Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

What’s your favorite pie? Mine is strawberry rhubarb, without a question. When it’s the season (mid spring here), and both strawberries and rhubarb are available in the market, it’s the one pie that we must make.

Do you cook with rhubarb? It looks like pinkish red celery, or the stems of really fat swiss chard. In the store you’ll only find the stems, as the green leaves are poisonous. The stems however, are tart and delicious, especially when cooked into a pie or cobbler. I know, it’s weird. Rhubarb is a vegetable that behaves like a fruit.

Rhubarb grows wild in many parts of the U.S. (not here in Sacramento unfortunately). My father remembers when he was a kid in Minnesota, picking it from the back yard and dipping the raw stems in sugar to eat, like nature’s version of a jolly rancher candy. Rhubarb loves to be paired with strawberries, in a pie, they’re BFFs. The tartness of the rhubarb just intensifies the flavor of the strawberries.

Updated from the archives. First posted 2005.

several rhubarb stems

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour

Quick cooking tapioca works well as a thickener for pies, especially strawberry rhubarb. Though if the pie is still warm when you cut it, it will be a little runny. If you don't have access to quick tapioca, you can use cornstarch as a substitute, same amount.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups rhubarb stalks cut into 1/2 inch pieces (Trim away and discard the leaves which are poisonous; trim ends.)
  • 2 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar (depending on how tart/sweet you like your pie)
  • 4 tablespoons of quick cooking ("minute") tapioca
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of orange zest
  • 1 double crust pie dough recipe* for a 9 inch pie (or your favorite pie crust recipe)

(If making a 10 inch pie, or just want more filling, use 4 cups of rhubarb, 2 1/2 cups strawberries, and up to 1 1/4 cup of sugar)

*Here's my favorite pie dough recipe. In a large bowl whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, a teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons of sugar. To the flour mixture add 10 Tbsp of butter that has been cut into cubes. Use your hands to squish the flour and butter together until you have what resembles a coarse meal with some pea-sized bits of butter. To this mixture add 1/2 cup sour cream. Use a fork to incorporate. Then form a large ball of dough with the mixture. Cut into two even pieces. Form each piece into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, gently combine the rhubarb and the strawberries with the sugar, tapioca, salt, and orange zest. Let sit for 10 minutes.

mix strawberries, rhubarb, orange zest, sugar, tapioca in a bowl place strawberry rhubarb filling in prepared pie crust

2 Roll out your pastry dough and line the bottom of a pie dish with it. Trim to 1/2 inch from the edge. Place the filling into a pastry lined pie dish. Roll out the second pastry dough and place over the pie. Trim the edges to an inch from the edge of the pie dish. Tuck the top crust edges over the bottom crust edges and use your fingers or a fork to crimp the top and bottom edges together. (If you want, for a nice glaze on your pie, use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of egg white or cream over the top of the pie.) Cut slits in the top for the steam to escape.

cut slits into top pie crust for venting bake until golden brown and filling is bubbly

3 Place pie on the middle rack of a 400°F oven, with a baking sheet on a lower rack to catch any juices that might spill over. Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F, then reduce heat to 350°F, and bake an additional 40-50 minutes longer (50 to 60 minutes longer if doing a 10-inch pie). The pie is done when the crust is nicely browned and the filling (that you can see through the venting holes) thick and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.

Serve warm or cold. If you do cool to room temperature, the juices will have more time to thicken.

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Links:

The Rhubarb Compendium - an excellent information site all about rhubarb.

Perfect Pie Crust - recipes for all-butter and a mix of butter and shortening pie crusts

No Fail, Flakey Pie Crust - my easiest pie crust recipe, using sour cream instead of water

A piece of strawberry rhubarb pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

64 Comments

  1. Scott

    The rhubarb that I’ve had…over 20 years ago, was tart, but also really sweet. A very nice combination. I liked the flavor, but not the texture…my grandparents would serve it raw and it reminded me of celery, which I don’t like to eat raw…that’s what I remember, tasty, sweet/tart and stringy. Cooked, i’m sure the texture softens up.

  2. shuna

    Mmmmmm Rhubarb! Rhubarb is tart and tattoos are painful but both are worth it.
    I like that depending on how I want rhubarb to come out I can add or subtract sugar and still have a sparkly result. And it is an added bonus that it is red-pink and makes everything pretty.

  3. Anonymous

    Hi Elise, I’m a midwesterner with a long love affair with rhubarb. As kids we picked it for mom to cook with, then wore the huge leaves as hats! Raw, rhubarb has the tartness that can be compared to Warheads. When cooked on top of the stove (with at tiny bit of water and sugar added), it becomes sauce. It’s consistency is, well, slimy but tastes great warm over ice cream. People here beg, borrow and yes, occasionally steal rhubarb when it is season.

  4. Anonymous

    What a great looking recipe! My mother-in-law has been bringing me armloads of rhubarb and I’ve been making jam, folding chopped, sugared rhubarb into my basic scones and even made some rhubarb smoothies for breakfast one morning.

    My mother, of Dutch-Mennonite heritage, makes a dish called veraniki (also a Russian dish). It is a very eggy noodle dough, cut into squares, filled with dry-curd cottage cheese and served with a white gravy. Sometimes, she’ll fill some of these with rhubarb-Yum! That sarory-sweet combination is great! She’ll just randomly throw them all together so you never know when you might find one on your plate!

  5. Carol

    What wonderful recipes for the pie crust, too!! My grandmother (southern IL – 1940s) always had rhubarb and strawberries growing in her huge garden. She made a strawberry and rhubard COBBLER that won the County Fair for a few years. I don’t know how she accomplished this with a wood burning stove – amazing!!
    I have some of her recipes but I wish I had this one! Could you or anyone help me out with a cobbler recipe, or at least point me to where I could find an old fashioned one?

  6. Sandy

    My mom used to make this pie every summer in multiples for the freezer. We never got to eat them fresh – only during the holidays. At least until the Christmas Mom took the first bite and realized she had forgotten the sugar! After that, we always got one pie right after it was baked to make sure that all was well. Thanks for reminding me of some of the best parts of my childhood.

  7. Katie

    I’ve never had strawberry rhubarb pie before (let alone made one), but I decided to try it out. What a hit! My friends loved it and so did I! A great recipe. Thanks!

  8. Alexander Geitenbeek

    Over the last 20 years or so I have enjoyed baking breads of various types Last year for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season I was challenged by a few friends to try something different by trying out pies for low sugar content for diabetics and those who just don’t want all that sugar, and I found that with rhubarb to sweeten it use 1/4 the sugar and 1 part raisins to 3 parts rhubarb, then use it to make any and all recipes for pies, cakes or side dish. It will be more than sweet enough for any one without that much sugar.

  9. Franz

    This recipe turned out wonderfully- my wife, who’d never even heard of rhubarb, loved it and demanded that I make another as soon as possible. I found that adding a little cinnamon enhances the flavor. Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  10. Mimu

    I love the pie so much! Thanks very much for sharing this recipe, it’s wonderful! I will probably try some other recipe with rhubarb in the future.

  11. SaraQ

    Wonderful recipe! I baked this pie for my fiance (it’s his favorite kind of pie). I was nervous since I had never baked one before and had no idea what to expect. He loved it and so did I. Thanks again.

  12. Danette J.

    I’ve loved rhubarb all my life, because my grandmother in South Dakota always had around a bowl of rhubarb sauce, a jar of jam, and everything else you can make with rhubarb. We used to put the sauce over our cold cereal, our ice cream, or even a slice of lightly-buttered bread. I found a similar strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe in a well-known cookbook and have made it for many church fellowships. It is always a huge success! The differences between the recipe above and the one I make is that my recipe has 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg mixed into the sugar before it is added to the fruit and I omitted the orange rind. I let the fruit-sugar-tapioca mixture sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes so the tapioca is softened as it draws moisture out of the fruit. When I use frozen rhubarb pieces, I add about 1 tablespoon more of the tapioca. After pouring the fruit mixture into the pie crust, dot the top of the fruit with tiny pieces of butter. (Butter helps the tapioca thicken the syrup that forms in the pie.) Also, after placing a top crust on the pie and sealing the edges well, lightly brush the top of the pie with an egg-white-and-water mixture, then sprinkle a teaspoon or so of granulated sugar over it. The crust will turn out golden, glossy, and slightly crisper and the extra sweetness makes the rhubarb even better.

    • Linda

      I grew up in South Dakota and we had rhubarb growing in our garden. Our favorite pie was strawberry rhubarb…and we made sauces and also a rhubarb custard pie that was delicious. My Grandmother and Mother made it pretty much the way yours did without the orange. Haven’t had one in years, but this is making my mouth water! Too heck with the diet, I’m going to the grocer and get some rhubarb…we do have it in California.
      Thanks for the memories :-)

  13. trix

    I made this recipe. Although good, another time, I would omit the orange peel as I thought it overwhelmed the flavor and detracted from the flavor of the strawberry and rhubarb. The orange peel gave it more of an orange sherbet flavor.

    I would also a few dots of butter before putting on the top crust.

    I don’t know if I’d try adding cinnamon as one suggested because that may also detract, although I did put in a grating of nutmeg.

  14. meg

    This was delicious but for those who are trying to substitute the tapioca, use more than 1 TB flour and 1 TB cornstarch, because this is what I tried and it still came out soupy.

  15. Jessie

    My mom made this pie for the family last summer and I loved it. So tonight I ventured to make my first ever pie. I do a lot of baking but never pies. It was fabulous! Thanks for the great recipe.

  16. Nancy Shannon

    What can I use instead of Tapioca?

    Corn starch, but you’ll need to check around other recipes online for the right amount. ~Elise

  17. Eve

    Is it best to only use fresh strawberries? Thanks.

    We use fresh strawberries, but that’s because they are in season here and available when rhubarb is in season, in the spring. You might try it with frozen, defrost and drain first. ~Elise

  18. Nathan

    This was my first time trying to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I followed this recipe, and it came out great. Thanks for the detailed directions. They were very helpful for a first-timer.

  19. Fay

    Fabulous pie, made it for the first time tonight. I didn’t have tapioca so used cornstarch instead. Two tablespoons is enough.

    The orange zest was a brilliant addition, so fresh and lively. Much much better than cinnamon could ever be in a pie like this.

  20. Megan

    Just put it in the oven. I have no idea how sweet my rhubarb is, so I stuck to 1 cup of sugar and plan to make it up w/vanilla ice cream!

  21. Carol

    I used this recipe to make my first-ever strawberry rhubarb pie yesterday, and it turned out fantastic. My husband raved about it all day. This was my first time on this site, by the way; I am impressed and plan to try many more of your recipes. Thanks for sharing, Elise!

  22. Kitty

    Oh, Heavenly Pie!! It’s Spring, 2009, and the rhubarb is ready. Well, it’s available in the stores: long, firm, ruby red stalks that make my mouth water, just thinking about strawberry rhubarb pie.

    My mother made this pie, but she didn’t know about using tapioca to thicken the sauce, so there was a very sugary layer on the bottom of her pie. It was wonderful, nevertheless.

    This year I will plant my very first rhubarb plant. I hope we’ll live here a while longer so that I can enjoy the fruits of my labors.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  23. Jen

    I just made this pie, and I followed the recipe exact – It’s amazing! Just enough tartness. I prefer the taste of this pie over the other ones I’ve tried from other recipes (from other sites). Most recipes normally leave the pie tasting like plain strawberry pie, and way too sweet. This was perfect. I let it cool for about 3 hours and that seemed perfect. Very little juice seemed to run out. Thanks for another great recipe.

  24. Shera from NJ

    I love this recipe soooo much! Its one of the best pies anywhere! I discovered that instead of tapioca, I mix in about two tbsp of powdered instant vanilla pudding. This way it gels up nice and you can use less sugar! I hope you give it a try! I am sure you will be pleased with a little hint of vanilla flavor! Thanks so much!

  25. Michelle

    Can I use frozen rhubarb and strawberies, or can I make the pie and freeze before baking?

    Yes you can use frozen fruit. ~Elise

  26. manfred mcconnell

    To go a bit more exotic on this gr8 recipe, modify the crust, as such:

    procure an extra crust (total of 3)

    gently press crushed macadamia nuts into center; leaving an outer ring on the crust, to press-in sweetened dehydrated cranberries (orange flavored is best). do this on a table or other flat surface.

    place second crust directly over the nut & cranberried crust

    gently press the two crusts together; starting from the center outwards (if crust gains a little diameter, that is desirable.

    place in bottom of pie dish, fill, & add top crust; bake as per usual

    PROST!

  27. S.Betton

    I made this pie tonight, the filling raised about two inches above the pie plate lip. After it cooled, it sank ro about one inch below the pie plate lip. I don’t know what happened. Any ideas?

    No idea. ~Elise

  28. meredith j

    Do I cook the tapioca before putting it in the pie…?

    No, the instant tapioca acts as a thickener as it absorbs liquid while cooking in the pie. You do not cook it first. ~Elise

  29. Guy Noir

    Nothing gets the taste of fear and humility out of your mouth like a slice of bebop-a-rebop rhubarb pie.

  30. Shorty

    I agree with another person who stated that the pie was watery. I used 2 T of cornstarch instead of tapioca, but I think I’ll use more cornstarch next time, like 6-8 T. What I also noticed before I put the pie ingredients in the crust was that it was already watery…don’t know if I would drain it or not before I pour it into the pie crust. Either way, the pie was delicious and I will keep this as my only strawberry rubarb pie!!

  31. patricia langer

    I am making this pie for a second time, it was so well received the first time. It is delicious and very easy.

  32. taliny

    My ratio is 2:1 Strawberries to Rhubarb, and my crust is made of rolled oats (gives the illusion that its healthier, although its probably worse.) I’ve made two already.. next one, trying your 3:1 ratio ;)

  33. Dave

    Question:
    It is a great filling recipe which we would like to also enjoy during the winter months. Can the filling be frozen ready for use any time?

    I honestly don’t know how freezing this filling will go. But I can tell you that we have worked a lot with frozen chopped rhubarb and it works great. I’m guessing that you can freeze chopped strawberries too. So, if you have the frozen fruit, you should be able to make this pie easily in the winter. ~Elise

  34. arlene longcoy

    This was absolutely DELICIOUS!! So simple to make!! Strawberry/Rhubarb pie is my favorite and you can be sure I’ll keep this receipe.Thank You

  35. Ruth Ellen

    Fourth or more times making this pie. All my family love it! Used frozen Strawberries not thawed, fresh Rhubard, 1:1 ratio, but close to 8c total of fruit this last time and 5 tbsp. tapioca. Boiled over a little on to the pie ring under the plate but this time not too runny. Could have had more sugar due to more fruit but still yummy! Thanks so much for such an easy to follow recipe.

  36. Julie

    Rhubarb is not usually the prettiest of pies, but yours looks fantastic.

    I’m so curious why your rhubarb strawberry cobbler recipe has half the amount of sugar compared to this pie? I was going to use one of them to adapt as a crisp and this has me baffled.

    I think because the strawberry rhubarb pie is more classic in terms of the sugar amounts, and with the cobbler we wanted a rather tart cobbler. In the head notes of the cobbler recipe I say that you can easily increase the sugar another 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. ~Elise

  37. Mary Marzuolo

    Everytime I bake rhubarb and strawberry pie,
    the bottom crust does not brown. Why?

    If you want the bottom crust to brown, I suggest putting a flat metal cookie sheet in the oven and preheating it with the oven. Roll out your pie into a metal pie tin and when you put the pie in the oven, place it directly on the hot cookie sheet. That should help. ~Elise

  38. Charlie Burlile

    Thank You For The Rhubarb Pie recipe. I like.
    Charlie B

  39. M. Mitchell

    I made this recipe for my family of very picky eaters who turned up their nose up at the very sound of rhubarb, but when they tried this pie they changed their tune very quickly. I’ve had request after request to make it again and again.

  40. Jesse Gardner

    My favorite pie in the whole wide world. When going to school in Florida, a local said she would bake me any pie I wanted: of course, I asked for strawberry rhubarb. She exclaimed: “rhubarbs a weed!”

  41. Jessica @FoodLuvBites

    This looks so amazing on so many levels. Like seriously, I’m drooling over here!

  42. Sandy S

    I so agree with Jessica above! I defy anyone to look at that piece of pie and tell me that it does not make their mouth water! You can have pie for breakfast, too…right?!

  43. Pat

    my most favorite pie ever!!!

    my mother always made stewed rhubarb, sweetened, but when it is combined with strawberries, it is special….

  44. Natalie @ Paper & Birch

    I’ve never actually had rhubarb before, but if they’re anything like a jolly rancher, count me in! This pie sounds incredible!

  45. Sarah Vanderplatten

    I grew up in Minnesota, still live in Minnesota, and remember many summer days sitting on the back steps of our farmhouse, with a cup with sugar in one hand and dipping my stalk of rhubarb in it with my other hand. I can still taste the combination of sweet, sweet sugar and sour, sour rhubarb. It was so good!

  46. Herb Klug

    Made the pie this morning (before the weather got hot) and it is fabulous! I can taste the strawberries, the rhubarb, and the orange – all in the same mouthful! I’m trying to fight weight gain, and now I know about this. It’s a losing battle, I tell you!

  47. Emily @ Life on Food

    I just made one of these over Memorial Day weekend. Always a winner for my family.

  48. Sally

    My great-uncle, Joseph Myatt, was a market gardener in England and was the first person to persuade people to eat rhubarb as a fruit in 1800s. It was only used for medicinal use prior to that. He also grew strawberries and sent a new variety to Queen Victoria who was delighted with them. I don’t think he ever put strawberries and rhubarb together.

  49. Susan Walter

    I made the pie this evening and it turned out great. I substituted fine semolina for the tapioca. Everybody loved it and the pie didn’t have too much juice.

  50. Marian Pearce

    I do a lot of baking but have never had rhubarb & strawberry pie until today. I followed your recipe exactly including the pastry and can honestly say it’s the best pie I’ve ever had. It is gorgeous. THANK YOU so much for this recipe I’ll definitely be making it again often. I used the tapioca and it worked a dream. I doubt it could have been improved in any way. THANK YOU
    Marian in the UK

  51. Julie

    I am so glad I tried this recipe… my whole family absolutely LOVED it. I made the crust yesterday and then made the pie today for Father’s day. It was my very first pie from scratch so I am really pleased it turned out. It was absolutely to die for!! Thank you SOO much for this recipe! The crust was a little hard to roll out but that’s probably because it was too cold. Made the filling with 4 cups of rhubarb, 2.5 cups of strawberries and put in 5 tbsp of tapioca to thicken it a bit more. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you SO much! XO

  52. Dasha

    Turned out great! Love the crust from scratch (the one with sour cream). By the way, I had quite a bit of dough left, which I kept in the refrigerator for a couple weeks and used up for quiche crust – it was still good!
    I wish I out more rhubarb and less strawberries, as it was a bit too sweet for me. I will cut down on sugar too next time. Brings back memories from childhood!

  53. Brendan

    I’ve been making this pure whenever I find rhubarb, since you first posted it. I’ve started to add blueberries and call it strawberry bluebarb pie (because it makes me feel clever). If you try it, and you should, use a whole top crust, not a lattice, cause blueberries get crispy around the edges if they are exposed.

    Anyway, thanks for the recipe, it has served me well!

  54. Rachele

    I’ve tried several recipes for strawberry rhubarb pie seeking a good balance and this recipe is it!! I didn’t have orange so I squeezed juice of half a lemon instead. I used a lattice crust. My husband’s favorite pie flavor is strawberry rhubarb and we both agreed this was the best pie I have ever turned out. Perfect sweet/tart balance! Perfect consistency with the tapioca.

  55. Teresa

    This year I made this rhubarb pie with our own rhubarb grown in Sacramento and strawberries grown at a little farm down the road. Delicious pie with just the right balance of sweet tart!

  56. Alex

    A hit! This was my first strawberry rhubarb pie, and it turned out great. I especially liked the crust recipe which was simple and turned our perfect. Thank you for posting this.

  57. Sarah

    I made this and used tapioca starch because that is what I had. I used 8 TBS and it turned out great! So delicious. It was the perfect balance of strawberries and rhubarb.

  58. Laurie

    I have never made a strawberry rhubarb pie before but wanted to make one for the gentlemen I am dating since it is his favorite. I found this recipe on the web and tried it out. He said it was great and his daughter went back for seconds!

  59. Jesse Gardner

    This is my favorite pie in the world! Great photo, Elise.

  60. Adrienne Z. Milligan

    Elise,

    Tonight I made this for the second time. I posted about it http://www.adriennezmilligan.com/2014/09/gluten-free-strawberry-rhubarb-pie.html.

    I do enjoy the tapioca over the cornstarch as sometimes the cornstarch does not mix up throughout the entire pie.

    We are 100% gluten-free and your filling works great. :)

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!
    ~Adrienne

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