Last week the girls and I baked our first strawberry-rhubarb pies of the season. If you’ve been reading the blog from the start you know how much I love this pie. I’ve been perfecting my recipe since we moved here and I first discovered we had rhubarb growing in the house-gardens. This of course was the start of our “cooking show” videos. We shared the first video with you earlier this week on how to make my favorite pie crust. Before we jump to the video let me tell you how to make this pie… and why I make it the way I do.
The first time I made this pie, it came out all watery and soupy, a little too tart and not very pretty. I played around with strawberry to rhubarb ratios which made it a little sweeter and prettier–I have green rhubarb so it looks like strawberry-celery pie; more strawberries adds more color. However, I still had a messy, soup of a pie. The additional strawberries actually made this problem worse. I mean, call me crazy, but I think you should be able to use your pie spatula and not a spoon to serve your pie. My search continued.
Many recipes that addressed the soupy issue called for plain gelatin, something I’ve never carried min my pantry. Finally, last year I came across this recipe which called for corn starch (something I always have in my pantry) to battle the watery juices from the strawberries. This recipe also had two big differences to the previous recipes I tried–half the sugar is brown sugar and the use of orange juice.
The brown sugar adds a richer sweetness, due to the molasses, and actually retains moisture so it helps make a more dense pie filling. I actually prefer dark brown sugar over the light brown sugar the original recipe calls for and use the dark in my pies. I also add a little more vanilla for some more depth.
I also LOVE the citrus notes the orange juice adds to the pie. The orange pairs so nicely with the strawberries. I like it so much I incorporate more OJ in my own recipe. I’m also pretty picky when it comes to orange juice, I like Simply Orange’s High Pulp. It makes a difference, I promise!
Cory’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
- 2 homemade pie crusts
- 1 egg, beaten
- sugar, coarse or granulated
- 3 cups cut strawberries
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups chopped rhubarb (chopped in 1/2 inch or smaller pieces)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (use up to 1 Tbs more if needed)
- 2 Tbs orange juice
- 2 Tbs butter
- A pinch of salt
Tools and Equipment
- Large bowl
- Spoon for stirring
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Pie dish
- Basting or pastry brush
- Cookie/baking sheet
- Cooling rack
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare filling. In a large bowl, mix together strawberries, rhubarb, sugars, salt, orange juice, and corn starch.
- Prepare pie dish. While the filling settles, roll out your crusts. (If you don’t have your crust made yet, no worries, the longer that filling mixture sits they more those flavors blend.) Place bottom crust in the dish.
- Fill the pie. Give your filling mixture one more stir (add more corn starch if it’s really juicy, however, you’ll have some juice that you’ll leave in the bowl). Add a few pieces of butter on top o the filling.
- Close the pie. Cover the filling with your top pie crust. Get creative with this! You can use cookie cutters to add a design, do a classic lattice, or fun edging. Take your beaten egg and brush it on the crust. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake. Place the pie on the cookie sheet and bake the pie for 20 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350, keeping the pie in the oven, and continue to bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Cool. Allow the pie to cool for 2-3 hours – place on a cooling rack to help it cool faster.
- Enjoy! Our favorite ways to eat the pie warm with vanilla ice cream or cold for breakfast but there’s really no wrong way to do it!
Now for the video. I feel like I should add some context first. This video features several high-speed clips as the girls were kind of over the whole baking and recording thing after a one-hour intermission between the pie crust video and pie filling video to make more crust (I forgot we were making more than one pie so had to whip up a double batch of crust before moving to the filling). Therefore, the filling video took WAY longer than it should have (even with kids) but includes some silly song and dance action for your entertainment.