Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Here in the Midwest it is strawberry and rhubarb season. This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie has a perfect combination of sweetness from fresh picked strawberries and tanginess from the rhubarb.

My vintage inspiration for this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is from a 1953 copy of “Encyclopedia of Cooking. ” The book is divided into several sections for baking and cooking. The pie was featured in the “250 Superb Pies and Pastries” section. 

Bakers tips for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie:

I’ve taken this late 1950’s recipe and baked it modern:

  • For the pastry I used butter with just a bit of shortening for a tender crust
  • Added lemon juice to the crust 
  • Doubled the amount of berries and rhubarb in the filling
  • Added lemon juice and the zest for extra zing in the filling
  • Used ClearJel instead of flour for the thickening agent in the filling

Thickening agents can vary:

Vintage recipes typically call for flour or cornstarch. I use ClearJel in pie filling as it works as a 1:1 substitution for cornstarch and doesn’t make the  filling cloudy like flour tends to do. Since the filling will be cooked, use regular ClearJel. For fillings that are not cooked you can use Instant ClearJel.

Ceramic pie plates:

I bake my pies in vintage ceramic pie plates which conduct slow, even heat. You can usually find a vintage pie dish at your local antique store, however, there are several modern brands like LeCruset or Emile Henry.

Prep the dough for a perfect crust:

To avoid a tough crust, add 1 T. lemon juice, vinegar, or vodka when making the dough to prevent excess gluten from forming. To prevent a soggy crust, dust raw crust with a thickening agent (cornstarch, tapioca starch or ClearJel). Brush the crust with an egg wash (1 egg+1 T. cream) before putting in the filling. Then brush again to the top crust with an egg wash and course sanding sugar.

Work quick to keep everything cold:

Use frozen butter and dice into small cubes and put right back into the freezer if your not making the dough right away. Chill water with some ice cubes before using. Before filling the pie crust, place in fridge to ensure the crust from shrinking. Also be sure to place the assembled pie in the fridge for about 15 minutes prior to baking, so it goes cold into a nice hot oven.

Begin baking at high heat, then reduce temp:

Start with a hot oven to keep the shape of crust and then reduce oven temperature and cover with foil or pie protector to ensure filling is cooked through but that the crust doesn’t burn. Watch to see when pie starts to bubble, then let it bake 5 more minutes.

Original Post: June 9, 2021, Modified: July 4, 2024

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