Strawberry Orange Rhubarb Pie
I realize there are some major rhubarb unbelievers out there. I ought to know, because I was one of them! As a child, I picked out a piece of pie at church function thinking it was cherry, bit into it, and immediately spat it out. It wasn’t cherry, it was rhubarb! 😯 Not only did it taste tart, which I wasn’t expecting, but it wasn’t cooked enough, so it was hard. Talk about being traumatized! 😥 I was positive I hated the stuff, so I never ate it again until two years ago. I was talked into getting a strawberry rhubarb pie at Whole Foods Market. Saying that I was skeptical is an understatement. Lo and behold, I loved it! It was so amazing — tart, sweet, and luscious. That pie is a favorite of mine, now. I wasn’t hosting Easter this year, so I decided to get out of my comfort zone and make this Strawberry Orange Rhubarb Pie from scratch. I’m a pie crust novice, so I was pretty nervous. Guess what? It actually turned out great! I was kind of in shock, really. 😆
I’ve made my own pie crust a few times, and I have to say I’m nervous every time. I need to do it more often! I’ve seen tons of different methods for making pie crust. Food processor method, stand mixer, fingers only — you name it. I decided on the food processor method, which I found on Martha Stewart’s website. Her pie crust also used the frozen butter method, which I’ve seen used in many other recipes as of late. I knew I wanted to try that, so this recipe sounded perfect. Freezing butter makes perfect sense, because in pie crust, butter needs to be as cold as possible, and you know frozen butter will be plenty cold! 😉 The butter is cut up in small cubes, while 3/4 of the cubes are frozen.
A quarter of the butter is pulsed in the food processor with the flour, sugar, and salt. The frozen butter is added next, and pulsed until it resembles a coarse meal, with blueberry sized clumps.
The ice water is pulsed in next. I was worried that I pulsed the dough to much and overworked it, but my crust was not tough. I was so happy! 😀 I dumped the dough out in two piles on top of plastic wrap, formed them into disks, and wrapped them up. I rolled the dough with a rolling pin while it was wrapped in plastic wrap.
As for the rhubarb…I’d never worked with it before. I wanted to last year, but just never got around to it. I’d read that the entire outer layer needed to be removed prior to use as it’s tough and stringy. Once that was removed, it looked just like celery! I will be using it a lot more this year, so get ready. 😉
I’d researched lots of different recipes, and noticed many of them added orange zest to their filling, which made perfect sense to me! I added a little juice, too, and used a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar. I love the flavor of brown sugar! 🙂 Once I had the filling together, I got one of the disks of pie dough out and rolled it between two sheets of plastic wrap until it was about 1/8″ thick, or just a bit more. I placed the pie plate on top of it just to be sure there would be enough to hang over the edges! In went the filling.
That filling is so bright and beautiful, no? :tounge: I pulled out the second disk of pie dough and rolled it the same way I rolled the first one. It went over the top, and I crimped the edges the very best that I could. I cut out a decorative flower in the middle which not only allows steam to escape, but it looks pretty, too! 😆
I also brushed an egg yolk/water wash over the entire top of the pie to ensure a nice golden brown crust.
I’d say that’s plenty golden brown, wouldn’t you? The pie needs to cool on a wire rack for a good hour and a half to two hours so the juices don’t go running out. They need to keep that fruit filling nice and juicy! 🙂 I served mine with vanilla bean ice cream. There is no substitute!
If you are a rhubarb unbeliever, I hope you give it a try. It really has a tart flavor that’s just magical with strawberries. I almost threw some candied ginger chips into the filling — it seems like it would be a perfect marriage in flavors. I didn’t, however, because I didn’t want to muddle up the perfect tart sweetness, with the mild orange undertones. You’ve just gotta try this pie! 😀
- 2 sticks of butter, cut into small cubes (1½ sticks are frozen for 30 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet, and ½ stick is refrigerated)
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup ice water
- 1 lb. rhubarb, outer, stringy layer removed completely, and chopped into ½" chunks
- 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved if their small, quartered if they're large
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash
- In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the flour, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and sea salt until combined. Add the refrigerated butter cubes to the flour mixture, and pulse just until combined, about 10 times. Remove the frozen butter cubes from the freezer and immediately add to the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, with blueberry sized clumps. Add the ice water, and pulse until incorporated. Pinch the dough together to ensure that it will hold together. Add more ice water if necessary. Halve the dough and place atop two large pieces of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Wrap completely and roll it to about 8" wide and ¼" thick with a rolling pin. Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a pie plate with cooking spray. Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, cornstarch, orange juice, and orange zest in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Remove one of the pie dough disks. Wrap between two sheets of plastic wrap until it's about ⅛" thick. Place the pie plate upside down over the dough to make sure it's at least an inch or more larger than the pie plate. Using the rolling pin, gently roll the pie crust loosely around the rolling pin. Unroll over the pie plate, and press down gently. Pour the strawberry rhubarb filling into the pie crust. Repeat the process to roll out the second pie dough disk, and unroll it over the filling. Crimp the edges completely, and cut decorative slits into the top of the pie crust. Brush on the egg wash. Place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Cool on a wire rack for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
Crust adapted from Martha Stewart, pie filling and technique adapted from Joy of Baking.