June 9: National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day
Highlander introduced Islander to strawberry-rhubarb pie during our newlywed years. The first time we went shopping for the ingredients, he put long red stalks of rhubarb in the cart. Islander thought he was going to make a vegetable pie out of red celery or chard!
Rhubarb is really a vegetable, but because it is commonly used in desserts, it has been legally labeled as a fruit since 1947. According to the Specialty Produce website: “It was the United States Customs Court in Buffalo, New York, that ruled rhubarb to be a fruit since it was used mainly as a fruit. This cost-effective act allowed imported rhubarb to pay a smaller duty than if it was a vegetable. Dubbed ‘pie plant’, pie was the only dish this tart treat was used for in early days.”
Like most people, Highlander combines rhubarb with another fruit, such as strawberries, to add sweetness to the pie (and many other desserts containing rhubarb). Now that rhubarbs and strawberries are in season, we make pie to welcome the summer as well as observe National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day.
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Pies)
For the double pie crust
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup shortening (we used Crisco brand)
- 6-7 tablespoons ice cold water
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add the water to moisten the mixture. Blend gently until it forms a dough. Roll into a ball and divide in half.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten one of the dough halves into a disc. Roll out to fit the bottom of a pie pan. Ease into the pan and trim excess dough to the rim. Roll out the second half of the dough to fit the top of the pie, leaving a little overhang. Set aside while preparing the filling.
For the strawberry-rhubarb filling
- 3 cups rhubarb, sliced into ½-inch pieces
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Prepare the rhubarb and strawberries by washing, drying and slicing them. Place in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix the sugar, tapioca, salt and nutmeg.
Pour this mixture over the sliced rhubarb and strawberries. Toss well and let sit for 15 minutes. Assemble the pie by spreading the filling over the bottom of the pie crust. Dot with pieces of butter or margarine.
Carefully place the top crust over the filling. Fold the overhang of the edges over and flute it to seal. Cut slits over the top crust to vent. Cover the edges with foil or pie crust shields to prevent overbrowning. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Then remove the foil or pie crust shields and bake for another 25 minutes to brown the rest of the crust. Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool completely to allow the liquid filling to gel. Slice and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional). Sliced pie may be reheated in the microwave to desired temperature.
- For a golden brown pie crust, brush a little milk on the top and sprinkle some sugar before baking (optional).
- Do not eat the leaves of the rhubarb as they are toxic.
- Search our blog for other pie recipes.