As soon as Pola announced that the theme for this month’s World on a Plate event I knew I would be making Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, perhaps the most quintessential American summer pie. You already know how I feel about strawberry and rhubarb from my cocktail, and if you have my e-cookbook then you’ve seen my strawberry-rhubarb turnovers. Nothing, though, is more classic – or more delicious – than strawberry-rhubarb pie. Apparently it became popular in the 1800s, some three decades after Benjamin Franklin introduced rhubarb (which he nicknamed “pieplant”) to the US. Fun fact: did you know that rhubarb is a vegetable?
I’m sure you’ve had watery strawberry-rhubarb pies that practically explode when you cut into them. While the flavor is all there, it can be a bit messy to eat. The secret to a pie that holds its form is tapioca! I used just 3 tablespoons of tapioca pearls here and it worked like a charm (I’ve tried corn starch in the past and haven’t had as good luck, although it’s a popular alternative).
Use your favorite double pie crust. I’m a fan of Smitten Kitchen’s all-butter flaky pie crust, which is what I used here. It came together easily and held up to the filling. It’s really about as close to a pie crust as I’ve been able to come.
- Your favorite double pie dough (or pre-made crust)
- 3 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 pound)
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb (about 12 ounces, 3-4 stalks)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons tapioca pearls
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Roll out your favorite pie crust and fit into a 9-inch pie pan (1½ inches deep).
- Mix together the strawberries, rhubarb, sugars, lemon juice, and tapioca pearls. Spoon into the pie crust.
- Cut the remaining pie dough into ½-inch strips and arrange in a lattice design over the filled pie. Trim the edges and pinch together to seal.
- Brush the egg over the top crust and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
- Put the pie pan on a baking sheet (in case it bubbles over) and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned all over and bubbling slightly (if the edges begin to brown much earlier than the center, cover loosely in tin foil).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
World on a Plate is a blogging cultural exchange. On the last Sunday of the month, bloggers from all over the world get together to interpret a food through the lens of their home country cooking. Each blogger will produce a wonderful dish featuring the food chosen that is typical of her/his home country and will tell us a bit about the dish.