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Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is treated like a fruit and is traditionally paired with strawberries, which complement its tart, fruity flavor. Rhubarb comes in two types. Field rhubarb, most often available in late spring, is cherry-red and has a more pronounced flavor than its hothouse kin. Hothouse rhubarb is bright pink and is usually in the market year-round. To avoid a stringy filling, slice the rhubarb no wider than 1/2 inch thick. If the outside of the stalks are stringy, remove the strings with a vegetable peeler. Rhubarb leaves are mildly toxic and should always be discarded.

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolled-out rounds of basic pie dough (see
      related recipe at left)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs. quick-cooking tapioca
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
      lengthwise
  • 3 cups rhubarb, trimmed and sliced 1⁄2 inch
      thick (4 or 5 stalks)
  • 1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold and ease the round into the pan, without stretching it, and pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Using kitchen scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving 3/4 inch of overhang and reserving any dough scraps. Set the dough-lined pan aside, along with the second dough round, in a cool place until ready to use.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, tapioca and salt. Place the strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl, sprinkle with the sugar mixture and toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough-lined pan. Dot with the butter.

Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully position it over half of the filled pie. Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang, then fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal. Gather all of the dough scraps and roll out about 1/8 inch thick. Using a very small cookie cutter, cut out scalloped circles or other shapes of dough. Brush the edge of the crust and the undersides of the dough shapes with cold water and overlap the shapes around the edge of the pie. Using a small, sharp knife, cut 5 or 6 holes or slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking.

Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.

Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set. Serve at room temperature or rewarm in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes just before serving.
Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003).