Shortcut Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Strawberries and Rhubarb are both in peak season in the Spring so it makes perfect sense to put them in a pie together. My shortcut in Shortcut Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is using refrigerated pie crusts. I don’t feel guilty one bit using the rolled up pie dough (I don’t care for the frozen pre-shaped crust). With my busy schedule, sometimes, it means the difference in whether or not there is pie for dessert or not…. and I sure don’t hear my family complaining.
What is rhubarb anyway?
It may look like celery because the stalks are the edible part of the plant, but it is not in the same family as celery. It is a perennial plant that is a vegetable although most people think of it as a fruit, and a very tart fruit at that, because it is almost always paired with fruit. Strawberries may be the most common fruit to combine it with-strawberry rhubarb jam, strawberry rhubarb tarts, strawberry rhubarb cobbler. Yum!
Just don’t eat the leaves of the rhubarb plant. Strangely enough, the stalks are edible but the leaves are poisonous. I bought fresh rhubarb at Publix this week AND a bag of frozen rhubarb. The cost was about the same. I’ll be going back to buy more fresh rhubarb and freezing it myself in my Foodsaver. There’s no comparison to the quality of food frozen in a zip top bag and food frozen in a vacuum sealed bag.
Why not frozen pie crust?
Two reasons: One, I like to crimp my own pie crust-even if I didn’t make it from scratch. It just makes a pie look homemade if it has a pretty ruffled edge around it. The frozen pie crusts come with a flat edge with maybe a stamped design on it that screams “store-bought”.
My second reason for preferring the rolled up pie dough that’s already rolled out flat is I can fit it into one of my pretty pie plates. I love to collect pie plates and pans and let’s be honest, a ceramic pie plate makes a much better presentation than an aluminum foil pie pan.
And it just tastes like cardboard to me.
How to make Shortcut Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
It’s almost potluck season with Memorial Day and family reunions just around the corner so I’ll be making lots of pies! If you’re like me, you love homemade pie crust but struggle with having the time to make it or fail to plan ahead to have it in the fridge when I need it.
Strawberries are the darlings of Spring! I’ve already made four batches of my Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam and can’t seem to get enough Frozen Strawberry Sweet Tea Lemonade. It’s just so fun to make and sip! They are always on sale somewhere, so stock up and freeze your own so you can have strawberries all year long.
Don’t miss the step of letting the Pillsbury pie crust come stand at room temperature 15 minutes before using it. I used these for years before I actually read the directions. It seemed to make sense to try to use it as cold as it could get because that’s what you do with pie crust! It makes a difference in preventing the crust from shrinking while baking. You are relaxing the dough. If you try to unroll it while it is cold, it stretches the dough and it make shrink in the oven.
Now, this is the opposite philosophy when making homemade pie crust-the ingredients must be kept very cold, but you actually do let the pie dough “rest” in the fridge. For a homemade pie crust recipe using part all-purpose and part almond flour go here for my Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
Smooth out the curled edges of the pie dough but don’t be tempted to roll it out any thinner.
Fit the refrigerated pie crust into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Don’t press the crust too firmly or it will stick. Don’t stretch and pull it either. Place it in the refrigerator while you combine the filling.
Quarter the strawberries if they are average size. Halve them if they are small. Be sure to pat them dry with a paper towel after washing them BEFORE cutting them.
Combine the sugar and cornstarch together before tossing with the fruit. This will coat the fruit more evenly and prevent clumps of cornstarch. I prefer cornstarch to flour because flour tends to become pasty with delicate fruit like strawberries. Cornstarch cooks up clear so the pretty fruit can show off its color! If you don’t have a whisk, grab your hand mixer’s beater. Voila! You have a whisk.
Toss the fruit and cornstarch mixture together in a large bowl, then pour it onto the bottom pie crust. To transfer the top crust, fold it in half so the crust isn’t stretched on the way over to the pie plate. Simply unfold it when it is placed on the filling.
Dot with butter! This is one of my favorite parts. It’s not just fun, the butter melts while it bakes adding rich flavor and texture. Adding melted butter might make the bottom of the crust soggy.
Folding the top crust in half first prevents stretching while transferring it to the pie.
Here’s a close view of folding the top crust over the edges of the bottom crust before crimping them together.
This is what it looks like after folding the top crust over the edges of the bottom crust. Now you’re ready to crimp!
Crimping is just one way to finish the pie crust edges but it’s my favorite. Gently push the pie dough edge with your thumb into two of your fingers that are put together as if to pinch something.
This next step is optional. After cutting a few slits in the crust, whisk together an egg and brush over the entire crust and between the crimped edges. This will give you a slightly darker crust. I like to sprinkle sugar over the crust at this point. Sometimes I’ll use cinnamon sugar.
As a precaution, I like to place pies on a baking sheet just in case they bubble over. Cleaning the oven is NOT a favorite of mine.
During the last 10 or 15 minutes of baking, I usually place a pie crust shield or strips of aluminum foil around the edges to prevent over browning. Here’s an example of one from Amazon. The aluminum foil strips never seem to stay on for me. My sweet friend and pastry chef, Deb Wise, from my days in the Cooking Light test kitchen, gave me one of hers. I think of her every time I use it.
Shortcut Strawberry Rhubarb Pie before diving in and scooping out yummy goodness!
Above is a pic of Shortcut Strawberry Rhubarb Pie without the egg wash. You can see it is a lighter color but doesn’t have the crunch or darker, shiny crust. Your choice. Either way, it’s yum-o-licious!
Shortcut Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Unless you want to serve it like a cobbler, it is best to let it come to room temperature before slicing it.
Shortcut Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. I’m an ice cream snob so I prefer Blue Bells homemade vanilla ice cream (usually the light version of vanilla) on my pie but whipped cream would be yummy, too. The sweet and tangy fruit flavor is perfect with the sweet creaminess of ice cream. Oh, and try this pie warm with the ice cream!
Click on the images below to watch the videos
- 1 15 oz pkg refrigerated rolled up pie crust (2 crusts)
- 3 cups quartered fresh strawberries (about 1 quart)
- 3 cups 1/4-1/2 inch thick sliced fresh rhubarb (about 3 stalks)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into little pieces
- 1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the rolled up pie crusts stand at room temperature according to package directions.
Gently unroll one of the pie crusts and gently smooth out the curled edges. Try to time it so the second pie crust isn't at room temperature more than 15 minutes.
Place the pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate or pan and place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the fruit filling.
After cutting up the fruit, combine the sugar and cornstarch with a whisk or spoon. Gently toss the fruit, lemon juice, and sugar mixture together in a large bowl. Spoon the filling into the pie crust. Distribute the small pieces of butter over the fruit.
Unroll the second pie crust and gently smooth out the edges with a rolling pin. Fold it in half to transfer it to the filling. Unfold it so the top crust covers the filling.
Fold the edge of the top crust over the edge of the bottom crust all the way around the crusts. To crimp the edges together, push the dough with your thumb into two of your fingers that are put together as if to pinch something. Do this all the way around the crust.
Using the tip of a sharp knife, but a few slits in the top of the pie crust.
Optional: For a darker crust, lightly brush the egg wash over the crust and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbly. To prevent over browning of the crust edges, place a pie crust shield or strips of heavy duty aluminum foil around the edges the last 10 or 15 minutes of baking.
For a clean slice, let the pie stand 1 hour or until room temperature.
Note: Frozen strawberries and rhubarb can be used. The fruit should be thawed and drained well. I recommend adding an additional tablespoon cornstarch to thicken the extra liquid frozen fruit will have.