Rhubarb Pie just might be the best fruit pie of all. You’ll love the tart-sweet flavor and beautiful pink color of just rhubarb pie filling.
There’s a reason rhubarb is often called the “pie plant”. Because it makes the best pies. Although it’s almost impossible to choose a favorite pie (because all the pies are awesome) if I had to choose, rhubarb pie would certainly be in the running.
An overview of this recipe is also available as a web story.
- Rhubarb – Use fresh rhubarb that is plump and crisp. The color of rhubarb can vary from greenish-pink to pale pink to very deep pink. To keep rhubarb fresh until you’re ready to bake, trim the bottom of the stalks and set them in a container of water, like flowers.
- Corn Starch – I use corn starch because it’s widely available and many people keep it in the pantry. Rhubarb exudes a lot of juice and needs the starch to thicken the filling. The recipe has just enough starch to keep the filling from becoming soupy, but not so much it becomes pasty.
- Sugar – Rhubarb is quite tart and needs a good amount of sugar to balance the flavor. This recipe uses just enough for pleasant flavor. You can adjust the sugar based on the flavor of your rhubarb.
- Lemon Zest – This is optional but it does add a nice background flavor to the tart rhubarb.
How to make Rhubarb Pie that is not runny
- Toss the rhubarb with the sugar and zest and let it macerate for 1 an hour.
- The mixture starts out dry.
- After 30 minutes you can see the juice mixing with the sugar.
- After 1 hour the rhubarb has released a lot of juice and the sugar is mostly melted.
- After 1 hour of maceration there will be quite a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl.
- For 2 1/2 pounds of rhubarb you will get about 1 cup of juice. This can vary based on the condition of the rhubarb.
- Whisk 1/2 cup of the juice with the cornstarch until smooth.
- Heat the rhubarb juice in a small saucepan until it comes to a full boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
- Cook the rhubarb juice with the cornstarch mixture until it becomes more translucent, thickens and comes back to a full boil. The juice and starch must come to a full boil for the starch to activate.
- Toss the thickened juice with the rhubarb.
- Pour the rhubarb into the pie crust.
- If you want a plain top crust transfer the dough to the pie, egg wash the edges and cut a steam vent in the middle of the crust.
- For a lattice top pie cut the top crust into 1″ wide strips.
- Egg wash the edges of the pie. Arrange half the strips of dough in one direction over the pie.
- Use the longest strips in the center and the shorter strips towards the ends.
- Flip every over strip over half way.
- Lay a long strip across the pie and flip down the strips. Continue to flip alternate strips and add strips in the other direction. You can see a video of how to make a lattice crust here.
- Finish weaving all the strips to cover the filling. Press down on the edges to glue the strips to the bottom crust. Use a scissor or paring knife to trim the excess dough.
- Brush the entire crust with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake.
Why you should macerate rhubarb for pie filling
Macerating rhubarb with sugar helps ensure that your pie filling won’t be runny. During maceration the sugar draws juice out of the rhubarb. The juice can be precooked with starch to ensure the thickening power of the starch is activated.
During maceration some sugar is drawn into the fruit which reinforces the cell walls. This helps the fruit maintain it’s shape while baking. The rhubarb filling will remain chunky rather than breaking down into a runny puree.
Rhubarb pie will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. Do not refrigerate the pie or the crust will become soggy. Left over slices can be wrapped frozen for up to 3 months. Frozen pie will become a bit soggy after thawing but still tastes pretty good.
There’s no reason to precook your rhubarb for rhubarb pie. Precooking rhubarb will make it break down quite a bit and your pie filling will be more like a puree than chunky fruit.
Corn starch is a good choice to thicken rhubarb pie. Corn starch is widely available and many people keep it in the pantry. Any starch thickener will work so you can use your preferred starch. Adjust the amount based on which starch you are using.
No. There is no need to peel the rhubarb for pie.
Either you didn’t use enough starch to thicken the filling or you didn’t wait for the juice to come to a full boil after adding the starch. Make sure the juice in the very center of the pie is actively bubbling before taking the pie out of the oven. Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting. A warm filling will be runny.
I am obsessed with the unique flavor of rhubarb. You too? Here are a few more recipes for you to try:
- Rhubarb Meringue Tart
- Rhubarb Crumb Pie
- Rhubarb Summer Pudding
- Rhubarb Crumb Cake
- Rhubarb Fritters
- Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
- Rhubarb Shortcakes
- Rhubarb Crumb Bars
- Rhubarb Sorbet
- Rhubarb Ice Cream
If you love this recipe as much as I do please consider giving it 5 stars.
Rhubarb Pie Recipe
- 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust
- 2 ½ lbs rhubarb (cut into 1″ pieces)
- 16 oz granulated sugar (2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (finely grated)
- 1 ¾ oz corn starch (6 tablespoons)
- 1 egg ( for egg wash)
- granulated sugar ( for topping)
- Make the dough according to the recipe. Let it rest at least 2 hours before rolling. Divide the dough in ½. Roll one piece of dough to a 12" circle. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin to transfer it to a 9" pie plate. There should be at least a 1" inch overhang of dough.
- Roll the other piece of dough to a 12" circle. Sprinkle the dough with flour, fold in 1/2 then sprinkle and fold again. Place the folded dough into the lined pie plate. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling. This can be done several hours ahead or the night before.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 ½ lbs rhubarb, 16 oz granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Toss to combine. Allow the fruit to macerate at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F °F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Strain the rhubarb and collect the juice. Combine 1 ¾ oz corn starch with ½ cup of the juice and whisk until smooth. Bring the remaining juice to a full boil in a small saucepan. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the boiling juices. Whisking constantly, cook the juice mixture until it returns to full boil. Cook for 1 minute. Toss the thickened juice with the rhubarb slices.
- Remove the pie plate from the refrigerator and take out the folded dough. Pour the filling into the pie plate. Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash then place the top crust on the bottom. If you'd like to make a lattice crust cut the top dough into strips and arrange them on the filling. Press around the edge of the pan to adhere the two crusts
- Trim the crust to even out the edges. Use your fingers or a fork to crimp the crust. Set the pie onto the parchment lined baking sheet. If you used a flat top crust, use a paring knife to cut an "X" in the center of the pie for a steam vent. Peel back the four pieces to form a opening in the center.
- Brush the entire surface with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake the pie on the bottom rack of the oven for about 1-1 ¼ hours. The filling is ready when you can see it bubbling vigorously in the middle opening of the crust.
- Cool at least 2 hours to allow the filling to set before slicing.
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