Nothing says early summer to me like the sweet tang of strawberry rhubarb pie. I’m always hesitant to use up some of my precious berries in a baked-good, but in the end, I’m always so glad I do. This isn’t a sacrifice, it’s an exaltation.
I’ve found that simple is best when it comes to this pie. I’m a classicist–all butter crust, lattice top, no frills. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll serve it a la mode, but I like it best for breakfast next to a cup of good coffee.
All-Purpose Butter Crust
This crust is my go-to pie crust and can be used for an all-purpose dough for both sweet and savory pastries. Make sure to plan ahead. It wants to be refrigerated for at least 30 min (and up to 2 days) before rolling out. Minimal processing and cold butter are the key to a nice flakey dough.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks cold butter
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 tablespoon ice water
In a food processor: Pulse together flour and salt. Cut butter into 1/2 tbs chunks and pulse into flour. You want the basic consistency of corn meal, with larger pea-sized chunks of butter visible. Run the motor as you crack in the eggs. Pulse until a shaggy dough forms. Drizzle in ice water until dough forms a ball. Divide into 2 pieces, shape pieces into discs, cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate.
By hand: Sift together flour and salt. Cut butter into 1/4-inch pieces. Using your hands, rub butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of corn meal, with larger flakes of butter visible. Knead in the eggs until a shaggy dough forms. Drizzle in ice water and continue kneading until dough forms a ball. Divide into 2 pieces, shape pieces into discs, cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate.
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
- 2 cups sliced rhubarb (about 6 nice stalks)
- 3/4-1 cup organic cane sugar
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Slice strawberries–smaller ones can just get cut in half, larger ones in a few slices. Slice rhubarb like you would celery, into approx. 1/8-inch pieces. Mix berries, rhubarb, sugar, and flour together. Let sit while you roll out the crust.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Roll out the crust: Dust a work area with a small amount of flour and slowly work the dough into a larger and larger circle with a rolling pin. Flip dough and dust surface with flour if necessary. When you think the circle is large enough, invert your pie pan and place it on top of the dough. Trim dough so that it is 1 1/2 inches larger than pie pan. Fold dough on itself or roll up on the rolling pin to transfer to pan. Press gently into pan, letting excess hang over the edge.
- Pour strawberry-rhubarb mixture into crust.
- Top it off: Roll second piece of dough into a circle slightly larger than the top of the pie pan. Cut dough into strips, about 1/2 inch wide. Place half of the strips vertically, 1/2-inch apart, on top of the filling. Make sure that there is a small overhang at the edge. Weave in horizontal strips in an alternating over-under pattern (alternatively, you can weave the whole thing on a flat piece of parchment paper and flip it onto the pie).
- Fold up overhanging pie dough from the bottom crust to seal together bottom and top. Pinch dough between your first finger, thumb and middle finger to create a scalloped edge all the way around.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 450, then decrease the temperature to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes. Let cool for 45 min before eating.
Text and photography by Katie Darlington– Taproot employee, home cooking enthusiast, and farm-to-kitchen blogger. More of her recipes and writing can be found on her own blog, The Sweetness of the Season.