Confession……..making this recipe was literally my first run-in with rhubarb.
I’ll be honest with you, until making this pie, rhubarb has always been on my mental list that includes things like meatloaf, chicken liver, and calamari. Things you should never mess with unless you’re on the Food Network. Basically, foods that any self-respecting food blogger knows to stay away from.
Maybe that’s just me, but you see, I didn’t grow up eating rhubarb pie made by a grandmother or anything and I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve even tasted it was raw, straight out of a stranger’s garden. Let’s just say I had little confidence in cooking with it.
The good news? I was so pleasantly surprised at how this turned out. So I did stay on the safe side of things by making this a smooth pie rather than deal with the texture of rhubarb pieces in a traditional style pie. Also, am I the only one who’s been noticing rhubarb having a major moment right now? Seriously, it’s been everywhere recently.
I do have to tell you that this recipe took about three times as many tests as my usual recipes. I think I literally made it about six times before I felt like it was ready to be shared. Well, here’s the thing, I kept ending up with either a runny filling or a dead meringue. It’s all in the details really. Once I finally figured out the right order of steps to follow it turned out perfect. The funny thing was that I kept running out of rhubarb. That’s why I even tested a few versions using other fruits instead. Surprisingly, the original one with the strawberries and rhubarb was voted best by the fam.
The way the rhubarb actually added to the deliciousness of this pie even impressed me. I also can’t help imagining how perfect this would be for Mother’s Day or any other events during this Spring or Summer!
A quick note on the recipe: I’d recommend for this recipe just to be sure to read through the steps before starting so you can avoid making all the (many) mistakes I kept making. 😉 (over and over and over, haha)
Strawberries and rhubarb are an age-old Summertime favorite that make the perfect duo in the refreshing fruity pie.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 6 tablespoons ice cold butter, cubed
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, organic vegetable shortening (or more butter but I find using mixed fats gives the best crust)
- 1/4 cup ice cold water
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed
- 5-6 stalks fresh rhubarb, washed and ends trimmed
- 5 egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin
- 5 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse. Add butter and lard and pulse a few times more until crumbly. Add water and process until the dough comes together adding more water if necessary. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and flatten into disk. Roll out pastry dough on lightly floured surface into a circle that is roughly 13 inches in diameter. Gently wrap around rolling pin and lift over a 9-inch pie pan. Unroll over pan and press down gently; then crimp the edges into desired trim.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and place crust in the refrigerator until the oven is ready. When oven is hot remove crust from fridge, poke small holes in bottoem, and cover with a sheet of foil pressed down into shape of crust. Fill the top of foil with dry beans or pie weights and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until edges start to brown slightly. Remove from oven and take off foil and weights, then allow crust to cool completely.
- Add the strawberries and lemon juice to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Measure out 1 cup of the mixture and pour it into a separate bowl. Add the gelatin to the bowl and whisk until completely dissolved; set aside. Add the rhubarb and sugar to the blender with the remaining mixture and blend until smooth again.
- Pour the contents of the blender into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil; then boil for about 5 minutes, stirring gently. After the 5 minutes, remove from heat.
- Separate your eggs and put whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside and add the yolks to the blender (no need to wash from last step). Take about 1/2 cup hot fruit mixture and add it to the blender also. Pulse until smooth then add the cornstarch and pulse a few more times. Now add it back to the saucepan.
- Return saucepan to heat and bring back to a boil stirring constantly until the first bubbles start to appear. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter then stir until butter is fully melted and smooth. Now gradually pour in the gelatin mixture from earlier while whisking (don't worry if it's very thick). Whisk until the filling is completely smooth then pour into baked crust. Cover the pie and place in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 2 hours, until fully chilled.
- Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180C) again. Take the reserved egg whites and add cream of tartar then fit mixer with whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes, then gradually add in sugar while beating and whip until stiff. Add vanilla and salt and whip again to combine.
- Scrape meringue out onto the chilled pie and spread to cover all the way to the edges, making sure all of the filling is covered. Use a spoon to make meringue peaks then place in oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until meringue is nice and toasty on top. Chill for at least 30 more minutes before serving. Because of the meringue, this pie is best served within the first 24 hours.