.
    Also, I added a little cardamom to the mix, halved the sugar, substituted the lattice top with a simple crumble topping with vegan “not-butter” . . . baked for the full 2 hours . . . and it came out just lovely.
    So lovely, in fact, that I’m baking three more tonight – I doubled the amended recipe and put it in three not-extra-deep frozen pie shells. Probably we’ll have part of one tomorrow (it’s our anniversary) – the other two I’m thinking about freezing or otherwise putting aside til the 31st . . . they should keep fine one way or another.

    This was my first-ever pie, and it’s a keeper – thanks again!!!

  99. Renate

    I thought I’d chime in on the wetness of this pie too. I sort of combined this recipe with one I’ve used for years, and put 1/4 cup tapioca in it, which solved the runniness perfectly. Charly above mentioned the same thing, but unlike her, I didn’t use flour, nor did I use any cornstarch. The tapioca granules disappear during baking and the filling gels up nicely.

  100. Jasmin

    I tried this pie last night but used the vodka crust from pie crust 101, since I’m pregnant and have to do *something* with that bottle in the freezer. This was my first pie ever not using my grandma’s oil no-roll crust. The pie has been in the fridge all night and as I’m at work it will have to wait all day yet before I can cut into it. I can tell already that it’s a bit runny however (see ‘you could swim in it’), and I upped the cornstarch to 1/3rd of a cup. My mom is a pie master and I know she uses tapioca, I should have known better but I bet we don’t throw it away ;)

    Not only did you inspire a Strawberry Rhubarb pie, your little Jacob is so insanely adorable I had to have one of my own and I’m due for a little girl in July, if we didn’t live in Houston they could be pals!

  101. Susan

    I served this pie for Easter- but I used “namebrand” packaged pie crust. It was still wonderful and everyone loved it. I thought it was going to be runny, looking at it when I was going to serve it, but it held up ok. I am now going to try to perfect a homemade crust and will start with the one in this post. Thank you for a yummy recipe!

  102. Meagan

    My new-found cooking ambition led me to attempt this pie (my second pie ever!) for a church potluck tomorrow – but due to the crazy rain we’ve been getting here in Tennessee, church has been canceled and I resisted temptation for all of 10 minutes before cutting myself a slice! I followed Amelia’s advice about cooking the juice from the macerated fruit with the cornstarch to keep it from being too wet, and it came out beautifully – tender fruit, gooey-sweet filling, flaky-yet-sturdy crust!

  103. Cameron

    A great substitute for all of the cornstarch is whipping a few egg whites until they form peaks, then fold in the peaked whites with the rest of the filling and put it in the oven right away. It makes a great gelatinous consistency.

  104. Eliza

    yum! We made it with some apples since we were short on the rhubarb. It was great, even with a part whole wheat crust.

  105. DEB! I’m making this right now and it has spent almost an hour in the oven and the filling is still terribly watery. I hope it is going to taste alright.

    1. deb

      Michelle — It is on the watery side, but it should gel up a bit once it is cool (or moreso if cold). Don’t let it burn. Good luck!

  106. tizzie&amy

    Ours was too wet, too!!! But we had just over a pound of rhubarb, and added more strawberries to compensate, so that may have contributed to the liquidy bottom. But, it was sooooooooooooooooo good. Our neighborhood is now completely out of rhubarb until further notice.

  107. Lisa

    Made it this weekend and it was fantastic. Like, may-have-usurped-apple-as-my-favorite-pie fantastic. I took the suggestion from earlier in the comments (Amelia’s, I think?) to simmer the macerated strawberry juice and corn starch first and it worked wonderfully. The pie was still a bit juicy coming out of the oven but it gelled as it cooled. I had no idea that this was everyone’s favorite dessert (including my chocolate-loving uncle’s!), but it will surely be a new go-to. It was gone almost as soon as it was put out on the table, and plates were licked. Thanks, Deb!

  108. Lisa

    I forgot to mention–I didn’t quite fill out the sugar measurements to ensure that it wasn’t overly sweet, and that was probably the biggest compliment. Most felt that strawberry rhubarb pie is usually too sweet, but this one wasn’t.

  109. Vicky Janzen

    Hey there,
    Love your site! We’re right in the middle of Strawberry/Rhubarb season up in Canada so I got to make this today! Just so you know, I realize that you baked yours for less time than suggested which is most likely the reason it was so runny. I used to work at the Pie Plate in Virgil (which if you’re ever up in the Niagara falls/Niagara on the Lake area you MUST pop in!) and we always baked ours until the centre of the pie is bubbling, otherwise the cornstarch does not have enough time to activate.
    Thanks for your faithful posts!! Again – I love the site!

  110. Allison B.


    First, I’m a huge fan of your blog! I’m a Ph.D. student in Boston, MA, so I’m often in need of simple, yet tasty meals. I’ve gotten so many great ideas from your site! Ha- and believe it or not, I’ve also convinced my non-cook boyfriend to try some of your recipes. He’s loved every one and has added them to his (limited) repertoire.

    Anyway, I made this pie on Memorial Day, and it was completely delicious. However, I experienced the same wetness problem you described. I guess I’ll add more cornstarch next time…any recommendations besides that?

    Thanks again for everything!


  111. Melaka

    I love, love, love rhubarb pie and have been baking them for 30 years now. One thing I’ve found that will help with the wetness, is by adding a tablespoon or two of tapioca (uncooked). It helps absorb the juices and doesn’t change the flavor. I Just bought a bunch of rhubarb for $6.47 per pound in TX, so instead of pie, I think I’ll try the Big Crumb Coffee Cake…YUM!!!

  112. Sherri


    I love your blog! I have tried many recipes with great success. I tried this recipe for the strawberry rhubard pie this weekend and it was delicious. It was a bit soupy, but we just spooned it over the pie and enjoyed. I substitiuted the vegetable shortening in the crust with leaf lard. It makes the best pie crusts. I am lucky that we have a top notch charcuterie here in Napa that has this product available.

  113. Katharine

    So I don’t know what I did wrong here, but my pie is currently in the oven, and the crust just looks…wrong. I chilled it as directed, but noticed it was particularly prone to falling apart when I tried to transfer it. Now it’s baking, and it’s a good thing I have an extra pan under it because bits of crust sort of “melt” and fall off the sides. Any ideas on what I could’ve done wrong? Maybe I just should’ve chilled it even longer?

  114. Katharine

    Okay, never mind. I had been using your bourbon peach pie filling (from the hand pies) with this crust, but added the amount of sugar to the crust that was in the hand pie crust recipe. That’s what I get for cooking in a hurry!

  115. nathanya

    Is there any way to leave out the shortening in the crust or substitute it for something else? This pie looks amazing and I want to make it today.

  116. This beauty just came out of the oven…and I’m extremely excited to eat it! We don’t have rhubarb much around these parts (West TN) – even frozen – but I was lucky to find some at our local Piggly Wiggly a couple of days ago. ;) And I immediately pulled up Smitten Kitchen because I just knew you’d have a good recipe for a strawberry rhubarb pie…I’ve been pining for it since I first tasted such in Stratford, Ontario, probably ten years ago! THANKS.

  117. Erin

    Just made this and it was fantastic. It was a bit runny but I really don’t care! Amazing with vanilla ice cream. I will keep at this recipe until I get it just right. Beautiful pictures!

  118. Jon

    Does the rhubarb need to be cooked, or can I just use raw rhubarb? I saw great fresh (cheap) rhubarb in the market and then I saw the expensive canned, cooked stuff. What do I do? Thank you in advance!


    1. deb

      The rhubarb was intended to be raw; it gets cooked with the pie. I’ve never used canned before; it might work (check to see if it’s sweetened, of course, and adjust the sugar way down if it is) but of course it doesn’t sound like much of a draw at the price.

  119. Harold McArthur

    I got both recipes to make the pie crust and the rhubarb & strawberry recipes from off of the Internet, as always the recipe to make the crust according to “Basic Pie Crust 101 ” has so far come out tasting great every time. This time I ventured into unknown country with substituting 1/2 cup of tapioca for the required 1/2 cup flour. Folding the fruits together it seemed very wet, but disregarded that voice that shouted ” drain the filling ” or some other last ditch saving of the filing. The pie looked perfect on the outside and serving it later to my willing test subjects it all got eaten, but I was dismayed that it turned out to be ” Pie Soup”. I’m going to listen to that voice today when I make a second ” Rhubarb & Strawberry Pie” wish me, luck.

  120. Harold McArthur

    Mrs. Betty Crocker was dismayed when I drained off the 3/4 cup of juice from my second attempt at making a rhubarb & strawberry pie, to heat up on the stove. Stirring the liquid until it thickened, it maybe went a little past the stage I thought I wanted into something resembling pink paste. I then proceeded to spooning the paste in clumps on the filling. That this time I had done different, of not using the substitution tapioca, but went back to using 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of cornstarch. After explaining to a couple of my lady friends who have been baking longer than I’ve been born, what I had done I got some funny expressions. As I’m my girlfriends wake-up call from the front desk of my apartment to her house. She said to cut a thin slice before bringing the whole pie to her churches pot-luck. That she had invited me to come to later this early afternoon today, to find out myself if even it’s edible. If it’s not in the realm of something that can be eaten without having to rush off to the bathroom holdings ones mouth with a hand, I guess I can show up with hat in hand.

  121. Ashley

    I feel so alone. I made this after following so many of your recipes for a few years now and it’s soup, sloshy pie soup. Now after all that work I see you addressed this problem later and offered a different recipe… May want to consider taking this one down?

    1. deb

      Hi Ashley — I am so sorry you weren’t happy with the pie and you’re right — it’s unclear! I’ll update. Meanwhile, I find that after pies are chilled in the fridge overnight, a lot of the sloshiness firms up and I hope you find the same so you can enjoy the pie.

  122. Lindsay

    I made this pie and it turned out great! No sloshiness whatsoever.
    I did, however, substitute .5 cups flour for the .25 cups cornstarch (a standard baking substitution in a place where cornstarch is a commodity, not a readily available ingredient).
    Did you at all consider that your baking time might have been the problem? Mine baked for the full time at 350 or 375 (my wood oven doesn t seem to heat much higher than that…but it works for almost everything) and it turned out cut able and all stayed together as it should have…just a thought.

    On to Rhubarb Snack Cake.

  123. lizard

    Hi. Despite your disclaimer, my version of your “imperfect pie” was as close to perfect as possible. I didn’t have tapioca, so made the old fashioned version with a crumb topping ala Magnolia Bakery (didn’t have another crust). The main point here: I had no sloshing with cornstarch. Have no fear you tapioca-less-cooks! Perhaps the benefit I had was that I refrigerated the berry/rhubarb mix for a couple hours before baking which allowed the cornstarch time to work its magic on the juices. Regardless, Thank you, SK.

  124. Valerie

    Hi Deb, I’m going to make this for my bro-in-law’s birthday and after having your deepest dish apple pie for my dad’s birthday – he wants this one deep dish too! Any suggestion on ingredient amounts/cook time? Thank you!

  125. Monkey

    I just made this pie last night and it was wonderful. The crust especially is flakey and perfect. I read in another article that if you let the fruit soak in the sugars for about half an hour (I let it soak a little longer because I got busy) you can drain the liquid that seeps out, making the pie less wet. This totally worked, but I wish I had added a little more of the sugars back in because I think too much of it drained out with the liquid, making the pie a little less sweet. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  126. Lucie Mewes

    Oh my. This is my best recipe for the rhubarb in the garden. We went cruising on our sailboat and NOW you have a SON. And? Great to catch up.

  127. Nancy

    Long time listener, first time commenter. You made a comment on your improved Strawberry Rhubarb Pie about this particular recipe that it is more wet/soppy than the other. I was going to make your improved strawbarb pie but could not find tapioca balls at my closest grocery so I improvised. While I did use the sugar proportions in your improved recipe, i also improvised with using half cornstarch/half tapioca starch for the 1/4 cup. Tapioca starch soaks up moisture more than corn starch but corn starch makes that lush, velvety sauce — together, it was AMAZING! I’m mostly commenting so I could hopefully remember for the next time I make this, what my proportions were. I let it cool for 4 hours (i had to transport it while it was hot on my lap, on the way to a picnic — NOT FUN! It’s super wet when it comes out of the oven). By the time it was cool, the pie was perfectly saucy, not soppy, and so delicious. Everybody was moaning when they ate it! Thank you!