Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Living the Pie-Life
I believe my family needs to enter a 12 Step program. For the last two months we have been obsessed (Obsessed I tell you!) with strawberry-rhubarb pie. I’m not sure if our addiction has hit rock bottom yet… but the last time we finished a pie I left the kitchen for a minute, and when I came back I caught one of my boys licking the pie remnants from the pie plate—desperate for one last taste. He tried to deny it, but the tell-tale glob of strawberry goodness was still clinging to his face. We’re in pretty deep. (There may even be some hoarding going on…but you didn’t hear that from me.)

We generally don’t eat pie at all. Thanksgiving is the time when we remember that we like it, and indulge. This is one of those sad stories you hear about. It starts with a dime-jar of gateway compote from a friend, and before you know it you’re huddled around the oven impatiently waiting for the crust to brown and the filling to bubble as the timer slowly winds down.

I might understand it better if it were apple or pecan or some other normal pie. But there is something about strawberries and rhubarb that have cast us into our own whacked-out, flaky version of the Hunger Games.

There is no better marriage of ingredients in the culinary world than strawberries and rhubarb. Like Forrest and Jenny, they go together like peas and carrots. I have tried the two in pies, crisps, turnovers and strudels. All are fantastic.

Rhubarb season is in full swing and strawberry season is taking off. Now is the perfect time to start your own obsession…and may the odds be forever in your favor!

Perfect Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Smitten Kitchen
I would like to say that I adapted this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe, but I couldn’t. The pie is perfect, and we don’t mess with perfection, do we?

From Deb Perelman:
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 on her blog) 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 two ready-made Christine’s Upper Crust shells
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 400º F. 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 350º F and bake until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly (about 25 to 30 minutes).

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.

Photo: Smitten Kitchen

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