I am convinced that I ate strawberry rhubarb pie when I was little. The house we lived in until I was in kindergarten had a rhubarb patch, which is one of the few things I remember about that house. My mom on the other hand, disagrees that we ever had strawberry rhubarb pie. The patch, yes, but not so much on the pie. Regardless, I decided that I wanted to make it last year and we made it a priority. This year we wanted to make it again, but I couldn’t justify an entire pie. Enter our cute little pie dish which is just enough for 4. Or if you’re feeling particularly virtuous, 6.
We had enough berries leftover from the farmer’s market and our strawberry rhubarb jam. And I made sure to buy enough rhubarb just for this. I will say that it hasn’t been a particularly good year for rhubarb. The farmer’s market has only had it randomly, and even that looked a bit anemic. Both times we’ve gotten it from the grocery store, it’s been less potent that we would like. I’ve heard it say that ‘rhubarb doesn’t like it’s feet wet’ so I’m guessing the wet spring has something to do with it. Regardless of the rhubarb status, the strawberries are always beautiful. Here’s a classic spring pie, cut down to size.
Strawberry Rhuarb Pie for 4
Filling adapted from CooksIllustrated.com
Pie dough adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Notes: You can use any pie dough recipe you have. Just make enough for a single 9-inch pie crust and divide the dough in half. You’ll just want to roll the dough out a bit thinner. The key to a good, flaky pie dough is keeping it cold. If you can afford the time, don’t skimp on chilling it between each step.
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 T sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, very cold
- 1/2 cup water, ice cubes added
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/8 cup sugar (just eyeball it)
- 1/2 T orange zest
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1/8 t vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 – 2 T quick-cooking tapioca (more if your berries are really juicy)
- 1 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Make the pie dough. Cut your butter into small pieces and place in freezer. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl and place that in the freezer to chill, too. Measure your water and add the ice cubes.
- When everything is thoroughly chilled, sprinkle the butter over the flour mixture and cut it in with a pastry blender until most pieces are the size of peas. Err on the side of larger if you’re unsure. You want the little pieces of butter in your dough, since that’s what makes it flaky.
- Sprinkle 4 T of your water over the flour and butter and mix with a rubber spatula so that it starts to clump. Continue to add water a tablespoon at a time until the clumps are large. It will probably look too dry, but if you can squeeze it together and it sticks – stop. This is the most common mistake I make with pie dough. It’s better to have it drier than have it too wet.
- Divide the dough evenly, shape into discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the fridge for an hour or so until chilled through. You could also place it in the freezer if you’re pressed for time.
- When your dough is chilled thoroughly, and you’re ready to make the pie, heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rack in the lowest position with a sheet pan.
- Toss fruit with sugar, lemon juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, and tapioca and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile roll your first disc of dough out on a floured surface until it’s about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch thick and slightly larger than your pie plate. Place in plate and put in the freezer.
- Roll the other disc to about the same size (but a little larger if needed), and place on a plate in the freezer.
- Once the berries have been sitting for 15 minutes, add them to the pie plate.
- Scatter the butter pieces on top of the berries. Top with the second dough round. Trim excess and crimp the edges (the fork method tends to seal better – we had an overflow!) and cut 4 slits in the top. If your dough is warm, place back in the freezer to firm back up before baking.
- Place in pre-heated oven on sheet pan and bake until the top is beginning to become a light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Decrease the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
- Let cool for 1-2 hours until room temperature so the juices can thicken. Also admire your flaky crust (even if it didn’t quite seal right).
- Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!