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Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie from a Small Kitchen Garden

Strawberry-Rhubarb from a Small Kitchen Garden

Two distinct flavors cook together into a sweet, tart, sticky filling for a classic, uniquely American dessert: strawberry-rhubarb pie. The three vidoes in this post explain how you can make your own.

In hardiness zone 5, rhubarb is among the first spring crops a small kitchen garden might produce. With that crop alone, you can make curiously sweet and tart pies that would please most diners. However, around mid June, the first real fruit crop of a kitchen garden ripens: strawberries. It’s then that you can create the uniquely American strawberry-rhubarb pie.

The idea of mixing strawberries with rhubarb is that the sweetness of the strawberries balances with the tartness of the rhubarb. Generally you add a lot of sugar to the fruit of a fruit pie, so it’s hard to distinguish the sweet components from the tart ones. What’s more, the flavors of the strawberries and rhubarb intermingle as the pie bakes, resulting in a new flavor that doesn’t naturally occur; a terrific flavor that should appeal to any fruit-lover’s sweet tooth.

Make your own Pie

I made strawberry-rhubarb pies the other day. Usually, I make two pies at once because it makes just as much mess as making one pie. I bake one, and put the second in the freezer to bake during the off season; you can put a frozen pie in a 300F degree oven for about 20 minutes, then kick the temperature up to 375 or 400 degrees and cook it for another 40 minutes to an hour… it comes out of the oven as though you made it fresh that day.

When I’m going to freeze a pie, I make it in a “disposable” aluminum pie pan; if I’m going to bake it and eat it right away, I prefer a glass pie plate. In any case, when I made my strawberry rhubarb pies, I took a lot of photos and videos. I’ve embedded the videos in this blog post.

The first (6 minutes 20 seconds) demonstrates how to make a bottom crust for a fruit pie: the ingredients, mixing, rolling out dough, and lining the pie plate. The second video (4 minutes 20 seconds) explains how I made the strawberry-rhubarb filling for two pies… and provides insight into how to make pie filling using nearly any fruit. The third video (5 minutes) demonstrates how to make a lattice crust for a pie: mixing dough, rolling it out, and forming the lattice crust.

If you’ve never made pie, watching all three videos in order will get you through. If you know how to make pie crusts but have never made strawberry-rhubarb pie, the second video provides enough information for you to make your first.

When you’re ready to bake your pie, put it in a 400F degree oven on a jelly roll pan or a round pizza pan for 45- to 60-minutes. Check on it after 30 minutes, and if the crust is getting dark, decrease the oven’s temperature to 350F degrees. The pie is ready when the crust is gold brown and the filling is bubly and thick.

When you’ve made your first strawberry-rhubarb pie, please visit Your Small Kitchen Garden blog and leave a comment about your experience. Finally, if you prefer written instructions rather than video, visit my sister blog, Your Home Kitchen Garden. There I’ve presented step-by-step instructions along with plenty of photos.

 

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6 Responses to “Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie from a Small Kitchen Garden”

  • TC:

    So, not only to you write about all those things you mentioned, you also cook. Wow! I’m impressed. Have you always enjoyed cooking?

    Nice post about strawberry rhubarb dessert too. We have the mix in pies and tarts quite often this time of year.

    (And have you seen the new hardiness zone map that puts us in zone 6?)

  • admin:

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    My mom used to park me in a high chair at the end of the kitchen counter when she did the baking. Also, I’d sit with her and watch The Galloping Gourmet and the French Chef. I’m a great fan of cooking fine food… or at least trying to, and there are few culinary projects more satisfying to me than harvesting home-grown produce and minutes later turning it into meals or components of meals. Your Small Kitchen Garden will feature occasional how-to articles about foods that I probably would never eat if not for the kitchen garden–or that are dramatically better than what non-gardeners consume.

    I’m not sure which hardiness zone map you’re referring to. Seems I’ve seen about half a dozen maps, each with its own opinion about which zone we’re in. Zone 6 seems too optimistic, and zone 5 seems too pessimistic. So, I was pleased to see a map that divided zones into sub-zones “a” and “b” and had Lewisburg in zone 5b. This spring was very much a zone 5a spring, but I think that being so close to the Susquehanna River generally pushes Lewisburg toward zone 6.

  • I made my very first pie ever on Tuesday. My uncle’s favorite pie is Strawberry-rhubarb, I follwed your directions and bam…I made an awesome strawberrey rhubarb lattice pie in minutes! It was the hit of the dinner party and everyone loved it. They liked it so much that they asked me to make them 2 more. So I am baking again today. Thanks for your videos and your help…I am the pie hero in my family now! Thanks!

    Carli

    Could you tell me how much of a rhubarb stalk I can use? is the green top part good, or is it not good? Thanks!

  • admin:

    Thank you so much for reporting about your pie-making success. I’ve already taken photos and videos for sour cherry pies… and will be doing several other types of pies through the summer. The basic steps don’t change from pie-to-pie: make bottom crust, add fruit filling, make top crust, bake. Once you can make crust, the rest is easy.

    As for rhubarb: Use the entire stalk up to where leaf veins differentiate themselves from the stem. So, cut off the leaf where the stalk is no longer straight and smooth, and use all of the stalk that that leaves behind – green, red, or pink.

  • I cannot thank you enough for posting these pie crust clips. I am one of those people who are always impressed with homemade pies. I usually buy the store made crusts because I hate cutting in the shortening, etc. This is so much easier! I will definitely try this out, as well as the lattice top.

    Thank you!

    p.s. I love that you used chop sticks to stir ;)

  • Strawberry-rhubarb pie is mY FAVOURITE pie from my childhood. I like to add some jam instead of strawberry sometimes.

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