Old-fashioned Rhubarb Pie just might be my favorite fruit pie of all. I love the tart-sweet flavor and beautiful pink color of pure rhubarb pie filling.
In my “Perfect Pie Crust” post I end the article with a paragraph about the importance of patience in baking. You’ll see here how I didn’t take my own advice. But we learn from our mistakes, don’t we?
Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Rhubarb Pie from scratch:
Doesn’t the baked pie look rustic and pretty? I thought it was gorgeous and was so excited to serve it to my family.
But, because I was impatient and convinced myself the center of the filling was fully bubbling when it really wasn’t…well, keep scrolling to see what happened…
Waaat, waaaaaa. This is what happens when you don’t allow the juice to come to a boil all the way to the middle of the pie, the corn starch doesn’t activate and the filling is runny.
Remember, patience is important. This is one corner I shouldn’t have cut. Sigh, 30 years of professional baking and I still screw up…
Tips for making a great rhubarb pie:
- Use rhubarb that is plump, crisp and bright red.
- Macerate the chopped rhubarb to draw out the juice and to help it keep it shape while it bakes. When uncooked fruit is tossed with sugar, the sugar is drawn into the fruit and reinforces the cell walls. This helps the fruit maintain it’s shape while baking.
- I like to sprinkle the top crust with a nice layer of granulated sugar. This make a sweet and crunch top crust that is perfect with the tart filling.
- Make sure you bake the pie until the juice are boiling all the way to the center of the pie. When the juice are boiling, that means the cornstarch in the filling is fully activated and will thicken the juices. (Do as I say, not as I did, ha, ha.)
- The pie is best the day it’s baked but can be stored at room temperature for several days.
I’ve got a whole bunch of recipe for you Rhubarb lovers to try: Rhubarb Meringue Tart, Rhubarb Fritters, Rhubarb Crumble Bars, Rhubarb Crumb cake, Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, and Rhubarb Summer Pudding.
If you love this recipe as much as I do please consider giving it 5 stars.
- 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust
- 2.5 lbs (1.12 kg) rhubarb, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 1/2 cups (1 lb 4 oz, 560g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons (1.5 oz, 42g) corn starch
- 1 egg for egg wash
- granulated sugar for topping
Prepare the crust
- Make the dough according to the recipe. Let it rest at least 2 hours before rolling. Divide the dough in 1/2. 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 the rhubarb pieces, sugar and lemon zest. Toss to combine. Allow the fruit to macerate at room temperature for 1/2 hour. Sprinkle the corn starch over the filling and toss to combine.
- While the fruit is macerating, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- 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. 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.
- 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 1/2 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.
If the edges of the crust are getting too brown before the filling is ready wrap a piece of foil around the edges of the pie.
The pie will keep at room temperature for several days.
- 2 cups (10 oz, 285g) all purpose flour (see note)
- 2/3 cup (3.5 oz, 100g) cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 115g) leaf lard (or vegetable shortening), cold
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 115g) butter, very cold and sliced into 1/4" thin slices
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 118 ml) ice cold water
- 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- Combine the all purpose and cake flour with the salt and sugar. Whisk together to mix the ingredients evenly.
- Using your fingers, cut the lard or shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal. Using your fingers, toss the butter into the flour mixture. Allow the slices of butter to break up into slightly smaller pieces into the flour. Work quickly so the butter doesn't get warm. Don't break the butter down completely. There should be some large flakes remaining.
- Mix the water and the cider vinegar. Pour the water onto the flour all at once and toss to combine. Gently press the dough just until it comes together. It will look a little dry in spots. The water will redistribute in the dough as it rests.
- Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before using.
This recipe uses a mixture of all purpose and cake flour to mimic pastry flour. All purpose flour will give the dough enough structure so it can hold the flaky texture and a small proportion of cake flour will help keep it tender. If you have pastry flour you can use that in place of the flour mixture.