Sistie has been praying that I’d make her a strawberry rhubarb pie… which worked out pretty well for her since rhubarb is in season and today is National Day of Prayer.
When buying rhubarb, you should look for rhubarb that is glossy red, with firm crisp stalks. Go ahead and snap the base of the stalk… there should be a slight resistance. Some say the color doesn’t matter; it’s the snap that counts. I think the brighter the red, the prettier the pie.
One other thing: don’t eat the rhubarb leaves because they’re toxic. You won’t die, but you’ll get sick and that will certainly cut into your pie-eating pleasure.
To prep rhubarb, trim an inch off the bottom of the stalk. If the stalks are thick and have tough celery-like strings, peel them with a vegetable peeler.
If you’re making this pie, remember that rhubarb has a really high moisture content, so choose your thickener carefully. I like to use arrowroot because it is made from roots and doesn’t make the pie gummy or mask the fruit’s flavor like flour or cornstarch.
For this recipe, I used a package of high quality ready-to-bake piecrusts… I didn’t make my own piecrusts. I know this is anathema for some (I can hear it now: “Why put a perfectly good filling into cardboard crusts?”).
But sometimes you just have to take these shortcuts if you don’t have a lot of time, but still want to do something nice for someone. I’ll pray that you’ll understand. Not Sistie, though… she’s only praying for pie!
Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
prep: 15 minutes
cook: 40 to 50 minutes
1 package (15 oz.) ready-to-use refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
1¼ cups sugar
4 Tablespoons arrowroot (find it in the spice aisle of the grocery store)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups strawberries, quartered
5 cups rhubarb, cut into ¼” pieces
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 egg white, lightly beaten
let’s get to it…
Place a rimmed baking sheet on the second lowest oven rack. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Roll out one of the piecrusts into a 9-inch pie plate. Cut second piecrust into 10 (1/2-inch-wide) strips; set aside.
Mix the sugar, arrowroot and salt in a large bowl.
Add the rhubarb, strawberries and lemon zest; toss gently to coat.
Pour the filling into the lined pie pan.
Place five of the reserved piecrust strips over filling. Weave remaining strips by folding back alternate strips as you add each cross-strip. Fold bottom crust edge over ends of strips. Seal and crimp the edges.
Brush the top lightly with beaten egg white.
Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pie from front to back and reduce the temperature to 375°F. Continue baking 20 to 30 minutes longer or until the juices bubble up and the crust is a deep golden brown.
Cool for at least 2 hours before serving.