strawberry-rhubarb-pie-improved Recipes

strawberry-rhubarb pie, improved

Do you have a favorite pie? I always think of pies falling in two categories, the prom queens, the blue ribbon prize winners, the ones that the president can’t keep out of his thoughts, and the rest of them. In the latter category there are the soggy bottoms, the overly-gelled fillings, the mortarboard crusts, the treacly sweet and those flawlessly latticed, magazine-ready specimen that turn out to have [insert your least favorite pie filling here] under their pretty lids.

all butter crust
last gasp strawberries and rhubarb

I was invited to participate in a “cooking smackdown” yesterday on The Takeaway, a morning radio show (produced by WNYC, The New York Times, BBC, WGBH and Public Radio International) in which a pie of my choice would go up against a cherry pie from New York Times columnist and collaborator on more cookbooks than I can count on two hands and all of my toes, Melissa Clark and my first reaction was: nope, no way. Because as far as I’m concerned, cherry pie is at the top of the pie heap; it’s epic, it’s iconic and it even has a metal song this kid likes to watch me head bang to dedicated to it. Strawberry-rhubarb pie? Not so much.

chopped rhubarb, sliced strawberries

draped pie dough

But oh man, 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. And I love a challenge so I took this as an opportunity to revisit my standard recipe. It’s delicious, but is has always vexed me because it’s, well, sloshy. Nothing seems to get that baby to firm up to more than a (delicious) puddle, not swapping flour for cornstarch, cornstarch for more cornstarch and not even trying to “vacuum” a little overflow out of the pan while it bakes. I consulted your comments on my recipe, I consulted Martha Stewart’s cookbooks and Cooks Illustrated too and declared instant tapioca pearls to be the answer. I made my usual crust, tweaked the filling’s flavors a little, dialed back the sugar and enlisted those tapioca gems to drink, drink, drink… and still, the pie puddled on the judge’s plate.

yolk-brushed crust

Loser pie it may be but I don’t know when to quit, so I swept through the Greenmarket on my way home and came home with some last-gasp strawberries and rhubarb (the rhubarb season was especially short here this year) and went at it again with a little more tapioca and oh man, I think I’ve finally got it. Sure, a day late and a buck short but it’s impossible to have a slice of this and feel like anything less than a champ.

strawberry-rhubarb pie

The Takeaway: Here’s the link to yesterdays’ segment. Despite having an abundance of unwanted practice waking up at the crack of dawn these days, being coherent on-air at 6:49 a.m. was a challenge, but a fun one. The judge was the charming Emily Elsen, a third generation pie maker from South Dakota, who runs a pie shop with her sister in Brooklyn called Four and Twenty Blackbirds. I cannot wait to check it out. And here’s the link to Melissa Clark’s winning sour cherry pie, with an article about her process. Mmm, pie.

All Things Considered: Actually, while we’re on the subject, I was on a different NPR/WNYC show two weeks ago, part of a segment of All Things Considered called Last Chance Foods, talking about rhubarb along with the CEO of Red Jacket Orchards, Joe Nicholson. I took this as an opportunity to try this beloved vegetable-parading-as-a-fruit in a savory dish and discovered it made it absolutely lemony. What a fun bit that must be for those who try to cook local in regions where lemons are not grown! That spring couscous recipe and the audio clip from the show can be found over here.

Pies, previously: Slab pies! Nectarine galettes! Bourbon peach hand pies! They’re all waiting for you, over here.

One year ago: Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
Two years ago: Sweet Cherry Pie
Three years ago: Lemon Risotto

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The major changes I’ve made to my previous version are that I now use an all-butter crust, I’ve nixed the cinnamon and added lemon instead, swapped cornstarch for tapioca (read why above) I swapped some white sugar for the brown so that it is not overwhelmed by the flavor. I also reduced the sugar. The resulting pie is refreshing in that it’s not overly sweet, in fact, the rhubarb makes it a little tart. If you think this wouldn’t be something you’d enjoy, dial the white sugar up to 3/4 cup.

1 recipe All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough or double-crust pie dough of your choice
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 if big, halved if tiny
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
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 into quarters, to transfer it more easily, then unfold it in the pie plate.)

Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, 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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404 comments on strawberry-rhubarb pie, improved

  1. I heard the last half of your segment as I was driving into work and when they said Deb from Smitten Kitchen, I admit, I squealed hey, I know her! (except not). Thought you sounded great :)

  2. I dreamt of pie!! (actually it was cherry….)
    I was visiting some insanely rich people who had trays of pie slices waiting for all guests on the sofas all over her house–now that’s living large!!
    I’m a huge rhubarb/strawberry fan, so I’ll be trying this with the tapioca–sounds like a great solution.


  3. Can’t believe I missed it! The pie is picture perfect. Sadly, rhubarb gives me hives, but I’ve always wanted to find an alternative so I can enjoy strawberries in a pie. Any ideas?

  4. Earline

    Rhubarb season here (Northern California) just ended a couple of weeks ago. (I tried an all-strawberry cobbler in the absence of rhubarb last weekend. You want to talk sloshy??) Deb, I love your recipes, and this pie recipe in particular looks gorgeous. Can’t wait to give it a try. Love, love, LOVE your site–thanks.

  5. I truly think that pies are one of the most difficult things to bake – so many variables! The crust, the filling, pan, baking time, butter vs. shortening etc. I got some rhubarb in my CSA share this week – I think a SK berry-rhubarb crumble or pie is in order :)

  6. Alissa

    Excellent! The sloshiness of strawberry-rhubarb has vexed me for a long time! It has not been a successful Crisp, to my dismay. This may be the answer. Thanks so much!

  7. Beautiful pie!

    I love the Cook’s Illustrated trick of grating a Granny Smith apple, pressing out the liquid with paper towels, and adding it into the pie filling. The pectin in the apple helps firm up the filling along with the tapioca. I’ve used the trick on their blueberry pie and also on a red berry pie (raspberry and strawberry) with fantastic results! It doesn’t change the flavor much (maybe a slight tang) but does help the texture.

  8. I’m a long-time reader de-lurking myself… :)

    I love pies, but get very intimidated by them…you cant use the store-bought crust, etc. Plus I don’t have a huge sweet tooth. This pie looks like it has more complex flavors and, for the record, I think strawberries and rhubarb would beat cherries any day.

  9. Sophie

    As a lover of strawberry rhubarb pie the drippy-ness is always a challenge. The trick I use is actually a canning technique. Bake the pie in the morning and let it cool for several hours, allowing the pectin from the rhubarb to congeal. Then re-warm it in the oven before serving.

  10. Laurel

    I really have no words. Other than that is cruel, cruel, cruel for me to be reading this at work.

    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to eat a recipe of yours this much! (And that’s saying a lot.)

  11. Choire

    Genius. Thank you for this! It will change my life.

    And thank God you’re now on Team all-butter-crust all-the-time. It is the only team! :)

  12. rachel

    Get out my head, Deb. I have made your strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe before with great success, but when I tried it again this year for my boyfriend’s birthday, it was a soupy mess. :( He ate it anyway, of course, but I will definitely give your latest tweaks a try the next time rhubarb’s back in town. Thanks!

  13. I just made a strawberry-rhubarb galette and a crumble last week. I usually see the ratio of more strawberries to rhubarb (including your other strawberry-rhubarb recipes), but I see you’ve got the same amount for each in this pie.

  14. Sally

    Your pie looks amazing… I saw Melissa Clark’s recipe, and was tempted to make it – did you taste her cherry pie, and if so, how was it (honestly!)?

  15. Strictly speaking, I’m not a meringue person, and I know the flack Nigella gets for her recipes, but her rhubarb meringue pie? To-die-for. Me thinks this weekend calls for one, despite the 112 degree heat we’ve been enduring. Pie cheers everyone up!

  16. Susie

    Deb, what do you think of Melissa’s idea of baking the bottom crust for a fruit pie? I made a sour cherry pie myself on Saturday, so the whole set of pie issues (as nicely spelled out on the audio segment) was much on my mind when I read her column in the -Times- yesterday. I was intrigued by her method.

  17. Kenneth Parker

    I’ve found that Kate Zuckerman’s suggestion of making Rhubarb Consomme before putting the rhubarb in a crisp works very well. It worked alot better than any thickener.

  18. linda

    like jessica (#1) i have not eaten rhubarb but plan on changing that asap…
    your crimping looks beautiful!

    i would be great if we could know prior (of your personal appearances) so we can listen/view on the day of…

  19. This pie looks great and the crust…perfection! I’ve only recently tried rhubarb and have yet to try the classic rhubarb/strawberry combo. I need to make this. Congrats on your NPR spots :)

  20. I love making pies, but my crusts never cook correctly, they are always underdone on the bottom. I’ve tried different recipes, pans and pre baking the the crust. Any suggestions?

  21. Cathy

    What happens to the tapioca pearls? Do they disolve? Or are they still a little gummy? I’ve only had tapioca pearls in bubble tea.

  22. Clare

    Strawberries just seem to “sweat” more than the other berries. I have been making a sort of buckle almost every day and when I incorporate strawberries, it’s always a little ( or a lot ) too juicy. One of my solutions with blueberries in pie with this issue was to leave them in the fridge for a few days to “dry” out. It sounds unappealing, but works with blueberries, but sadly not with strawberries, I think.
    In any case, the juxtapostion of sweet and sour is always delicious.

  23. Katie

    I’ve got some rhubarb out in my garden I need to use up. I’ll have to check out your recipe and see if I can find quick cooking tapioca.
    Here’s a link to my new favorite lullyby (my 4th baby is 8mo) it’s from the movie The Waitress reminded me of you!

    1. deb

      Quick-cooking tapioca — Should be available in any major grocery store. I think mine was from Kraft or something.

      Katie — The Waitress was the inspiration for the pie lid! The design is in the movie’s poster. :)

      Cathy — They’re barely noticeable because they’re very tiny and the fruit’s texture is far more noticeable. I tried to grind mine in the food processor first — I think tapioca flour would be the most ideal — but it would not grind.

      Susie — I definitely think it is worth trying. I think that strawberry-rhubarb is the wettest of pies (strawberries are 90% water, rhubarb 95%) so this one would benefit the most from it. It’s especially worth it if you don’t like it when the bottom gets wet. Oh also, the judge from the pie shop said that they bake their bottom crusts first too; I wasn’t surprised given that they need their pies to hold up.

      Patty — Check out Melissa’s article. From the White House pastry chef, she learned to par-bake the bottom crusts (with pie weights, etc.) then fill and continue with the rest of the pie… the way you would with a custard pie or tart shell.

      Sally — Didn’t try either, not even mine! (Another reason I had to go home and make another.) It didn’t occur to me to request pie before 7 a.m. I think the NPR folk, who had been at it since 3 a.m., kept them for themselves. Who could blame them?

      Choire — I went off-course for a year or two. It was a dark time; I let those Cook’s Illustrateds and their ilk convince me that shortening = flakiness, when it is actually technique. Also, I don’t know why this made me so immensely happy, but the ladies at Four and Twenty also use all-butter crusts, and they only make them by hand. If they can do it for a whole bakery, so can we!

  24. just made a cherry/rhubarb pie which was awesome, but all time favorite is a toss up between blueberry or peach…hummmm maybe I’ll try them together. Also saw some black velvet apricots at the Farmer’s market that were begging to be made into something beautiful [maybe pie?]!

  25. looks so great! i am hoping to find one more bunch of rhubarb and strawberries to try out a pie. wait, i just realized i have rhubarb in the fridge… so i just need strawberries – maybe i’ll find some this weekend if i’m lucky!

  26. Rebecca

    I don’t know if anyone has suggested this to you yet, but if you’re finding your pie too “sloshy”, you could try macerating the fruit before putting it in the pie. This works especially well in things like galettes where you don’t want it to be super soupy. Just leave the sugar and the fruit together for about 20 mins (or more) and then drain it. If its too dry at this point, you can always add some of the juice back. Just a thought!

  27. What a beautiful pie. My perfect pie is my grandma’s apple, but it can’t seem to be replicated. My theory is she neglected to tell us some of her secret ingredients.

  28. jake

    Rhubarb Pie! thnx…i still need to make one this year. Excellent blog.

    With all due respect, a big improvement would be to skip the strawberries (i’m with Wendy) ;oP Homemade rhubarb pie with homemade vanilla bean ice cream cannot be improved. I like the creamy, saucy consistency of flour/white sugar thickener, layered with rhubarb, dotted with butter, when it has a chance to cool a bit it’s not runny or sloshy. no lemon, no cinnamon please.

    I appreciate that there are likely a million ways to make a rhubarb pie, and taste is personal. I just like being opinionated. If you dropped in with a piece of that amazing looking pie I know I would be very happy.

    So far rhubarb this year: rhubarb/ginger/hoisin glaze for grilling, rhubarb buttermillk coffee cake, brown sugar rhubarb cake, rhubarb fig jam, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb vinagrette, and several types of rhubarb muffins. Endless really.

    P.S I do however love stewed rhubarb/strawberries w/ hot buttered toast for spring and early summer breakfasts…)

  29. Harb

    A neighbor of mine makes a rhubarb pie with meringue that her grandmother passed down to her. I think it’s my favorite pie? And that’s coming from a guy who grew up eating awesome pies!

  30. My Iraqi/Iranian grandmother treats Rhubarb as a vegetable. I don’t think she knows that it can be used as a dessert–(Well, dessert is not even on her radar… most Iranians just focus on the meal.) So I was lucky to grow up having Rhubarb Choresht (stew, with beef) as kid. SO sour and so good.

  31. I have been using rhubarb in savory dishes for the last 2 years and i love it. For me it is reminiscent of artichokes braised in lemon. One of my favorites is a lamb stew with mint and rhubarb.

    The strawberries are still hanging on here and so is my back yard rhubarb so I may have a chance to make this pie.


  32. i need to go to the farmer’s market tomorrow to see if there’s any more rhubarb left! last week i did a smitten kitchen recipe mash-up where i made the rhubarb part of your rhubarb cobbler, then covered it with the granola part of the breakfast apple granola crisp. been eating it with yogurt in the morning. amazing!

  33. I can’t wait to try Melissa’s twice baked crust on my next pie! But strawberry rhubarb always has a special place in my heart. Especially when it has an all butter crust (which is what I’ve always used with that gourmet recipe!)

  34. Deb, no truer words have been spoken (or written) “cherry pie…epic;” however, I’m with you strawberry-rhubarb. I don’t care if it’s simple, country folk pie–it’s damn good. I should send you rhubarb–it’s constant here in WA. I actually just read that Washington is the rhubarb capital–can’t argue there.

  35. Susan

    I made an absolute disaster of a strawberry rhubarb pie last year. I had never cooked strawberries in a pie before and had never used rhubarb either, so I didn’t know how much thickening to use. I used a lot compared to what I use in other fruit pies, but it turned to sauce in a crust when it was done (My strawberries were too ripe) I went ahead and drained the crust and made jam out of the filling! Since then, I had planned on adapting the thickening from Gourmet’s version of cherry pie from Maggie Rugerio to try it again this year. It was perfect for juicy cherries..3 tbsp ground tapioca and 2 T cornstarch. It’s tranluscent and gumminess at all, yet it holds tart juicy cherries for slicing the pie very nicely. I even bought a coffee grinder specificly to grind the tapioca (yes..a little over the top, but it has other grinding uses now too, though not for oily coffee grounds) Since rhubarb season is almost over, here, I’d better get on it. I have to admit that tart cherry pie reigns supreme to me. Try Maggies’s really good. I used Kirsch in it too..and Wow!

  36. kelly

    deb, i am making this the moment i get home. making a special trip to whole foods for the rhubarb too because i know my chintzy local grocery store won’t have it. rhubarb pie, for me, is the very definition of pie. it’s the end-all, be-all of pies. it is a FAMILY TRADITION and yet we consistently make them shitty. first of all, my mom still insists on frozen pie crust. secondly, they run, which vexes me to no end. i’m so excited for this! i can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  37. Pumpkin3.14

    Have you tried the Pie Filling Enhancer from King Arthur’s Flour? Everyone seems to rave about it, and at $4.95, it seems a pretty cheap bet. I’ve never tried it before. Also, they have Tapioca Flour and something called Instant ClearJel.

    I’m not a pie baker, merely an eater, and it’s in my interest to see the bakers succeed. Do some test pies with these different items and let us eaters have some yummy pie!

  38. Laura

    I’m a firm believer in the unadulterated rhubarb pie myself, but I’ve always made it with flour as the thickener, and mine don’t usually come out too puddly… Maybe you could try that next time – it’d be a good excuse to make another pie!

  39. RubyGirl

    I’m glad you found the tapioca worked for you. I tried it (ground up) in a peach pie and absolutely detested the texture (even though I like tapioca pudding). It just does not belong! A lot of the moisture comes from the rhubarb (it *is* a stem) so I tried cooking it down in a frying pan with a little sugar until it was soft, then mixed it with the strawberries, etc. I used cornstarch (you could also try arrowroot I’ve been told) as the thickener and I had a good, solid rhubarb pie. No gooey-ness So, for tapioca haters out there…

  40. I like Elise Bauer’s strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe on, it works like a charm, delicious with great consistency, she uses almost the same amount of tapioca that you call for- slightly less but she says that in order to get the right consistency the strawberry-rhubarb ratio should be 1:3 (more rhubarb) she claims that a higher strawberry ratio results in a runny pie. In general I like tapioca thickened pies a lot better than starch or flour thickened ones I find the texture to be much nicer.

  41. I wrote an Ode to Strawberry Rhubarb Pie on my blog a few weeks ago because I adore it so much. It is hands down one of my favorite things to eat. I wrote my recipe based on the crust from Kate McDermott in Seattle who gives pretty spectacular pie classes. I’ll have to try your recipe next.

  42. Jo

    Yum. Strawberry rhubarb pie! I totally agree on the tapioca – my mother, she of the most excellent pies, always made her sour cherry pie with it — and offer up for your consideration a splash of Cointreau in lieu of the lemon. Now, must go see if my Bay Area markets still have decent rhubarb. The

  43. Too scared to deal with rhubarb.. Deb you are a champ!!! I may have to try this out next year as I think Rubarb is out for the season her in Santa Cruz, Ca. Thanks for sharing and the idea about the tapicoa is a great idea. Thank you for sharing. You are a true inspiration!!!!

  44. Kristy

    Your previous strawberry-rhubarb pie is my favorite pie evar. I’ve made it about 6, maybe 7 times now, all to rave reviews. I’ve converted my family (former die-hard apple pie lovers) over to it as well. And strangely, I’ve never once had it turn out soupy (though both my mom and mother in-law did on the occasions they baked it). I’m hard pressed to think it can be improved, but I bow to your genius!

  45. Indeed, there are two schools of thought to rhubarb pie. First is to blind bake the crust, the second is to make a compote out of the rhubarb and strawberry first. Tapioca is best used as a starch, but arrowroot can do in a pinch.

    The flavor combination is truly out of this world, and I absolutely love the pictures as well. I don’t count it as a failure if you come away with the experience with something. I would eat the pie, regardless of the pool it would cause!

  46. Angela

    My husband loves strawberry-rhubarb pie; I’m sort of iffy on rhubarb. But I can highly recommend Clear Jel. I use the kind you cook but I know there’s an instant kind. If there’s a bulk food store near you, they may have it. Out here in the middle of SW Virginia we have a couple of stores and I found that I could buy it AND buy a 50 pound bag of King Arthur flour (!) for about $18 (!!!!). Clear Jel gives a nice gooey consistency but unless you’re using a lot + sugar +water, it won’t be overly gelled.

  47. Raven

    I always use tapioca to thicken pies but the texture can get a bit weird, especially with a single-crust pie (the tapioca pieces on the top get crunchy, and the ones in the bottom get blobby, ew) so recently I started grinding the tapioca in the coffee grinder before adding it to the fruit. Works great, and cheaper than ClearJel. Use a little less than you would normally.

  48. A sweet hello from Frog Hollow Farm. I made the rhubarb tarts last Friday (the ones with the cornmeal dough) and they were an absolute hit. I also tried some peach and blueberry tarts while I was at it. Paired up with vanilla Haagen Daas they were even more delicious. My son ate each and every one of the tarts throughout the weekend. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the NPR experience!! Ciao, bella!

  49. Glenda

    Oh Deb, you’re a woman after my husband’s soul. This is ‘have even better sex’ pie! He adores me when I combine these two fruits and you just gave me a reason to head to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow.
    Love you! all the way from Vancouver.

  50. Oh my. Every time I see tapioca, I’m reminded of the disgusting tapioca pudding we occasionally bought when I was a kid, and I pass and wonder what on earth it’s for. And now I know!

    Seriously, I love berry and cherry pies and I pretty well never make them because mine are always, always too sloshy, and the cornstarch and flour do nothing. This, I’m going to have to try.

  51. I just made the “old” version of this last night after purchasing local strawberries and rhubarb……it was amazing so I can’t imagine what the new and improved version might be like!!

  52. Oh that pie looks absolutely delicious! What a fun competition. I made strawberry rhubarb hand pies (two batches!) over the weekend (and blogged about it) and didn’t have trouble with the filling being soupy. I used a couple tablespoons of whole wheat pastry flour in the filling and they turned out magical. I just adore berry, am smitten with apple, but there’s just something extra special about strawberry rhubarb!

  53. Carolyn

    I have an old “Joy of Cooking” with a recipe for Concord Grape Pie thickened with tapioca. It might be the best fruit pie I’ve ever made. Hard to say with pie, all so good and different, but this one was extremely delicious.

  54. Sarah

    Your pies look beautiful – and remind me that I’m clearly lots of pie-making episodes short of total beauty. Never mind that I’m happy to keep making more pies while I practice :) One question though – Have you ever tried RASPBERRY rhubarb pie? It’s delightful – and, to me, far better suited to be in a pie together than strawberry rhubarb. Soooo good – and always a big hit with whomever gets to help me eat it. Seriously – it’s worth a try :)

  55. Rachael

    I made this same recipe over Father’s Day weekend and, though I don’t usually toot my own horn this way, honestly felt like it was the best strawberry rhubarb pie I’d ever eaten. I generally loathe the wetness, but this turned out perfectly. After an hour of sitting, I drained the juices from the fruit (and sugar) and brought it to a boil with a heaping 1/8 cup of cornstarch. After it thickened, I returned it to the fruit and added an additional heaping 1/8 cup. I had no overflow and the pie was perfectly assembled when I served it the next day.

  56. Connie

    Just wondering if you’d use rhubarb that has been sitting around the fridge for a few days and has become a tad limp. It’s my first rhubarb purchase but apparently, I didn’t get to it fast enough. Would hate to make a crummy pie because the ingredients were not up to par.

    1. deb

      Connie — For baking, which is pretty much what we do with rhubarb, it should be fine. I learned that it helps to keep it in a plastic bag in the crisper — try it next time!

      Hi Peri — There are more than 500 recipes on this site, so, oof, it would be nearly impossible to answer. In general, the richer/fattier the food, the better it freezes. Soups and stews also freeze well.

      Fromthesea — I hear that technique works well. If your butter is pooling, my guess it is because the pieces are a little too big.

  57. Betsy

    Oh, how I love rhubarb pie! For me, it just has to be like my mom’s – rhubarb only, thickened with flour. She thickened all her fruit pies with flour. Cornstarch or tapioca look shiny and pretty, but nothing tastes like flour! It’s all in what you grew up with, I guess.

    Jacob continues to surprise and delight as he accomplishes what seems to be impossible – being cuter today than yesterday! What a sweetie!

  58. I tried rhubarb for the first time (ever!) a few weeks ago and loved it. I’m ecstatic that we finally get rhubarb here, although sporadically. When I made the pie, it wasn’t soggy and it stayed well through the day.

  59. Deb, I just finished listening to you. This is the first time I’ve heard you and you sound so different that I’d imagined in my head. As soon as you came on, I was reminded of Molly(orangette). Something similar about your voices.

  60. Strawberry-rhubarb and cherry are my two favourite pies. I have yet to make cherry yet, because I don’t have a pitter and I fear it will be a lot of work.

    One tip for the crust – I like to freeze the amount of butter in a block and then I grate it with a box grater (big holes). This makes it easier to incorporate and still very cold. I also find chilling the rolling pin can help too.

    Gosh I am hungry for pie now! Beautiful!

  61. I’ve never been a fan of rhubarb until recently – I suppose I found the idea of baking a vegetable that looks like celery in a pie intimidating. I was converted, though, by what seems to be the (nonalcoholic) spring/summer drink here in Munich this year – Rhubarbschorle, a combination of rhubarb juice and sparkling water. Try it if you can – it’s really good, especially on a hot summer day (something that I hope will soon be showing it’s head around these parts a bit more often)!

    P.S. This is my first time commenting on your site, but I’ve been reading it for going on 2 years now. Thank you for all the inspiration!

  62. Just listened to both the segments and you have a great radio voice Deb ^_^ Calm, measured and soothing without being soporific. I think people often tend to speed up speaking on the radio in their nervousness but you did’t give that impression at all, here’s to more Deb on air! <(See what I did there? ;P)

  63. All the info you give about rhubarb in your wnyc interview is reaaally helpful. I’ve never cooked with rhubarb before so thanks for all the tips on which ones to pick, which parts of it to use, ways to cook it.

  64. Also, I agree that you have a great radio voice! I wasn’t expecting to like your accent to be honest (no offence! I’m British, and I don’t often like American accents) but you sounded lovely. Congratulations on the whole radio thing!

  65. charlemagne

    i love this darn blog so much (you don’t know it, but you held my hand through my first pie-making process, and it turned out great), but i’m *almost* just reading it for pictures of that baby these days. that baby. . . man alive. He emits deadly cute rays.

  66. Kim in Foster

    Love SK, try a bit of orange zest and a touch of nutmeg, in the filling. We have TONS of rhubard, and make it all the time. Frozen rhubarb and strawberries from last year work fine, too. In a mid winter pinch, that is.

  67. deb,
    It seems like you got the perfect ratio down, but if ‘need an excuse’ to try the pie one more time, look into a kudzu – it’s an amazing starch and thickener!

  68. Jendorf

    Don’t listen to the strawberry rhubarb haters ;) It is my family’s favorite pie, and the only pie my mother made growing up, so I have fond, fond memories attached to those flavors. I enjoy a good unadulterated rhubarb pie now and again, and those rustic rhubarb tarts have been wowing people everywhere I take them lately. . .But, beautiful strawberries added in–what could be more heavenly in June?

    Also, I have spent 15 years working on the thickening, tapioca pearls, flour, cornstarch. . .sometimes I get it right, sometimes I get it wrong. Seems to me that I get it right if I’m making it just for my family, and it’s strawberry-rhubarb soup when I’m taking it somewhere for an occasion. . .go figure!

  69. Lea

    You are so cool. Not only do you make the most beautiful and scrumptious-looking pie I’ve ever seen, but you get to be on All Things Considered on NPR (something I daydream about when I’m feeling fanciful and a wee bit narcissistic).
    I hope one day I’ll be like you. For now I’ll just take my badly lit pictures of my uneventful food, and try to learn from the best.

    Oh, and make pie. I’m definitely going to make the pie!

    – Lea

  70. Travels4Food

    Strawberry-rhubarb wins any pie contest for me, but you definitely get the award for most gracious 2nd-placer! Sometimes it really is an honor just to compete. I went gluten-free about 6 months ago, and I have to say, I’ve rarely missed it until reading this post.

  71. In response to your husband’s comment that Jacob is like the puppy you never had: I just had to laugh! When my daughter was born my wife and I started making a list of how children are like puppies – a list that is continuing to evolve today with my son :) Strawberry-rhubarb pie is my absolute favourite kind of pie and I am going to have to try this one. I like the tapioca pearl idea!

  72. sharon

    Is there a way I can print the recipe without the photos and comments that follow the recipe. Too much wasted paper.

  73. Oh, that sounds luscious! My girlfriend and I made a half-dozen strawberry rhubarb pies this spring, since we only had six weeks of rhubarb season, and the one trick we found which has helped with the liquification is sweating the sliced rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar. Slice into a bowl, add sugar, cover loosely, place in the fridge for two hours, drain off the liquid, then prepare with thickeners/etc as filling and prep for baking — has worked like a charm for us.

    – Lissa

  74. rvancott

    I’ve always made a strawberry rhubarb “pie-cake” instead of just pie. Never had a problem with it being runny–the slices stand proud and tall, and the filling gives perfectly to a bite. The filling has 1.5 cups flour, to 12 cups rhubarb and 2 quarts strawberries, 3.5 cups sugar, some orange zest and salt–yep. It’s a beast of a pie, usually made in a huge rectangular slab fit to feed a family reunion.

  75. nan

    Strawberry season is JUST getting underway here – same with rhubarb so the stores have plenty. I’m going to make your version – my version sounds a lot like your old version – too slumpy. My boy loves this pie, it’s his favorite and he thinks the pie he can buy at Safeway for $4.99 is the best in the world…so I’ll have my own bake-off with the store bought, chemically enhanced pie and yours – I’ll let you know WHEN you win! xo, Nan

  76. I’m with Jenn and Indigo in that I am as blown away by your ability to slice a perfect piece of pie as your ability to bake a perfect pie. And, these are particularly lovely photos. Great post.

  77. Mirjam

    I checked out the link to Melissa Clark’s recipe. The sour cherry pie may have won, but your pie sure looks a lot better.

  78. Carol from Ohio

    Gorgeous pie…and strawberry-rhubarb is a family favorite. But I wasn’t too happy about paying the $4.99/lb. price for fresh rhubarb at the grocery store! And I think you’ll agree with me that frozen rhubarb is NOT a good option if fresh isn’t available!

  79. Tapioca pearls, like the ones that would otherwise go in pudding? I’ve got a box of those in my cupboard, a bag of peaches on the counter and a batch of (deb’s all butter) pie crust in the freezer. Hmm…I think I’m on to something.

  80. FromTheSea

    Question about crusts/butter…Has anyone tried grating frozen butter unto the flour? I read on CI, but haven’t heard about the outcome. Also, whenever I make pie, or anything with a crust, the butter always seems to melt out of the pan and overflow into the cookie sheet. Am I missing something?

  81. Om nom nom!
    I really want to make this, but I never found the time last weekend to make the lemon cake for my birthday (part 2), so I want to make that for when my inlaws are visiting instead. Yum!

  82. Liane

    LOVE strawberry-rhubarb pie! I made about three of them when rhubarb was in the store. I only saw rhubarb for about three weeks and then it was gone. That was a lot of pie.

    I used the tapioca pearls because that’s what I had on hand and it did actually work! The pie was just gelled (jelled??) enough but not too stiff.

  83. Strawberry Rhubarb is my absolute all time favorite with a cream crust…

    This one looks smashing! I think that there are still a few rhubarb stalks left at the grocery, if so, I’m trying it this weekend….

  84. Liane

    Oh – I also used a lattice top each time,which may have helped evaporate more moisture. But I didn’t use a regular full crust, so I don’t have anything for comparison.

  85. Deb (and any readers): What main course dishes on your site can be frozen? I found your beef empanadas, chicken empanadas, and 44-clove garlic soup and it appears they can be, but what else (and how long can the beef empanadas, chicken empanadas, and 44-clove garlic soup be frozen for do you think)? Thank you soooo very much!

  86. Katie W

    My lovely, wonderful husband got up at 6am today with the baby and the toddler, got them all ready, and took them to school. I woke up at 9am, feeling amazingly alert (I’ve heard that’s what sleep will do for you, but I hadn’t tried it until now). Now I feel like a pie out of my guy’s favorite veggie/fruit ought to be on this afternoon’s agenda! Thanks for the recipe; I’m sure it isn’t really a loser pie :-)

  87. Tapioca! I never would have thought of that. Ground tapioca (tapioca flour) will have the same effect as cornstarch and you’ll get a soupy pie, which CAN be great if you’re serving with ice cream and you get some of the strawberry-rhubarb soup into the ice cream like sauce, mmmm. But I’ll have to try this–I just discovered strawberry rhubarb pies recently and am glad to know how to make one hold up! Thanks!

  88. Becky

    Did not get to read through everyone’s comments, and am rushing to start making this pie! It looks heavenly! Thanks, Deb!

    BTW, you can almost get rid of using any kind of thickener (or at less) if you precook your fruit a bit, just to reduce some of the liquid, plus it concentrates the flavor. Just learned this from a very reputable pastry chef in Chicago since a lot of my fruit-filling for pies tends to sog the crust, or make it taste kind of raw, even after baked. I always do this for apples and peaches now. I will also try with the rhubarb-strawberry combination.

  89. Thank you!! I’ve always loved the flavour combination of strawberry and rhubarb, but it’s always bothered me they tend to lose their shape completely with all that juice. Even better, I’m going strawberry picking this weekend, so this could not have been better-timed!

  90. i can’t stand cornstarch — it has a really strong flavor — so i’m eager to try out the tapioca. what happened when you tried to make the tapioca flour?

  91. Samantha

    If it is any consolation, I would choose a soupy strawberry rhubarb pie over a cherry pie anyday. Too bad I couldn’t be the judge!

  92. AmandaL

    My most recent strawberry pie had two things different about it, that I thought you might find interesting.
    1) i brushed the interior of the bottom shell with egg white to seal the crust against pie juices. it worked! thanks KA Flour cookbook!
    2) i used 3 egg yolks in the strawberry/rhubarb mix, which gave it a luscious cheesecake like tang. Thanks gramma of a friend! Oh, and she also recommended letting th berries and rhubarb sitting in the sugar for about 10 minutes while i rolled everything out, so that some of the juice would get drawn off, and then spoon it in leaving that juice behind. I guess that’s three things I tried differently! it worked out very well, on all counts.

  93. I noticed your rhubarb is awfully green, this may just be because it is at the end of the season but rhubarb is best when it is a deep maroon. If it’s pink it was probably grown in a hot house and doesn’t have the same full flavour that a sun-grown rhubarb would have.

    I’m glad to have read Becky’s tip on cooking the fruit before, great idea!

  94. Wow, this is nuts. I had just read Melissa Clark’s article, then your strawberry rhubarb post, and was trying to decide which of your pies to make this weekend. I had no idea you two had a pie smackdown! It was such a coincidence I had to blog about it.

    Sorry you lost. If its any consolation, I will be making both your pies this weekend.


  95. Rhubarb is not native here, so I had never even seen one before I made my own. But I paired it with about 2/3 cup dried blueberries because that’s what I had on hand and my restaurant friend said it should be paired with something. I followed the Joy of Cooking recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb, using 1/2 cup demarara sugar and the small tapioca thickening, again because it was on hand. Beginner’s luck, I guess. It turned out perfectly, just enough juice and flaky.

  96. i absolutely love strawberry rhubarb pie and this looks so amazing. i always love your photos and descriptions. my bf made a strawberry lemongrass crumble yesterday and it’s already gone, so maybe it’ll be strawberry rhubarb pie this weekend! yay!!

  97. Amy TH

    Deb – As if I couldn’t adore your blog (or your baby boy) anymore, now you go and mention my fave East Coast orchard!! The husband was at Cornell with the Nicholson twins and I never miss an opportunity to sing the praises of Red Jacket! Oh and the pie is PERFECT for the bbq tonight! Thanks again!

  98. Lisa

    Hi Deb,

    Tapioca flour is really easy to find in Asian markets. I use it for all my fresh fruit pies, except apple. It has changed my pie-baking life.

    Strawberry-rhubarb is also one of my favorites and one of my best pies. I use 1 – 1 1/4 cups white sugar, about 5 T of tapioca flour, and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla instead of lemon, and use 4 cups rhubarb to 2 cups of strawberries. I pre-mix my sugar, tapioca, and about 1/4 tsp. of salt in a large saucepan and pre-cook the rhubarb in it to melt/blend the sugar and tapioca flour. Then i turn off the flame, add the vanilla and strawberries, and cook in a 400 degree oven (on the lowest rack) until it starts to brown and then turn down to 350 to finish. The filling ends up being just the littlest bit juicy but not runny and it is pretty much perfect every time. Oh, and i never put butter in the filling…doesn’t need it.

  99. Meg

    I use the strawberry rhubarb pie recipe from the Cooks Illustrasted Family Baking Book. It does call for arrowroot which I just substitute flour. I start with 6 tbs. flour then I mix the entire filling and let it sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes. If it looks too soupy then I add a little more flour. My pie always cuts nice and clean with no soupy mess. Some day I would like to try the arrowroot instead to see if there is a difference.

  100. Edith

    I baked your original recipe last weekend, and I used Rose Levy Berenbaum’s technique of reducing the liquid after maceration, to add back into the pie once thickened. However, I had SO much liquid left over (there must have been 2-3 cups to start, before heating), that once I’d added some reduced syrup back into the pie, I kept boiling for a while longer, then added some butter, and made strawberry rhubarb fudge with the rest. It turned out amazingly well, and was a huge hit with my guests, even though there was just a taste for everyone. I’m thankful that I paid attention when my mom made fudge when I was growing up! It was very sweet (naturally), but the flavours stood out very, very nicely.

  101. You know, your strawberry rhubarb crumble is still one of my husband’s all-time favorite desserts? Pies really intimidate me, for some reason. The only pie I’ve ever attempted was a coconut cream (my favorite). The lattice topped ones always make me nervous! But yours is so, so pretty. You’re right, mmm, pie.

  102. Rhonda

    Pie, pie and more pie. My SIL texted me earlier about being in an east Texas cafe eating fried pies. Apparently the peaches this year are a bumper crop. Sigh. Your pie looks gorgeous, love the top crust. I really like all those links you include and I can’t wait for your baby to start head-banging. Hair flopping, too cute. And watched the show with the pie girls on Wednesday. Must be time for pie.

  103. the commonwealth

    “I always think of pies falling in two categories, the prom queens, the blue ribbon prize winners, the ones that the president can’t keep out of his thoughts, and the rest of them. In the latter category there are the soggy bottoms”

    You thought Obama; I thought Clinton and started humming Queen.

    Excellent blog.

  104. Sky

    I’ve been meaning to try making a strawberry rhubarb cobbler in my wood fired oven, and so I’m going to give your filling a shot. Thanks Deb!

  105. Tula

    This was always the summer pie when I was a kid. Though, mom usually made just plain rhubarb pie, since we had tons of it growing in the backyard. Mom used to cut up the rhubarb and strawberries and mix it with the sugar the night before. She’d put it in a colander (covered in plastic wrap) over a bowl and let it sit in the fridge all night. That would drain off a lot of excess liquid, which we would spoon over ice cream. Mom also used half flour and half tapioca (none of it measured) for thickeners and it worked fairly well. When it was too hot to bake, we’d sit on the back porch with a freshly-cut stalk of rhubarb and a paper cup with sugar and dip away. Yummy!

  106. Michelle

    Next time you think about revisiting your strawberry-rhubarb pie, I’d recommend subbing strawberry jam for some of the sugar…. it’s just as sweet as sugar but you get an extra strawberry punch…

  107. This looks delicious! I’ve been planning to make a rhubarb pie. I just need to get enough rhubarb. It’s still at the beginning of the season.

  108. Cat

    Made it today, and I swear I had died and gone to heaven. I still ran into the soupiness-issue. I’m not sure if I used the wrong type of tapioca or what and I messed up on the crust. But all that aside, it was one of the best pies I’ve ever made. Would make again in a heartbeat. Thank you!

  109. Jennifer Rose

    *sigh* – when will people learn? The best strawberry rhubarb pie is one WITHOUT STRAWBERRIES. Why does everyone insist on polluting lovely, tart rhubarb with stupid, boring strawberries. grrrrrr.

  110. Veronica

    That dessert plate in the first shot is so pretty! Where did it come from? The pie looks great too; strawberry rhubarb has always been a favorite of mine.

  111. AllanG

    I love tapioca as a thickener. The problem with the ingredient is that it needs to dissolve, if not the one gets the baked hard lumps on the top and the gooey lumps on the bottom. The solution is to dissolve the tapioca before adding it to the pie. The following recipe is the one I use for cherry pie, but have modified it on the fly for other fruits. Basically, slowly heat the tapioca in some of the fruit juices until it has dissolved and thickened.

    In a large saucepan, cook 1 cup cherry juice, 1 cup sugar, tapioca and a pinch of salt over medium-low heat; stir with a rubber spatula until a very thick paste forms. (Looks like library paste, takes 10 minutes of almost constant stirring.)

    Scrape paste into cherries in a bowl. Add almond extract; stir to combine.

  112. Nan

    I made the pie today!!! It was FABULOUS and every bit as good as you said. I thank you, the boy thanks you, and the mister is still licking his lips!

  113. amy

    I make a strawberry-rhubarb-apple crisp, where I marinate the peeled apples and rhubarb in sugar and apple juice (little bit lemon juice) overnight, then the next morning remove the fruit and bring the “marinade/juice” to a soft boil, then add that back to the fruit (plus fresh strawberries), add a little more white sugar or brown sugar, then add the crisp topping and bake it. ANYWAY, my filling has a perfect pie consistency and never puddles. You should try it for a pie filling, it’s fantastic and so easy.

  114. I had to make some strawberry-rhubarb pie, too… and eat it for dessert, breakfast, a snack, dessert … gone.
    I tossed some basil chiffonade in my pie to give a savory complexity and that made me happy! And it was all inspired by a rhubarb cocktail. Who’da thunk?

  115. Oh! I think you just solved a long-time mystery for me. I have never liked cooked strawberries and when people ask why I always try to explain what about that flavor I don’t like, but I never can. It’s cotton candy! I never like it either.

    Having said that, your pie is beautiful and I would happily eat around the berries.

  116. Deb, This looks great! Can’t wait to try it.
    BTW, Four and Twenty Blackbirds is a great place- come out to Brooklyn sometime and check out it!!

  117. Oh Deb, that’s what I love best about you! Even though you lost the competition you could not let this one go until you perfected the soupy pie problem. I am a big proponent of the tapioca method and use it all the time in summer crisps, galettes and crumbles! Congrats on coming up with a stellar solution, even though it was a bit late. You’ll get ’em next year!
    P.S. Your puppy is adorable>

  118. Lynne

    Have you ever made a cherry-rhubarb pie? That sounds like it would be good too. I have had cherry-blueberry pies that are great. The two fruits really enhance each other.

  119. Edith

    Deb – I’m sure I couldn’t write out a real fudge recipe if I tried. My mother would make fudge on a weekly basis when I was a kid; it was one of the things she was best known for. All I can say is I used your proportions for fruit and sugars, then boiled down the resulting liquid (at a low-medium heat) until it looked like a thin syrup on the verge of thickening. I hadn’t added any cornstarch, because I’m not a huge fan… I think cornstarch would have made fudge impossible. Then I removed it from heat, and beat it with a wooden spoon until my arm hurt, adding tablespoons of butter as it cooled (maybe 2-3tbsp in total)… and when it started to lose its gloss, and looked like it might be ready to set (from what I could see on the edge of the pot), I poured it into a small buttered bowl and left it for a few hours. I’m actually pretty amazed that it worked, given that I haven’t ever made my own fudge before, just knew the cues from seeing my mom do it so many times. She used to try to teach me, but all that beating seemed so exhausting and unappealing… I never had any trouble eating the finished product, though!

    1. deb

      Edith — Maybe I can just come over, and watch you make this? :) Thanks for sharing, it sounds amazing. I will play around, see if I can do it justice.

  120. Erika

    fantastic timing! I have just enough rhubarb in my garden for this (live @ the foggy No. Ca coast). This was my favorite pie my grandmother made when I was little, but a close second was her gooseberry pie. She has long passed & when she was here I wasn’t into baking *sigh*. I’m always looking for recipes that can come close. can’t wait!!!

  121. Deb — you must go to Four and Twenty Blackbirds! It’s amazing. I actually just did a review and show about it. I tried all five pies available and they are all delicious!

    I can’t wait to try this pie as well. My friend and also avid follower of your blog just bought all the ingredients to make it — I’ll be tasting it this week!

  122. What a lovely pie! I’ve been longing for rhubarb all spring here in Hawaii, but can’t bring myself to pay $12/lb. at Whole Foods for it.
    And, thanks for the audio links! Great little snippets of radio for a Saturday afternoon.

  123. Marbarre`

    Oh…..made this tonight with the last of the rhubarb at the Farmers Market here in NH and the last of my own home grown strawberries….very yummy…especially the crust…this is now my go to crust for sweet pies….easy to make, easy to roll out and as it cools you smell the butter the whole afternoon and you just can’t wait to bite into it! Who can say what is better….the anticipation or the actual savoring of this delightful pie…it is most likely the whole package.

  124. Nancy

    You rocked on NPR! I think it was Leonard Lopate I heard you on. Great job. Not really a meaningful contest, however, comparing rhubarb and cherries!

    I love rhubarb in savory dishes, too. I make a rhubarb chutney that I serve with duck.

    Congrats on all your media attention.

  125. Abby

    I made this pie last night and it is FANTASTIC. The best pie I have ever made, according to my husband (and me!). I added another 1/4 cup of sugar and it was perfect.

  126. Bonnie

    I have an idea for the thickening problem. Have you ever tried ClearJel? It is a cornstarch based thickener. It is often used in commercial baked goods. It is also great for home canning of pie fillings. It maintains its thickens after the high heat required to can the filling. I wonder if it would maintain a thickness for your pie filling during the baking process. Just a thought…

  127. marsha

    I always use tapioca as a thickener. Works every time. I like the idea of tapioca flour. Could be better. Thanx, Deb.

  128. Nancy M.

    The recipe sounds, and finished product looks, fabulous. I don’t really use tapioca as a thickener in anything other than strawberry rhubarb pie but it works well. I use a little less than you call for and a bit of corn starch. Funny, but I don’t really use corn starch as a thickener in any other pie other than strawberry rhubarb, either… I find corn starch can go gluey too easily. Not sure why the combination works for this fruit pie, but it does. Others commenting have suggested this combination, too, I note. You might want to try a little orange zest in your crust to highten the citrusy feel of the rhubarb.

  129. My favorite pie has always been strawberry rhubarb. I don’t think I’ve ever had a good cherry pie. It’s one of those American favorites that I’m not American enough to have grown up with, so it fits into “all the others” in my mind.
    I like to make my strawberry rhubarb pie by cooking the fruit down first to make a sort of compote. A lot of excess water boils out, so the pie doesn’t end up all water-logged. Nummers.

  130. Sally

    Well, I wanted to make this pie, but no rhubarb at the farmer’s market near me (Boston) and the rhubarb at WF was very sad and wilted. So I made Melissa Clark’s twice-baked cherry pie – with sweet cherries, b/c no sour cherries to be found… For those who are interested in making it, it was delicious – great crust, and great filling. The only change that I would make is to halve the cherries (I used my fantastic Oxo cherry pitter and pitted two lbs in 8 minutes – yes, I timed myself!), and when you’re baking the crust the first time, *completely* cover the edges of the crust so it doesn’t burn when you return it to the oven with the filling. Enjoy!

  131. Becca

    Just made this tonight! AMAAAZING. i got a WHOLE lot of…”best pie i’ve ever had – no, seriously. NO. no, seriously.”

    yum! i made the recipe as is, didn’t change a thing except for upping the sugar a bit by 1/4 cup. OH any by the way, this pie dough of yours is FANTASTICAL. so flaky! its almost like a croissant. wow. thanks for the recipe!

  132. My husband and I come from a long line of homemade pie people, so we are serious about pie crusts being made at home by hand. We usually make ours with all butter, too, for the same reason you do (my dad actually uses butter-flavored Crisco, gha!) Anyway, though, I’m writing to ask about technique: have you ever tried Jeffrey Steingarten’s by-hand technique for cutting in the fat? He outlines it in detail in The Man Who Ate Everything. I first tried it a few years ago and have never looked back. I don’t even have a pastry cutter anymore; it works so well (much to my dad’s disappointment, he had to use a fork last time he made a pie at my house. I couldn’t get him to handle the butter-flavored Crisco by hand).

  133. Looks amazing. It would be even better than cherry pies. I dunno, for me strawberries would trump cherries any day and most especially for pie. :( Your post got me craving for pie.

  134. meg

    I a make pie for a living and we use tapioca too. orange zest/juice in place of lemon is REALLY good with strawberry rhubarb things. A tip for next year…

  135. Allison R.

    Deb, you are killing me with these recipes that require turning my oven/stove on in this heat :) I can barely muster enough energy to open my front door for takeout.

    Congrats on the guest appearance! You and Melissa are two of my most long-standing favorite women in all food writing.

  136. Jean Marie

    I agree that rhubarb season was too short this year. Last year, I was drowning in it (not complaining) from the CSA box. What do you think about the pre-baking technique that Melissa used? As she said, it’s a must with custard pies but my regular pies often have a soggy bottom crust if not pre-baked so I do it if there’s time.

  137. Vanessa

    This is really, really good pie. I used a Minute Tapioca, and it worked like a charm; even when still warm the filling was nicely jelled. I had more rhubarb and fewer strawberries so I just added a bit more sugar, and it was still great, so there’s some flexibility in the fruit proportions. I will try this for lots of runny pie fillings (rasberry, etc.) throughout the course of the summer. Thanks!

  138. LB

    I made a strawberry-rhubarb cobbler last weekend and used an idea from the Cooks Illustrated Baking book to combat the soupiness — sautee the rhubarb with a little sugar for a few minutes until the liquid is released. It worked well and the texture was great, but it made the rhubarb a bit too sweet and soft — I like the contrast of a tiny bit of crispness and sourness with the strawberries.

  139. Karolina

    I made this pie yesterday (a deep dish version) and I have to say that the tapioca was a great addition. The pie turned out amazing!

  140. Karolina

    I actually happened to just look at the cherry pie recipe since I have some lovely bing cherries I just bought. Do you think that the cornstarch could be substituted with tapioca in this one also?

    1. deb

      Karolina — I don’t think tapioca is necessary for cherry pie, actually. I have no issues with it being watery when I only use cornstarch. Strawberries and rhubarb are so watery that they need that extra level of intervention.

  141. My strawberry rhubarb pie is in the oven as I write this…I too have used tapioca pearls and they do somewhat solve the watery nature of this pie. The kitchen smells heavenly and I can’t wait to taste a little slice of heaven!
    I’m tempted to make many and freeze them while the berries and rhubarb are in season. (I do this with apple and peach pies) Any tips??

  142. elizabeth’s!

    It’s just a high grade corn starch. But it works and it isn’t expensive. (Tapioca = yuck in our household.)

    Just made an olallieberry cobbler last night with the ripest, gushiest berries (your recipe on the top, mine on the bottom) with the appropriate amount of ClearJel.

    Not a puddle in sight and scraped clean at work within a half hour of my arrival.

  143. I made a vow that I’d never make pie. You see, my mother in law is a fabulous pie maker. And, for many years before I got married, my now husband would always critique others’ pies, compared to his mom’s, of course. Hence, why I decided to spare myself! :) In any event, this pie – your pie – looks so fabulous, I might have to break the vow.

  144. Jess

    Strawberry rhubarb has always been my favourite! The trick to losing the runnyness I discovered by accident, after satisfying a winter craving for pie. Shockingly, using frozen rhubarb and strawberries, and straining out the extra juice leaves you with a pie that tastes fabulous and isn’t the least bit soggy. It’s probably the only time I’ll choose frozen fruit over frozen!

  145. Lesley

    I just made this last night, and it was DELICIOUS! I have never – ever – attempted to make a pie but this recipe was so easy, and it came out perfectly (a little oozing in the oven, but what can ya do…). YUM!

  146. Kae

    This recipe was FANTASTIC! I tried the not-improved one a few months back, and it was not a pleaser. The rhubarb flavor was too strong, and the juices leaked horribly. However, this recipe really brought it all home. My pie turned out wonderful, and it didn’t leak! I’ll definitely be making it again. Next time I’ll probably use a milk wash instead of an egg wash, but either would suffice. Thanks Deb!

  147. Angela

    Just made this tonight. It was the first time ever using rhubarb and I am glad that I found your recipe! My husband and I loved it!

  148. Karolina

    Thanks Deb! I actually never made cherry pie, hence was curious! I’m the typical fall pie person of apple and pumpkin etc.

  149. Melanie

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful pie recipe! I made it and it turned out great! It was also the most unleaky fruit pie I’ve probably ever baked!

  150. Rene

    My grandmother (also from South Dakota) taught me to make pie and always used tapioca in her fruit pies. Just don’t use too much. It works well in Peach pie too which can get very runny

  151. BostonBrandon

    I’ve gained 40 pounds since I started reading six months ago. Stop it. (not really)

    Will be making this again, just hopefully not very soon.

  152. Jenn

    The very mention of pie crust usually sends my boyfriend running out the door because he knows that the ensuing temper tantrum is not going to be pretty… I think I’ve always used the same proportions as you have in your recipe, but your technique details somehow made the difference and I turned out a perfect pie crust with no crying/swearing/throwing things for the first time ever. The filling was perfect, too – exactly the right level of sweetness, not watery at all, gorgeous, delicious…

    Also, for anyone else who has never bought quick tapioca, I found that my local grocery store keeps regular tapioca with dried beans, barley, etc and quick tapioca in a different aisle altogether, near the Jello and other pudding-in-a-box type things.

  153. Deb,

    I love your blog. I frequently read and ogle over your delicious food.

    Any way, I’m doing a little experiment this year cooking a pie a week for my husband (the blog, if you’re interested is

    I’m still learning (and frankly, I’m sure you know 100 X more than me about pies), but one trick that I’ve found to be really helpful for fruit pies is to let the pie cook until the filling is bubbling thickly–it seems to be usually 10 minutes or so after it starts bubbling, but it helps it gel a better.

    Good luck! Beautiful pie!

  154. octavia

    no what is AMAZING in rhubarb pie? ROSEMARY. sounds weird, i know. but soak the rhubarb in it. what a revelation.

  155. Mmmmm….there is nothing better than strawberry rhubarb pie. My mouth is literally watering. I’m going to make it this weekend for our July 4th get together!! Love your site!

  156. Erin

    My favourite pie of all time is strawberry-rhubarb, particularly my grandmother’s. I’ve made strawberry rhubarb pie in the past, but it has never been as good as hers — until now. This was the strawberry rhubarb pie of my dreams. The filling was the best strawberry-rhubarb filling I’ve ever tasted, both sweet and tart, like the fruit it was made from. I thought the tapioca worked very well as a thickening agent (it was my first time using it – I’ve always used flour/cornstarch in the past), and the crust was buttery and delicious. A great way to kick off pie season!

  157. AM

    I have never understand why anyone would mess up perfectly good rhubarb pie with strawberries. Rhubarb custard–num num num.

  158. Oh good Lord! I first discovered strawberry-rhubarb pie very recently and have to say, it’s one of my favorite pies now. I’m so excited by this recipe, thank you so much!

  159. Hannah

    Pies are taken seriously in our house so it was with great excitement that we tried out this new recipe. Sadly, we found the tapioca addition only slightly helped the juiciness and the crust was still lacking. Back to the Moosewood Desserts pie crust for us. Not feeling thwarted though as there are many more SK temptations yet untried!

  160. Jendorf

    OK, so color me happy–I made this pie this weekend and the filling was PERFECT!! Not too soupy, not too thick, not too sweet. . .you get the picture! I think I didn’t roll the crust thin enough, but it was delicious and flaky. Perfection! Every morsel was eaten and people were really impressed. Thanks so much for the work you did to get this right =)

  161. Amber

    Hey All- Here in western Washington I have rhubarb almost year round. I have two plants, and both are very different. One is very green (like the one Deb used) when ripe, and the other turns a very deep crimson when ripe (it also has much larger stalks) Both taste the same. The plant with larger stalks stays in production much longer than the other plant, also.

    I use ours for both savory and sweet recipes, but my husband and son both prefer it in rhubarb cake– it is a lovely moist cake using sour or buttermilk in it- adding extra rhubarb makes it more the texture of brownies, also, although not the chocolate aspect!

    My Mom has a recipe that I have yet to make, although I’ve tasted it, and it is Rhubarb Custard Pie. It tasted devine!! Will be making that soon :D

    Deb- thanks for the tip about adding lemon- I’m going to try some zest in my next crust!

  162. THANK YOU! You helped me tackle my two biggest fears of baking this weekend: a hot kitchen and no food processor. (Love my pastry cutter.) Plus, I don’t have access to tapioca, so I used cornstarch, let the fruit macerate for about 30-40 minutes and poured off most of the excess juice. My pie wasn’t wet, and it was still juicy and flavorful. It turned out great – the first fruit pie my husband is actually a fan of! Thanks!

  163. So this pie came out lovely, not too goopy, but it was too tart. I think maybe my strawberries weren’t sweet enough?

    Fortunately, we had vanilla ice cream on hand. Problem solved.

  164. Lucy

    Brava, Deb! This pie turned out to be near perfect, but sadly I couldn’t find the quick-cooking tapioca anywhere, so I had to stick with cornstarch. Is the tapioca you use simply a starch, or can one use tapioca pudding mix? I’ve been completely puzzled about the source for quite some time and would love some advice! Thanks so much…Smitten Kitchen always brightens up my day (many, many times a day!).

  165. Emily

    Dear Deb,
    I have made this pie twice in the last three plus weeks you’ve had it posted. I have baked it exactly as written, with some of the butteriest, flakiest, most inspired crust my bare hands have created. The flavors are perfectly balanced. Never too sweet, always tart enough to keep me constantly engaged. BUT it will never, never, ever set up like yours does in the picture. I cannot, no matter how much I pray, get a clean, perfect slice out of this pie. After it is baked, how long do you let it sit? I’ve let it cool for up to five hours, and the filling still escapes the second it is cut. Should I be waiting much longer? Bake the pie at noon, enjoy at 8 at night? If you have any further insight, please pass it on. I feel like I will come to a higher spiritual place once I can make a pie that refuses to puddle once plated. Thanks.

    1. deb

      Emily — The fridge did it. I had it there overnight (I actually don’t keep pies in the fridge but someone helpful who cleaned up my kitchen for me so I am really not complaining put it there) and even when back at room temperature, it refused to puddle. I actually found it slightly overly-gelled from the fridge and was sad because some of the crust flakiness was gone (you can probably see that too).

  166. Jenny

    One of my favorite things during the summer is rhubarb pie! I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I can’t imagine it being anything but absolutely delightful. I haven’t made one yet and it’s July and my husband hasn’t had one since we’ve been married.. So, I will have to try this one!

  167. Sara

    I have made this pie last weekend after successfully completing my mission at Farmer’s Market to obtain the perfect rhubarb. I have made strawberry rhubarb pie many times, and it always comes out soupy. This recipe was PERFECT. The sweetness was perfect; the crust was perfect; and it set up perfect. I have another prepared in the fridge waiting for my kitchen to cool enough to make another pie. Oh, and I can’t stop thinking about how tasty it will be. I think I might not share this one though…mmmmm! Thank you for the perfect pie!

  168. Firatcim

    Are you sure about the cooking time? Mine came out so unbelievably wet. Luckily, the crust wasn’t ruined. I wonder if I should have cooked it longer than an hour.

  169. Maureen

    I made this last night and had my bestie Moira over. I had to control myself from having seconds, and almost didn’t want to give her a piece to take home. I will make this again and again! I used Rhubarb from my mom’s garden (really, just grows on the the side of the house) but it was fabulous and I loved the tartness of the white and brown sugar blend. I did have to cook mine a bit longer, but ovens vary. I wish I could post my own picture!

  170. purpleobsessive

    Thank you Smittenkitchen!
    Strawberry rhubarb is my grandfather’s most favorite pie so even though I’ve never actually made it before………I decided to take a challenge and go for it. I made it for his 71st birthday which was last week. It was some work but worth it because her absolutely loved it!! By the way I am only thirteen so I was worried it wouldn’t come out well. But trust me it was a complete success

  171. Rhubarb… Delicious! My grandparents are both from North Carolina and G’ma makes a mean rhubarb pie! Seriously! I know this sounds weird but she likes to chop up walnuts and add it to the pie crust! It adds a little something extra!

  172. Angela Rose

    I made this today and have to say it was very soupy, which has totally put me off of cooked strawberries for a while… mine must not have been very sweet naturally because this tasted more sour/tart than sweet. The crust was good though, very similar if not identical to the Pate Brise recipe I use.

  173. Ada

    I made this today in honour of Pi Day ( and the fact that I found both ripe strawberries and rhubarb at the market in *March*, but it was a runny mess! I used tapioca starch, which is, to my understanding, ground tapioca pearls (though I could be wrong), and although the puddle definitely has some “goo” to it, it still ran out of the crust and onto my tray. It was delicous, though.

  174. Ryan


    It is horribly delicious and will be the only thing you’ll ever want to eat. When people come over to your house, they will only come for this pie. This pie could bring peace to the middle east, but you’ll want to keep it all to yourself. Made it with some young rhubarb from the garden and fresh Alabama strawberries and this is the best pie Ive ever had! I forgot to put extra butter in with the filling, and really if youre not a big pie eater Id suggest the same to you. Ours cooled for a good three hours before eating and wasnt runny at all.

    Thanks for all your hard work on getting this recipe straightened out!

  175. Just wanted to say thanks for this fantastic recipe. It may not have won on the radio, but it won me rave reviews at a party this weekend!!! THANKS! :D

  176. Rose

    Oh, yum! So I didn’t follow the recipe exactly… I prebaked the crust a bit. I don’t have pie weights, but that’s okay. I tossed the fruit with the sugar and let it sit around all day and poured off the collected juice. Then I tossed the fruit with a bit more sugar, orange zest and vanilla, and a bit of flour, and put it all together. The crust was amazing and flaky and crispy and the filling was just right–no soup!

    My new motto for when life gets rough: Make Pie!

  177. KP

    Just wanted you to know that using my mother’s pie crust recipe and you’re filling recipe I won an office pie contest! It’s absolutely wonderful and after an entire life of having my mom’s apple pie being my favorite pie in the whole world, this is now my fave!

  178. LP

    Your pie won over parents when they each met for the first time this weekend! Both sets of parents together (mine and my boyfriend’s) for the first time… delightful day with some delightful pie. And hands down the best flaky pie crust. I am with you in leaving behind all shortening. Butter all the way.

  179. Anne

    This was my first ever time making any pie other than pumpkin, but it turned out great! I used your crust recipe and instructions and I got specific compliments on the crust from people at work. Thanks!

  180. Sarah McWeschler

    Made this last night because I have had this pie on the brain all winter and it is fantastic! Your pie crust tips are life saving– really take the stess out of it. I didn’t have tapioca on hand, so used corn starch. After reading about your cornstarch=runniness debacle, I did a little Googling and found a couple of sites that claim that adding anything acidic to the recipe will decrease the efficacy of the cornstarch. So I swapped 1/4C cornstarch for 1/4 tapioca and left out the lemon juice and it seems to have worked like a charm– a gorgeous, non runny pie!

    Thanks as always for the inspiration, Deb!

  181. Kat

    Just made this pie, and it’s crazy good. I’ve never had rhubarb, so this was, and is, a great introduction to its wonder.

    (This may have been posted, but if not…)
    I borrowed from Dorie’s Blueberry Pie recipe by sprinkling less than 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs to the interior, bottom layer before adding the fruit filling. It kept the bottom layer from getting soggy, and there was no weird taste/texture problem.

    Thanks again!

  182. Erika

    Well just put the pie in the oven – used the new improved recipe and the all butter crust. Finally got around to cutting some rhubarb from the garden and had some organic strawberries. My 9 yr old son has been bugging me to make one – will let you know if it passes his test. Can’t wait with some vanilla bean ice cream. YUM!!

  183. This looks delicious! I am making this for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday–as well as your austrian shortbread which is her absolute favorite (nevermind that she’s German :) ). The thing is that since I’m in Germany, and pie isn’t very well-known, I find that the presentation of the not-improved strawberry rhubarb pie is a bit nicer (at least in my opinion). The lattice cover is just so typical pie that I love it. Will that top hold with an all butter crust?

    Thanks for your inspiration!

  184. Sonya

    I so enjoy your creativity and spunky, sassy approach to food! Your recipes have become a staple in our wedding prep. We’re doing wedding pie rather than cake, and the strawberry-rhubarb + pie crust 102 I have down pat! We’re doing 9 x 13 pies and it’s flying wonderfully! Thank you!!

  185. I made this pie once before and sort of hated making the crust. It stressed me because of the keeping the butter chilled and so on. My boyfriend loved, loved, loved the result and wanted to have it for his birthday this year despite my objections. By accident, this time, I made the old version and it stressed me less. And the result was fabulous again. Many thanks!

  186. Erica

    I have made this pie twice now, and it is DELICIOUS! My one concern is the baking time. If I were to only bake it for the time recommended on the recipe, the pie would not be even close to done. I don’t think it is my oven because I have made several other recipes from your website and not had to make an adjustment of more than 30 additional minutes. Thoughts?

    1. deb

      Hi Erica — I find the baking time to be correct but if yours needs more time, use it. If you don’t have an oven thermometer, purchasing an inexpensive one will help clear up whether it’s your oven that’s running cool or recipes that are suggesting the wrong times. (If you’re extremely OCD like me, you’d put one in the front of your oven and one in the back, and use the average to presume the actual temperature. But there’s no need to be that insane unless you’re writing recipes for other people!)

  187. Quick question: my pie dough came out very…doughy. Not crisp or flaky. It looked golden and perfect, but seemed very underdone. Did I roll it too thick? Should I have cooked it longer? Was it my ceramic pie plate? Happy to try again (because the gooey strawberry/rhubarb insides were magnificent on their own), but any tips would be great!

    1. deb

      The top or bottom came out doughy? The base of pies often softens under the weight of the wet fruit. If you don’t like this, understandably, you might want to follow Melissa Clark’s tips for twice-baked bottom crusts in this article.

  188. thanks for getting back to me Deb – top and bottom were really doughy. I’m thinking I may have just rolled it out too thick/didn’t let it cook long enough? Trying again this weekend, will maybe pre-bake the bottom a bit this time. Mmmmmmm…pie……

  189. jennamarie

    hi, ive been following ur blog for a few months now and have made a few of your recipes, all delish. HOWEVER, this pie was AMAZING. i made it for a father’s day treat to take home to my family this past weekend, and i cannot even tell you how well it went over. excellent recipe, i think the lemon juice is realy what makes it. or it could be the brown sugar that is the trick, whatever it is, it was great.

    thanks so much!!

  190. My daughter loves your blog and I love the food she makes from your recipes. This rhubarb pie caught me eye and since I make a lot of pies that garner a lot of praise I thought I would share a discovery made long ago: Most pie recipes call for a few tablespoons of flour (or tapioca, like yours did) but I have discovered that a scant half cup is what it takes to do the job of making a firm but not gluey filling. Also it must be cooked until the juices bubble out the vents then cool before cutting for perfect non-sloppy pieces to nestle up to the ice cream. Works every time.
    Happy cooking!

  191. Emma

    I made this strawberry-rhubarb pie yesterday, and it looks just like yours does! It’s perfect! I used a quarter-cup of tapioca (like you did), and waited for several hours (torture!) before cutting into it. By the time I did, the juices had gelled and it tasted d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. I’ll definitely be making this again! Also, I’ve used your all-butter pie crust method for my last 4 pies (with obsessive refrigeration interspersed), and they’ve all turned out absolutely wonderfully. I think this is The One!

  192. I just made this, but cheated when it came to the crust… Too hot in Boston tonight to attempt! So I bought a crust from whole foods… I paid for my guilt :) Can’t wait to eat it tomorrow at a party! Thanks for the fab recipe!!

  193. Sarah M.

    Do you think doing a lattice crust would effect your instructions/pie at all? (Sorry if this was asked, I really did try to read all 265 comments :)

  194. Brittany

    I think I managed this feat of less sloshy pie filling by sauteeing the rubarb first with some butter and sugar. It releases some of its water, makes a slight (rubarb flavored) syrup and makes the strawberries and rubarb cook about the same time :)

  195. Catherine

    First and foremost, this recipe produced the most perfect pie crust I’ve ever made. It took patience (as I always want to roll out the pie dough before it’s fully chilled) but it was well worth it. I have made many strawberry rhubarb pies and I agree that tapioca is the perfect “thickener,” however, this pie came out too tart. If I had ice cream it would have been the perfect addition of sweetness, but alas I did not. Next time I make this I would use less rhubarb and more sugar. But that’s just my sweet tooth talking.

  196. Vasanta and Rama

    Hi,my sister and I chose this to be the first time we bake a pie (we arent going to be in the US for long and decided we would try some baking). I don’t have much hope for the crust ( :((put too much water, neither of us can even make dough for breads from our own country – India) but it was a lot of fun to make. Wonderful website, thanks for the detailed instructions.

  197. Vasanta and Rama

    Feedback on our pie : The pie tasted very nice and the top crust was yummm (streched a bit and formed a skirt around the plate but still yummm). However the bottom crust was kind of soggy so it was hard to cut an intact piece.

  198. Katy

    I made this pie for Easter today. It’s the first pie I’ve ever made. I made the crust from a different website and the filling from you……. It. Was. Amazing! Thank you! I will be making this for many years to come!

  199. Lauren

    I made this pie for my companion for his birthday today with fresh rhubarb from his mother’s garden. I used your crust recipe as well, and both came out amazingly! This is the first thing I have made from your vast collection of recipes, and I cannot wait to try more. This is the most together (no droopy drippy mess–the whole thing kept together perfectly with the tapioca) and delicious pie I have ever made or had the pleasure of tasting. I am not a huge fan of overly-sweet pies, and this one has the perfect level of tang. Thank you for rocking!

  200. Amy

    This is one fabulous pie! Thank you for perfecting it. I have now made it twice this week while the strawberries and rhubarb are ripe here in WV.

  201. Erin B

    Thank you so much for this recipe. This is my husband’s favorite pie, and we have an over-abundance of rhubarb in the garden. I had never tried anything but a food processor for pie crust, but now I don’t think I’ll ever go back. This pie has the perfect amount of sweet/tart. My son is due in two weeks; I think I’ll try to make one (or three!) of these for my L&D nurses!

  202. Priyanka

    Hi Deb,

    This was the first pie I have ever made and it turned out really well !!! Thank you for such detailed instructions, they were very helpful. My husband loved the pie and almost 3/4th of it is already over, since I made it last night !
    THANK YOU !!!


  203. Emily

    I was wondering if this recipe could be canned. I’m looking for a great strawberry rhubarb pie filling to can as I just bought 4 flats of strawberries and currently have an abundance of rhubarb in my garden. Obviously you wouldn’t can the butter but I have never canned anything with tapioca before. Does anyone know if this would work?

  204. Rebekah

    Perfecto! I made this for my brother’s birthday the other day. He was very possessive of the leftovers…
    I might have to make another just for me because one slice wasn’t enough. :D

  205. Laine

    I made this recently and OH.MY.GOD., it’s ridiculous. We had just gone to a strawberry festival and bought an insane number of strawberries, so there’s a regular pie, mini pies, and pie pouches (yeah, we like pie). For those of you curious about the quick-cooking tapioca, I found it next to the puddings. We used Kraft Minute Tapioca, it’s in a tall red box and costs $6.

  206. As soon as I can get my hands on some instant tapioca, I’m gonna make me one of these pies! I like your choices about replacing cinnamon with lemon juice, etc. Hate runny pies, so you have a great idea there. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Deb!

    OMG I was reading some of the comments and I dug around and found some (old) tapioca starch. Hope it’s not too old, or something. I’ll try that right now, and see…

    Today’s my birthday so this will be instead of a cake. The rhubarb muffins just came out of the oven, so I’ll make the pie next!

  207. Jamie

    Hi! When making pie dough, I always need to use at least double the amount of water written in the recipe to get the dough to come together. Do you know what I am doing wrong? Thanks!

    1. deb

      You might be measuring your flour too heavily, i.e. by packing the measuring cups rather than fluffing and scooping or spooning it into the cups which would yield a lighter cup of flour, and less of it.

  208. Anna

    Sadly, this recipe doesn’t seem to work either. It could be partly because i am allergic to phrases like ‘dial up/back/down the sugar”.

  209. Anna

    I’m beginning to think that so many recipes from Sk don’t work for me because I live in Europe, in a country with a very wet climate, so our fruit is very different from what you would get in a country with a less rainy climate. Also, I am told that certain ingredients, like brown sugar, are very different from their equivalents in the US. Hmm.

  210. Update: The tapioca starch worked beautifully! I’m going to use a 1/4 C of that in every fruit pie from now on. Thanks for the great idea, Deb.

  211. Heidi

    SOOO good. I made this and paired it with your buttermilk ice cream (OMG- YUM) for a dinner party of 10- it was a HUGE hit (even if I forgot to drop butter on the fruit before crusting). Yes, Yes, Yes…a million times Yes.

  212. Molly

    The best technique for keeping apples in apple pie from turning to mush is a sort of flash-heating before you bake with them. Easiest method is the “Hot water pour-over method.” Heat water on the stovetop to a boil (enough to be able to cover your sliced apples) and then pour it directly over your room temperature apples in a bowl. Cover the bowl and let the apple slices sit for 10 minutes, then drain and you’re good to go! I’ve tried this and it really does work!! (See:

  213. Steve

    Thank you! I’ve made this pie twice now (second one is in the oven). Your pie crust instructions were perfect (I will always, always keep it cold!! and also happy not to use crisco) and the tapioca made this my first successfully non-watery pie. I had never even eaten rhubarb before but saw it fresh at the store and thought, I wanna eat that. Totally starring this blog.

  214. Lindi

    Mostly I wanted to say thanks… I bake apple pies – that’s about it because that is what I am good at. But my husband LOVES rhubarb so I decided to try this out including your crust recipe. AMAZING! Thank you for being so diligent when it comes to perfecting your recipes. I am now and forever a bg fan.

  215. Deb, today is the second time I have used your recipe. I have TWO pies in the oven now. This time I also added raspberries to the strawberries and rhubarb.

    I have been using 1/2 C refined white sugar per pie (no brown sugar) and I bet that with today’s perfectly ripe organic raspberries & strawberries, I could have reduced the sugar even more.

    I’ll have to take a look at your pie crust recipe. Today I used my usual recipe, copied out of Grandma’s Betty Crocker cookbook long ago — I use butter instead of lard like Grandma used to. This time I got brave and substituted white whole wheat flour in place of the usual refined flour — same volume. I had to add A LOT of extra flour to the crust as I was rolling it out, but I was able to roll it THIN. I used a double crust recipe for 10″ pie plates, and got TWO double pie crusts. We’ll see how tender this whole wheat crust is — I’ve only made a whole wheat crust once before.

    Can’t wait to take the pies out of the oven!

    Happy cooking, everyone. :-)

  216. Bella

    Hi Deb. love your site! When I made strawberry rhubarb pie, I mix the cut and cleansed strawberries and rhubarb with the sugar and let it sit for an hour. Then, I drain it. I usually get around 1.5-2 cups of liquid. I reserve 1/4 cup to add back to the filling. That usually makes my filling perfectly (but not overly) moist. Hope this helps!

  217. Interesting! I have been making your original recipe now for quite some time. Yes, it has had a bit of a “slosh”factor, unfortunately. But it was always oh-so-delish and typically firmed up the next day. I’ve been baking pies for about 20 years now and have tried about every crust recipe known to man – Alton Brown’s combo of butter with just a smidgen of shortening seems to provide the perfect balance of taste and flakiness. I will definitely try the tapioca. Lemon instead of cinnamon, eh? Could I use both?

  218. Nicole Mora

    I’ve never had strawberry rhubarb pie before, but saw rhubarb in the store the other day and decided I wanted to make it. So of course I check your site for a recipe and here it is! It was absolutely AMAZING!!! I now have a new favorite pie! I didn’t want it to be too bitter, but not too sweet either, so I added 1/4 c. turbinado sugar and also added lemon zest(love zest, put it in everything I can!) and it came out just where I wanted it! Thank you for the recipe as well as all your other amazing recipes!

  219. Helga B

    I love the Granny Smith idea! Today’s strawberries were very sorry looking, so I had lots of rhubarb and a modicum of strawberries. I went ahead and added an unripe nectarine and about 3/4 of an extremely mediocre Red Delicious. Between the pectin and the tapioca, once it cools, it should gel nicely!

    I discovered that if I didn’t make my top pie shell cuts more than half way down, that helped to limit the overbubble….however, I was using frozen crust and learned that the top and the bottom don’t always blend together as well as I thought they had. T

    Today’s pie crusts were so defrosted and soft that, keeping my fingers crossed, it seems as if they married very well.

    Thanks for such a wonderful recipe.

  220. Teri

    THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING. My husband was SO happy that I finally made him a strawberry rhubarb pie. I did my research and found this recipe on your blog to be pretty much what I was looking for. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this online! It was one of the best pies I’ve ever made (and yes I used to butter crust recipe too!)

  221. Rogue Baker

    This was my first time making rhubarb pie and homemade pie crust. I used the two fork technique to incorporate the butter and the flour mixture. Thank you for the dough photos and the warning of STOP NOW! :) –before over-mixing.

    Bought the rhubarb on Sunday and by Wednesday it was kind of droopy. Since rhubarb can be a challenging pie ingredient due to high water content, I decided that droopy rhubarb might prevent an overly wet mixture. I’m not sure if this is true…However the pie turned out to be delicious, not too wet, sweet or tart–and my fiancee loved it!

    I enjoy perusing your web site and the links to recipes from the same day in past years. Thank you for creating this community.

  222. Pam J.L.

    Did a lot of searching for a strawberry rhubarb pie recipe, never made one before and decided on yours. All I have ever had was store bought ones. I will never buy one from the store again. It was perfect, Thank you so much.

  223. Emily

    Pie’s in the oven. One thing I want to thank you for is the strong suggestion to make the pie dough by hand. It completely enhanced the process for me. I love making pie, but I always relied on the trusty KA mixer to take care of that for me. Never again!

  224. Genevieve

    Do you have any advice on using non-instant small pearl tapioca instead instead? I’ve tried to find information about it, and have read that you can use it to thicken pies but it must be soaked first and used in double measurements than minute-tapioca. But I’m wondering if the soaking is counter productive to the absorbing of juices in the pie? I assume people used tapioca pearls to thicken things before the invention of Minute-Tapioca, so there must be a way, right? I went as far as grinding my small pearls in the food processor and then chickened out and traveled to Manhattan to find the Instant stuff. I’ve made this pie several times with instant, but just didn’t want to get on the train again, plus some of the instant mixes have artificial flavors in them (gross).

    1. deb

      Genevieve — I wasn’t sure so I searched around and this site has good information on the difference between instant and non-instant tapioca. I haven’t tried it with the latter, but it seems likely that if you could grind it to a powder (I have much more luck in a spice or coffee grinder than I do in the FP), you’ll probably be okay with either.

  225. Emily

    Followup from my comment at 303, the pies was the best I’ve ever made. Crust was perfect, and the strawberry/rhubarb mix was pure ecstasy. Good call on the tapioca too. It kept all that rhubarb juicy goodness in place. Forever making this pie!

  226. Charlotte

    absolutely perfect pie. I made this last night using non-instant tapioca (I could only find the small tapioca pearls here in london) but it all worked perfectly. I was a little worried about the pie when it came out, as all looked perfect, but through the slits I could see the tapioca was still white, and tasted one and was still hard. I covered it and left it for about 40 minutes (tough!) and when I uncovered and cut it, the tapioca had gone translucent and was lovely and soft, and jelly like. So if using standard tapioca just be awaare that you won’t be able to eat the pie when it is first out of the overn, I wopuld probably give it an hour to set.

  227. Am

    Thank you for all your amazing recipes! I made this last night, first time in my life I ever made pie crust or pie, and it all went so smoothly I kept thinking for sure I had done something wrong! I only wish I had rolled the dough a little thinner, although everyone loved it so much they didn’t mind how thick it was. Now I just wanna make pie every day!

  228. Jennifer

    For eighteen years I have failed at making a piecrust from scratch. That changed today! Thank you so much for this recipe AND the rolling tutorial!!

  229. Benton

    Made this last week with frozen everything. Was my first attempt at a pie crust. Turned out beautifully! The rhubarb was a little tart for my tastes but both my wife and wrought yeast old daughter loved it. The pour crust was delicious! Now if I could only get my wife to share the pictures! Lol love your site, and was tickled when I saw your book at Barnes and noble. I thought, “I remember when she was working on the layouts… Cool!”

  230. Gwen Wilkins

    First off: This pie is amazing!
    I entered a pie-baking contest through work and decided to do a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Though I do already have a recipe for it, I wanted one with more panache, something that tasted amazing AND didn’t puddle all over the plate. Some quick interweb searching found me this recipe. So happy that this was also the home of the famous apple pie cookie recipe I now have everyone I know hooked on, I knew I’d found what I was looking for!
    I made a proto-pie last week to test both the crust and the actual filling. Both were hits with my taste-testers.
    The contest was today and I must say that this second one turned out better than the first!!
    Alas, the judges were more into cream pies than fruit pies and out of eleven entries and four winners (two tied for third place) I didn’t win; but the left-over pie was quickly devoured by the folks in my department and they all raved it was THE BEST strawberry-rhubarb pie they’d ever had!
    As the second-shift people missed out, I promised to bake another for them at some point. Even if this recipe wasn’t a winner today, it’s definitely a winner to me and I will be making this one again and again!!

    A quick side note to those considering making this pie: putting a baking sheet under the pie in the oven IS important – not so much to catch pie juices, but rather the butter that boils over in the crust!! (There IS 1/2 a pound in there after all!!)

  231. Jessiet

    Am I too late to come to the party? But, but it’s only been three years! Smitten, may I suggest to you the unthinkable? I come from a long line of pie bakers (both sides of the family are “Pennsy Dutch”, and their middle name is “Pie”. Mom always used 100% lard in her pies (heck, in her everything!), as they butchered a pig every New Years Day. It is really wonderful! Flaky, tasty, wonderful in every single way. My ratio is 3 parts flour, 1 part lard. However, be very careful to use lard that is solid when refrigerated. (And work fairly quickly on a hot day.) What I mean is, if you see it at the grocery store (only buy the kind that must be refrigerated), and you squeeze on the plastic container, it should not give much at all). If you can find leaf lard from a butcher, so much the better. Now, I know you are Jewish, but from some of your other recipes, I believe you do eat pork. If you do, this is a must try. Happy pie baking!

  232. Jamie

    I made this pie – complete with the suggested crust and all – HOLY MACKREL! It was outstanding! It was the first homemade crust I’ve ever made, and let me tell you she was a beauty! I brought slices to my family who had never tried strawberry rhubarb (crazy, I know!) and they all LOVED it.

    Thanks for another out of the park recipe!

  233. cathie booher

    Visiting Toledo, Ohio’s Farmer’s Market yesterday, I bought only what was in season: asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries. Determined to put my purchases to good use I thought of strawberry rhubarb pie. I had never even tasted it, let alone made it, so I let my fingers do the walking through Google…as soon as I saw SmittenKitchen I knew I was home (I’m a huge fan & have mastered the chocolate peanut butter cake)!

    I love my own tried & true butter crust recipe, but decided to give this one a whirl…

    OMG…this is the best pie I have ever made and this crust recipe is now my default (although I found I needed to add about 1/4 cup more water than called for to glue it all together).

    Thank you, Deb! Your recipes make me famous!

  234. Adrienne

    Why the switch from the lattice top to the regular top for the improved version? Does it have anything to do with the liquid? Thanks for the fabulous recipe.

  235. Geekgirl

    Here in the Pacific Northwest, the first local strawberries of the year are much anticipated, and I was doubly rewarded when I was at the farmer’s market yesterday and found a vendor selling the “Hood” variety (one of the best tasting). With that and fresh rhubarb from the same vendor, I was all ready to make this pie! It was delicious! I loved that it wasn’t as sweet as other recipes I’ve made. I was disappointed at first that it didn’t set up well, even though I made it according to the recipe, but having a second slice today (24 hours later), it was nicely set. So maybe the key is more patience, but who can wait 24 hours to eat a strawberry-rhubarb pie? It’s good no matter the consistency. I went with my default pastry recipe, Flaky Pie Dough from Leslie Mackie in Baking with Julia, which I love, but I will try your all-butter recipe next time for comparison.

  236. Alex

    Have you tried freezing the cut Rhubarb overnight then thawing it out and draining off the excess water? I think that reducing the water content all together might help with the sogginess problem better than trying to thicken the liquid up.

  237. Anna Jean

    I just made this today for a Redwall themed picnic because it seemed like something a churchmouse would make (… if you’ve never read the books, never mind) and it was the best thing I’ve ever made. I repeat: the. best. thing. I’ve. ever. made. And that’s saying something because I’ve made your epic chocolate torte too. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!!

  238. Peggi

    Made this today and it was delish! Thank you for sharing your pie rolling tips, my crust rolled out amazingly well considering it’s only the second time I attempted homemade. I loved the taste and crispy texture of the crust and you nailed it with the tapioca addition … great consistency!

  239. Made this pie last night and note to self..make sure you have a pastry hand held blender before making the crust. The ole two-knife hack and potato masher did not do the trick. Still quite good! The fruit part is amazing. The crust…not so flaky.
    Thanks for the recipe !

  240. Andrea

    My sister is on a gluten-free kick, so we attempted this with rice flour. It made a good buttery almost cookie-like crust, small crumb, crisp and light (recipe used: But, it worked wonders on firming up the pie. I used a 1/4 cup, forgot it initially, removed half of the filling from the pan, sprinkled some in, mixed the rest into the remaining filling, threw it in and topped it with the second crust. No puddle, pie didn’t even drip. I might even try a little less next time.

  241. Alicia

    Made this pie yesterday for a cookout. People said it was the best pie they had ever had. The all butter crust is absolutely fantastic!

  242. Michael

    Made this pie over the weekend. The filling was great, the dough was GREAT. BUT! I couldn’t find quick-cooking Tapioca anywhere, went to multiple super markets and food shops. Nothing. All I found was Tapioca flour, which I used as a substitute, a 1/4 cup worth. It was still runny though, the juices did not set. Can Tapioca flour work with a higher quantity? Or is it quick-cooking or bust??


  243. deb

    I never bought any (I don’t think, sheesh, I really need to clean out my pantry) but it looks like others in these comments have and used it with various tips/successes (see Comment #142 esp.)

  244. Shawn

    Thank you! We love strawberry rhubarb pie, but I am always frustrated by the soupiness. The tapioca was perfect. I used a little bit more fruit than your recipe called for (I didn’t want leftovers of rhubarb) but the same amount of sugar. It would have been a little too tart if I hadn’t served it with vanilla ice cream. This will be my go-to recipe now. I won’t change a thing.

  245. Sarah

    This recipe is amazing! I actually made mini pies (one pie recipe made 10-12 mini pies) and they were the hit of my sister’s bridal shower. My grandmother even said the recipe was as good as her’s; I told her it was better ;)

  246. Picked 20 pounds of strawberries and just HAD to try this! I was missing instant tapioca and used tapioca flour instead. I didn’t know how much to use, so I put in a heaping tablespoon. Didn’t seem to be enough to really jell the filling. I had no idea what puddly meant:). But it tasted delicious. For now I’m licking my plate, but darn, I guess I have to make another one!

  247. Ruth

    I have now made this a few times with regular tapioca with great results. I have also made it with quick-cooking tapioca in past years (so I know what it should be like), but I moved this Spring and quick-cooking tapioca is not available to me now. It’s a bit of a palava, but if it is helpful for you, here’s what I do:
    Cut the fruit the night before, mix the sugar and salt and lemon juice with it, and put it in a colander over a bowl in the fridge. In the morning, soak 3/8 c of tapioca (instead of the 1/4 c specified in the recipe) in the juices for 1-2 hrs. Then gently simmer for about 30 minutes, until the tapioca has absorbed all the liquid. It will look a little (sorry) frog-spawn-ish with the centres still pasty. When it is cool enough to handle, mix it through the fruit with the other ingredients using your fingers to make sure there are not big clumps and carry on as per the recipe.

  248. linda

    Thank you for the recipe idea. I just had a slice and though I am not a pie of any kind lover, really enjoyed it. Why did I make pies well I have boys in the house who love pie of all kinds. We even did a taste test as two pies I made with your recipe and one with a flour thickener recipe. I used my own five roses deluxe crust for all four. Your recipe has the pie set only a few hours after it was pulled from the oven unlike the other that is soupy.
    I have stocked up on tapioca and will wait for the next batch of rhubarb to be ready, I ended up freezing bags of strawberries (season will end t his week) and look forward to having more pies to freeze for winter.

  249. Leah R.

    I’ve made this twice now. The first time I used the recommended amount of tapioca and really didn’t like it; there were visible balls of tapioca and it interfered with the texture. The second time I used 3 T and it was perfect, less soupy than any strawberry rhubarb pie I’ve ever made. I’ve made this pie crust multiple times now and it is perfectly easy absolutely divine. This will be the only pie crust recipe I use from now on.

  250. Nang

    Maybe a weird question: is the pie slice in the first picture made with the all butter crust? I’m looking for a crust that is not too crumbly and has some elasticity to it, if that makes sense (is that “flaky”?)

    Strawberry-rhubarb is my favorite pie so will definitely try this!

  251. deb

    Nang — Yes, I use the recipe I suggest that others do. :) However, that slice was cold when I took the photo so maybe doesn’t look as light and flaky as it is when it’s warmed or fresh.

  252. Ze X.

    My friend’s wife just showed me how to make an awesome all butter pie crust about a month ago and since then, I’ve been making multiple pies a week–don’t worry, I’m only eating a small slice from each! My favorite had been my pluot pies since it was in season in California a few weeks ago.

    However, today, I used your recipe to make my 14th pie this month and my very first strawberry rhubarb and… dear me–this pie knocks everything else out of the water! I used non-instant small tapioca pearls and though it was a bit white even after cooling it for over an hour, no one could tell!

    Thank you so much for sharing :)

  253. Cindy Cloutier

    Found this recipe just in time, to make my husband a birthday pie yesterday (strawberry-rhubarb being his favorite, with no close second). I take pride in my pie baking, and have a crust recipe I’ve used for more than a decade… and old Tried-and-True just got retired! This turned out *perfectly*… the best pie I’ve made I think, ever. The crust could not be improved upon… flaky, buttery, tender, and just lovely. The sweet-tart ratio is dead on for us. And the tapioca? That’s the ticket; once cooled (not that we were able to wait that long to cut just a sliver :) ), the juices had thickened to an ideal consistency, neither runny nor to thick.

    The husband barely got to touch it yesterday, and now there it is, in all its sweet-tart, golden, flaky goodness, nothing between us but a one-room walk. Hmmm… carry on pie-lovers; I have something to tend to. :)

  254. Belle

    This is going to sound a little hipster but if you have any extra liquid during the cooking process I think adding chia seeds should save the day! They soak up 3 times the liquid of their size, you can’t really taste them and it is instant as well.

    Hope that helps!

  255. I’m a pretty experienced pie maker but I have to say this didn’t turn out so well for me. I didn’t have a problem with runnyness, only mixing the dry ingredients with the fruit and loading it into the cold crust at the last minute. My question is why the cookie sheet? In case of running juices? I feel this caused the bottom crust to be doughy. Better to have it directly on the oven rack. Also, it definitely needs more sugar. One more thing, with all the butter in the crust plus the two tablespoons dotted on the fruit, I had melted butter coming out the slits when it was done. Too much of a good thing? It’s a lovely crust but I wonder if a shortening or lard/butter crust would have been better. I used the entirety of my garden rhubarb to make this once a year pie. Wish it had been better.

    1. deb

      sally — Sorry it was not to your liking. The baking sheet is to catch drips. You can also put it a rack below. It’s a very juicy pie and I’ve almost always been glad I had it there.

  256. Christine

    I made this yesterday with the first rhubarb of the season. My husband declared it one of the best pies I’ve made and I’m looking forward to it for breakfast. I wonder though: have you tweaked the amount of tapioca included? The 1/4 cup made the filling almost too stiff.

  257. John T

    We followed this recipe exactly (store bought crust, though) and it worked perfectly and tasted amazing! Not too sweet, great tartness, will definitely be looking at more of these recipes! Cheers from Oakland, CA.

  258. Bri

    I just have to tell you thank you! This is only the 2nd pie I’ve ever made. The 1st one I made many many years ago, the crust was awful and I’ve avoided them ever since. Strawberry rhubarb is my favorite and this turned out even better than my grandma’s. Absolute perfection! Buttery flakey delicious crust. I will never make a crisco crust again.

  259. BrittanyW

    Hi Deb-I need to make this in one of those aluminum foil pie pans. Will this change the baking time? Also will the baking time or temp change if I bake two at once?

  260. Paula

    I went to the farmers market yesterday and got some rhubarb so I could attempt making a strawberry rhubarb pie.Luckily,there were some beautiful organic strawberries at the supermarket so I was ready to roll,except for a recipe.So onto the internet and I came across your recipe.Tonight,I followed the recipe without changing a thing.This is without a doubt one of the best strawberry rhubarb pies I have had.Just the right combination of sweet and sour.Thank-you so much!! I will pass it on.

  261. Ok thanks I’ll try that. Also wondering if I made the filling a few hours ahead of time, and let it sit in the fridge, will some of the water come out so i can drain it, or will it become mushy?

    1. deb

      I tend not to drain it because the cornstarch would be in the run-off and that will help thicken it. But if it feels excessive, you can leave some behind.

  262. Rachel

    I have made this pie three times in the last week (gotta make the rhubarb while it’s around!), and I forgot to put the 2 tablespoons of butter in it each and every time. The last two times, I even cut it into little cubes and put it RIGHT BESIDE MY PIE so that I wouldn’t forget, and both times saw it sitting there, just as I finished crimping my edges. The third is in the oven now and will probably turn out as lovely and wonderful as the preceding two did, even without the butter, but it led me to wonder what does that last bit of added butter to, besides adding butter, which always makes everything better? I mean, is there something added that improves the texture, or is it flavor only? Thanks for this recipe, it’s delicious, as is absolutely everything I’ve ever made of yours (and that’s a lot, believe me!). My favorite strawberry rhubarb pie recipe ever.

  263. Devon

    I just made this pie and it turned out absolutely delicious! PERFECTLY sweet and just the right amount of tartness. The tapioca gives it the best consistency, not runny or liquidy, just gooey goodness. I will be making this pie every summer! Thanks so much!

  264. Kristina

    This is my go-to spring pie! I was just reviewing the recipe for our dinner party tonight and finally went to check your savory rhubarb and couscous recipe. I’m an all things local gal who lives in Pennsylvania. We won’t have zucchini until after asparagus disappears. Any suggestions for a zucchini substitution that is available now? Thanks so much.

  265. Kristina

    In this recipe, you have a link to your couscous with zucchini, asparagus, rhubarb and walnuts. My CSA won’t have zucchini for a little while.

  266. deb

    Right — that makes more sense. I agree, zucchini doesn’t have overlap much with rhubarb and asparagus (although I saw all three in the Union Square Greenmarket this morning, it was rare). You could use more asparagus. You could add some sugar snaps, if they’ve come in (they’re here now). Hope that helps.

  267. ClaudiaRae

    I really love your entire blog, but this recipe in particular: the filling is never runny, and the perfect balance of sweet and tart. I’ve made this pie about 5 times so far this spring, and it is a huge hit with family and coworkers every time. Thanks so much!!

  268. Alana

    Just made this today and it was a hit!! I went searching and searching through tons of recipes to find the best strawberry rhubarb pie with the best thickening agent. I was a little skeptical about the tapioca texture but I read that leaving the filling mixture out for 10-15 minutes before putting it into the crust helps so I decided to try that. Turns out you can’t even tell the tapioca was there in the first place and the filling was perfect, not too dry but not too “sloshy”. The crust was also divine. Layers and layers of flakey buttery-ness! I completely agree that making the dough by hand makes the biggest difference. It is now my go-to pie crust recipe. The only issue was that I cooked it an extra 15 minutes and the crust barely browned. Not sure what I messed up there but I’m sure it was something. Cant wait to make this again, and I will definitely have to double the recipe as this was gone in only a few hours!

  269. kcsnedah

    I have this in the oven right now and I’m so excited! Strawberry rhubarb is my dad’s favorite, so I had to find a recipe for father’s day. Trusting your pie crust (never made one from scratch) and your recipe here! Please Deb, don’t fail me now!!

  270. Sasha

    I am an experienced pie-maker and this is one of the best pies I have ever made. The sweet-tart ratio is perfect, and the tapioca is so much better than corn starch, especially if you can manage to let the pie sit a little bit before eating.

    I wanted to mention exactly what I did for the gluten-free bakers out there: I use the gluten-free flour blend Cup4CUp (it’s expensive but so much better than King Arthur, I’m sorry to say) and also the Cup4Cup pie recipe — except that I used about 1/3 c less flour, which makes a wetter, easier-to-roll out crust. I used Deb’s filling plus a crumb topping since the cup4cup crust just isn’t quite as good as a regular. The crumb topping was 3/4 cup of cup4cup flour, 3/4 cup oats, 2/3 cup sugar, one large pinch of salt, 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks and 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, which add warmth and nuttiness without a strong coconut-y flavor. One of the best pies ever! Thank you, Deb!

  271. Jen (Toronto)

    My first pie ever, and it was a huge hit! I used (primarily green) rhubarb from my in-laws’ garden and tapioca starch (a flour-y texture) as I couldn’t find “quick cook”. To mitigate the too-much-liquid factor, I made the filling two days ahead, kept it covered tightly in the fridge, then used a slotted spoon to fill the pie on baking day. Lots of liquid left behind. The pie turned out perfectly. My guests were so impressed. “Pie from scratch” is officially unintimidating. Thank you Deb!

  272. Liz

    Husband and I made this in honor of the Fourth this weekend (with your vodkarific pie crust, too!) and it was just scrumptious. Of course it was amazing to get local strawberries and rhubarb to put in!

    I went for the higher sugar amount since we like things a little sweeter and I thought the sweet-tart balance was spot on. Perhaps I would, crazily, add even more tapioca? This was still slightly on the ooey gooey side, not that that’s really anything to get too upset about with a fresh summertime pie. Thanks for the great recipe!

  273. Niki

    Tonight is now the second time I’ve made this pie! Both times were super delightful, but this time the man requested a crumb topping. So I subbed the second crust for Magnolia Bakery’s crumb topping. Holy heavenly! Thanks for the tapioca research! A runny, oozy mess no longer!

  274. Laura

    I have to tell you, I used your recipe for the Strawberry Rhubarb pie and did increase the sugar slightly but also added the zest of half a lemon. This is delicious and a keeper around here! I have three made and in the freezer to go to a campout, and am making one fresh tomorrow for a friend’s birthday because she loved it so much! I am getting ready to use your Peach Pie recipe now! Thanks

  275. Vanessa

    I just made the pie and it was really good. I think mine might have been even more tart than intended because I had a little more rhubarb than the recipe calls for. My parents loved it as-is but next time I might increase the sugar just a bit as my fiance and I found it to be a little too tart. But oh, the combination of rhubarb and strawberries is an amazing one!

  276. Anca

    This pie was absolutely amazing! Thank you! Can’t wait to get my hands on some rhubarb again.. In the mean time, I’m looking for a blueberry pie recipe. Don’t suppose you have one hidden somewhere?

  277. MelissaBKB

    Made this today (maybe two months early in terms of seasonality? :) and it was awesome!!! My husband said it was the best strawberry-rhubarb pie he’d ever had. I forgot the lemon juice but didn’t miss it. My only issue was that the crust stayed pretty pale. Next time I’ll spend 25-30 minutes at 400 before turning it down.

  278. Codi

    I made the pie last night and it was stunning. I made it with a lattice top, which I find to be both easier and prettier than a conventional pie top. I used the tapioca pearls, which I’ve been trying to get rid of since making another America’s Test Kitchen recipe a year or so ago. When the pie was cut there was pooling of juices, but it’s a fruit pie- what do we expect? THe crust held together well and kept everything contained. The pie was great- absolutely beautiful- but the crust just stole my heart. I’m going over now to comment and pledge undying love to the crust comment section.

  279. melissa

    Hi Deb
    I am just an avid follower and have made a ton of your recipes and LOVE them!!! I also have your cookbook and followed your pie crust recipe. It was so easy to work with. I am making your strawberry rhubarb pie now and I am 40 minutes in to baking it while at the 350 degree. I am still waiting for it to bubble. Suggestions for next time? PS I have already done the 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

  280. deb

    Hi Melissa — Thank you! And I know this is after the fact, but I say bake it a little longer. I like to hear the bubbling; it’s a sure sign that the fruit is nicely cooked. How did it go?

  281. Melissa

    It was AMAZING!!! I have never even had rhubarb before but it was just the right balance of sweet and tart. Will make it again. I was afraid of burning the crust but it came out perfect!!!
    Thank you so much!!

  282. Elizabeth

    I made this tonight and I was honestly blown away by how well it set and how absolutely delicious it was! I made it with your all butter pie crust and that alone was to die for. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible recipe!

  283. Katie

    Wow. Just wow. This was the best pie I have ever made. The crust was easy to work with and turned out beautifully!

  284. Mary

    Strawberry rhubarb pie is my dad’s absolute favorite dessert so I just made this for his birthday with the all butter crust. He and my mom LOVED it (this is high praise as my mom is an excellent pie baker). I used Bob’s Red Mill small tapioca pearls and the pie set up perfectly. Everyone actually liked the added texture. The crust also turned out beautifully. Personally, I would have liked a little more tartness of the rhubarb to come out, perhaps because I was using sweet, freshly picked Oregon strawberries. I think I will use a little more rhubarb and perhaps add some lemon zest along with the juice or else reduce the sugar a smidge. But definitely something I will do again. Love your site photos and writing. Many thanks!

  285. Bruce

    This is a great recipe good pie making has alwyas been a bit of a mystery around here until now! I kept the fruit volume constant but used 3/4 cup less rhubarb as I didn’t have enough at hand, I like the slightly dominant strawberry flavor that resulted. One thought, perhaps the use of tapioca flour in the right proportion as a substitute for the quick cooking tapioca would thicken the filling without forming the little tapioca gels which were detected first thing by my “tasters”. With your flaky crust this was an excellent pie, will try this again with other berries.

  286. Subtle Llama

    Is that a packed 1/4C light brown sugar? Or spooned in? Made this pie yesterday, 11 June. In Atlanta I needed 1/2C + 1.5tbs water to bring the pie crust dough together. This was my first try making a pie. Results are delicious, but I suspect will be better today. The all butter pie crust tastes like the best buttery layer of the biscuit. The filling is tart and closer to the taste of the fresh ingredients than the strawberry rhubarb preserves I made. Great pie recipe. The only thing I might accompany it with is homemade vanilla ice cream.
    It fits perfectly in my cake display!

  287. Niki

    Just wanted to say “Thank you!!” I followed your recipe to make my dad a strawberry rhubarb pie for Father’s Day. He loved it!! (so did my mom and mother-in-law, neither of whom like strawberry rhubarb pie) Thanks again!! Excellent recipe!!

    1. deb

      Dana — I’ve never used them as a thickener so I cannot say. You could try using cornstarch, though, an equally popular pie thickener. You’ll want a few tablespoons.

  288. Jenny

    I have made this pie twice in the last 2 weeks and have to agree, it doesn’t last long! :) The tapioca tip is the best, thank you. I used your pie crust recipe for the first time last November for two pumpkin and one pecan pie. Rave reviews from the family! It will be my go to pie crust recipe from now on.

  289. Kitchen Katy

    Check out the latest Cooks Illustrated method for rhubarb strawberry pie! They tasked themselves with making a pie that did not ooze out when cut. The technique was a little fiddly, but, I WAS rushing the day I made it, so that probably contributed to me noticing the time. They pre-treated the rhubarb to draw out the liquid before baking. They used less thickener & more fruit -> better flavour. The end result was perfect. I haven’t tried your recipe, Deb, but thought you might be interested in the technique.

  290. Eleanor

    This pie is AMAZING. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful recipes!
    I’m curious, do you think I could make the filling, add some lemon juice, bring it to a boil, then can it for future use, like when the winter gloom starts getting to me and I want to pretend it’s summer again?

  291. Nice fluting on your edges. We’re higlighting your pie on missmarys with a guest post. My mother’s pie recipe was made with vinegar. I’ll be giving this a shot. The pie looks simply amazing.

  292. Not sure you’ll get this in time, but I was thinking about making this for an Easter brunch this weekend and they keep pushing the damn time earlier. This means that I either need to wake up at the crack of dawn so this sucker has time to cool, or I can make it the night before and leave it out at room temp so it’s no big deal to take it to the 10:30am meal. Any thoughts/opinions?!

    1. deb

      Allyn — Sorry I couldn’t respond sooner, with pie, I always vote for baking it in advance. Keeps just fine at room temperature or the fridge, flavors set up nicely overnight.

  293. NoviceAZ

    A long time lurker coming out of hiding to say this pie turned out beautifully. Strawberry rhubarb is my grandma’s favorite. She is 85 and has been having some health issues, and this was such a pick me up for her. I used tapioca flour, only 2Tbsp after my attempt to modify the recipe went off the rails. I tried macerating the fruit and then cook a 1/4 cup of the tapioca into the juice, which turned into a consistency similar to gak,for anyone who grew up in the 90 or had kids then. That went in the trash, and I scaled the tapioca back to 2 Tbsp, and just mixed it into the fruit without cooking it first. I also didn’t butter the filling.

    The pie was picture-perfect after cooling completely, and delicious. I pictured Deb laughing at all of us who try to modify her lovely instructions with questionable results… it’s not so easy, is it? Great recipe, this one is a keeper for sure.

  294. Ginna

    I’ve found that letting the tapioca, rhubarb and/or strawberries sit for approximately 15 minutes before putting it into the pie crust gives the tapioca time to melt and start doing it’s job. No more runny, soggy pies.

  295. Anthony

    WOW!!! My mom brought me about 4 pounds of rhubarb from her garden a few weeks ago and I threw it in the freezer. Used about 1/3 of it (and 2 quarts of fresh, local strawberries) to make this pie last night and it was simply amazing! Served it at a small dinner party at my lake house and it was an absolute, hands down hit!

    In preparing it, I did let the fruit mixture sit for about 20 mins to sweat a bit before putting it in the oven. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly (including pastry).


  296. Marbarre

    Just made this yesterday and was skeptical about the tapioca. As another commenter suggested, I was a fan of the Clear Jel product from King Arthur, but it wasn’t cocsistent and sometimes, despite explicitly following the directions, it was too much “gel”. This process worked like a charm…even after cutting and sittIng over night, it is still firm. Crust is my Holy Grail of crusts! The technique is the key. Follow it and you can’t fail.

  297. Kelley

    I made this pie, and first of all the crust is out of this world! Love the all butter crust. I par baked the bottom crust, which helped it not become mushy and enabled the pie to retain its shape. I also got fancy and used the scraps to cut out little hearts for he pie. However, my filling (although delicious!) was very soupy! I used 4 tablespoons of tapioca starch instead of cornstarch / tapioca pearls but it didn’t set as I was anticipating. I served it with vanilla ice cream which was awesome, but would appreciate any tips!

  298. marbrill

    Awesome recipe – except 1.5 lbs seems to make way more than 3.5 cups…am I the only one? I guess i’ll need to make another pie!

  299. Maria

    I made both this version and the one with cornstarch to compare. Neither turned out sloshy, but the tapioca version held together the best of the two. I always chill my pies completely before slicing into them, which also tends to help. I didn’t put cinnamon in either of the fillings, but I did add crumb toppings to both, which included cinnamon. :) Love strawberry rhubarb pie! It’s a must when in season!!

  300. SusanC

    I wanted to let you know that I made this pie (and my usual strawberry rhubarb pie — it has a dusting of nutmeg, but is essentially the same as this recipe) earlier this week. Yes — TWO pies! I was running a little light on rhubarb, and couldn’t help but notice about a cup of frozen cranberries languishing in the freezer. So I chopped the cranberries and added them, and skipped the lemon juice. The pie is FABULOUS. Definitely not sweet, but very flavorful. I wonder what a cranberry-strawberry pie would taste like?

  301. Darcie

    I’m so glad I found this recipe to walk me through making my first pie. I’ve made a slab pie once years ago, but generally have had bad luck with pastry. That’s all changed thanks to your great dough recipe and tutorials! Rolling the dough was so easy! My pie looked professionally made and couldn’t have tasted better. I’ll be using your all butter pastry recipe from now on as I see more pies in my future. I followed the recipe exactly except I used 3/4 coconut sugar. The fruit was the perfect consistency and balance of sweet-tart and the crust was the flakiest and most delicious I’ve ever had (and I made it!). Thanks so much!

  302. caribouqueen

    I had more fresh rhubarb and strawberries than I could use at once so I froze a bunch. If I want to make your strawberry rhubarb pie recipe, what adjustments need to be made? I have used frozen fruit in other recipes in the past but pie seems slightly more treacherous. Does the thickening agent need to be increased? Thanks!

  303. Julia

    Made this last night! Thanks to your instructions it felt super easy. My notes (goofed on a couple of things but it still is delicious, and the best pie crust I’ve ever had/made): 1. I thought I had enough strawberry and rhubarb, but it turned out I was two cups short. Punted with blueberries for the gap and it worked! 2. Mounded too much in the center so the crust fell in a little – newbie pie maker mistake?! 3. Made it with frozen fruit from earlier in the season – squeezed out some fluids but not all, and the pie interior was perfect! With family visiting the pie looks scheduled to be gone in less than 24 hours. Thanks again!