At the time of writing up this guide, my experience at making pie recipes using Rhubarb stalks was limited to one single solitary Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. It turns out, not surprisingly, that rhubarb pie recipes are quite common and frequently requested. The challenge with this, that I quickly discovered, is understanding how many rhubarb stalks I needed for a cup of chopped rhubarb. So I put together this handy guide on HOW TO MEASURE RHUBARB to help me (and YOU) out, when baking up that next rhubarb pie recipe!
HOW COULD OF I BEEN SO FOOLISH?! I recently spoke about Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and the vegetable Rhubarb, in particular, as I contemplated baking my very first strawberry rhubarb pie recipe. After having just DEVOURED a slice of a still warm, and very tart and juicy strawberry rhubarb pie dish, I am dumbfounded by my never having tried this most popular of dishes!
For the past week I have been telegraphing my intentions at ‘maybe’ baking a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, on Twitter and Facebook and all week I have been receiving feedback from friends that Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is one of the best pie recipes, like EVER!
What Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe Did I use?
I had been reviewing strawberry rhubarb pie recipes all week in anticipation of making one and couldn’t quite make up my mind between the few that I found likable. My daughter, normally my pie baking sidekick was absolutely zero help since she was vehemently against me undertaking this latest venture…
- Cooking strawberries is wrong. ‘Who in the world ‘cooks’ strawberries Dad’ she stammered. ‘That’s disgusting’
- Puting a vegetable (rhubarb) in pie is totally disgusting!
- You were supposed to make me an orange cream pie?!So you’re messing up anyways!
Daughters…. what do you do with them, right?
But I did come across a couple relatively simple recipes that caught my eye. Only issue I had with them is that each had something from the other that I wanted in MY OWN STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE.
I basically started on Oprah’s page (can’t go wrong with Oprah right?), found a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe by Cindy Crawford (yep, the former model…I know right?!), which initially caught my attention because she used cinnamon and nutmeg in her recipe. What turned me off was the use of flour in the mix, which if you know me, know I wasn’t very fond of that as a ‘juice thickening’ ingredient. About the same time, I came across a rhubarb pie recipe on Serious Eats that called for cornstarch in place of flour to thicken the juices. That I liked!
So with recipe(s) now in hand I drove forward…
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe Preparation
Please note that at the outset of this, I had serious reservations about rhubarb. I had NEVER tasted it, NEVER cooked it and certainly had NEVER, before today, eaten it, so everything about it made me a little uneasy. Hence, when the recipes called for ‘chopping’ the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces, I was like – NOPE! Too big! and instead I diced up my 3 cups or so of the tart veggie up pretty small.
From here on out, I followed the Serious Eats pie recipe, only borrowing the cinnamon/nutmeg idea from Cindy Crawford’s and chucking the rest.
My pie crust was made the night before (here is the recipe for that), so once the strawberry/rhubarb filling was ready to go, I dumped it into my 9-inch, glass pie dish, broke off a few pieces of butter, then covered it all up with my pie pastry topping. After giving it a washing of milk, sprinkling again with cinnamon and nutmeg and cutting slits in the top, I put into the oven for 45min (turning every 15min and placing foil around the edges to keep the crust from burning).
And, The Verdict?
In the days leading up to BAKE DAY, as I mentioned, I had spoken to a number of folks regarding strawberry rhubarb pie, and 9 out of 10 folks stated that it was indeed their favorite pie dish. The anticipation was KILLING ME, after I had taken the pie out of the oven and let it sit at rest for 30-40min.
First off, it was juicy! I had drained the excess juice from the strawberry/rhubarb/sugar mixture before placing in the pie dish, but still, despite the 5 tablespoons of corn starch, the juice was still fairly thin. Granted it may thicken up tomorrow, since pies typically are fairly juicy right out of the oven.
The first thing I looked for when I cut into the pie, was the rhubarb. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it was the fear of seeing vegetables mixed in with my fruit pie, who knows. But I WAS looking for it. Surprisingly, the rhubarb had cooked into the strawberry filling pretty good, so I could barely see it.
From the slice of pie, now on my plate, I scooped up a mouthful and shoveled it in.
The crust was flaky and slightly crisped, but still soft and flavorful. The filling had a sharp, sweetened strawberry taste initially, which shortly turned into a slight tart after taste. Tart like a sweet tart. I had never had a pie dish quite like it, with both sweet and sour exploding throughout my mouth. It was different, but surprisingly good, and I found myself scarfing down the entire piece in no time at all. The tartness lingered, even after finishing, a testament to how tart rhubarb really is.
All in all, the strawberry rhubarb pie was a resounding success, and definitely a recipe I’m sure I’ll be re-visiting in the very near future.