Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Pie is better than cake. Fight me.

Pie is better than cake. Fight me.

I love fruit based desserts and pastry so pies are really the perfect dessert. For a summer pie there is no better pairing than strawberries and rhubarb. Every time I make a strawberry rhubarb pie my mind takes me to the late 1980’s with my grandma and grandpa on my great aunt Lissy’s farm in Illinois picking strawberries and rhubarb and my grandma explaining that rhubarb was poisonous but we were going to pick it and eat it. I was very confused.

I have tried untold numbers of pie crusts. Water, vodka, butter, shortening… I personally prefer a mix of butter and shortening and ice cold water. I also use my hands. I’ve never used a food processor. I also like my fruit pies more tart so typically reduce the sugar slightly or just don’t pack the brown sugar and you see that reflected in this recipe.


  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup (chilled) vegetable shortening (the colder the better)
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter (the colder the better)
  • 10 tablespoons-ish of ice cold water (pour water into measuring cup with ice to get it really cold.)
  • 1 ½ pounds of rhubarb about 3 ½ cups, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 16 ounces of strawberries, sliced
  • ½ cup brown sugar (golden but dark will work)
  • ½ cup sugar (less if your strawberries are super ripe or you prefer it a little tart like me)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch (tapioca if you don’t have cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with a teaspoon of water


  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in large bowl.
  2. Dice shortening and butter and toss into flour mix.
  3. Use your finger tips to mix into flour until you get a pebble like consistency breaking up the fats into the flour. Work quickly. Heat and time is your enemy. Martha Stewart uses a food processor. I think that’s a pain. Fingers are less clean up and it’s what your grandma did.
  4. Make a well and add three tablespoons of water. Incorporate and add water one tablespoon at a time until it just comes together.
  5. Dump out on clean counter, don’t knead but don’t be shy, just fully incorporate and form into two balls and flatten into disks
  6. Wrap in plastic, refrigerate and rest for at least an hour, better if a day.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  8. Combine first seven ingredients in large bowl and toss. Set out on the counter at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes.
  9. Let one of your dough disks soften slightly so you can roll it out.
  10. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface and transfer to a glass or ceramic pie dish. Put back into fridge.
  11. Let disk two come up to room temp and roll out. I used a star cut out for this picture but sometimes do lattice and sometimes just full on drape a second crust on top and cut some slits in it. Do what you feel.
  12. Pour the filling into the crust
  13. Place your cut outs or lattice or top crust on. Fold the edges under and crimp.
  14. Brush the egg yolk water glaze on top
  15. Transfer pie to baking sheet, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  16. Reduce temperature to 350 F and continue baking for another hour and 25 minutes. Check on the pie after an hour and remove the foil.
  17. Transfer to rack to cool.