Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (with Tapioca!) — A classic, EASY, fruit pie made with rhubarb, strawberries, and blueberries! Sweet yet a bit tart, very juicy, and a PERFECT spring or summer dessert! Use a store bought pie crust to save time!
The BEST Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
I have fond childhood spring and summer memories of rhubarb practically growing wild in the gardens of my parents and out neighbors. When the onslaught started, sort of like zucchini, you better be ready to use it — although rhubarb does freeze well for up to one year.
This pie is what easy-breezy spring and summer desserts are all about and is as easy as mixing together all the ingredients, putting them in a pie crust, and then topping it. It looks more impressive and difficult than it actually is!
I actually baked this as a mixed berry rhubarb pie, as I love the extra sweetness that blueberries lend to the filling. But you can make this a classic strawberry rhubarb pie, if desired.
Ingredients for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
I made this strawberry rhubarb pie with tapioca, and I’ve gone into more detail about what that is in the section below. Here’s what you’ll need to make the strawberry blueberry rhubarb pie.
- Refrigerated pie crusts (store bought is fine, or make from scratch)
- Granulated sugar
- Quick-cooking tapioca
- All-purpose flour
What Is Tapioca Starch?
Tapioca is a gluten-free starch and you need to use a form of quick-cooking tapioca such as Minute Tapioca in order to thicken the pie filling.
The nice thing about tapioca is that it’s glistening and shiny, unlike flour which can leave a cloudier and duller appearance to your finished pie.
Can Tapioca Starch Be Substituted?
I am sure that somehow you could use flour or even cornstarch as a thickener, but I haven’t tested it so can’t say for sure what quantity to use. If you substitute the tapioca, please leave a comment below letting me know what worked!
How to Prepare Rhubarb for Pie
If you’ve never worked with fresh rhubarb before, don’t be intimidated! It requires minimal prep work, and it bakes down beautifully in a pie.
To prepare rhubarb for a pie, follow these instructions:
- When buying the rhubarb, look for crisp stalks that are slightly thinner in diameter. Wilted stalks are past their prime, and stalks that are too thick will have a woody consistency.
- Thoroughly rinse the rhubarb under running water.
- Cut the woody ends and the very tops off of the rhubarb stalks.
- Dice the rhubarb into 1-inch pieces. No need to peel them first!
How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Tapioca
As I mentioned, this berry rhubarb pie is fast and easy to make!
- Begin by flouring your counter top, rolling out one pie crust, and placing it into a 9-inch glass pie plate.
- Next, mix together trimmed rhubarb, the berries, sugar, egg, and tapioca. Allow the mixture to rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
- While it’s resting, roll out the second pie crust into a 12-inch round and then slice into twelve one-inch strips using a pizza cutter. Cut 4 of the strips in half vertically.
- Spoon the filling into the pie crust and then arrange the strips in a lattice pattern over the top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add foil to the crust around the perimeter of the pie so that it doesn’t burn.
- Return to the oven for an additional 25 minutes or until golden browned and bubbling.
- Allow the pie to cool fully before serving, either at room temp or accelerate this by placing it in the fridge. Store leftover pie in the fridge.
How to Make a Lattice Pie Crust
There are lots of tutorials and complicated videos on the internet showing how to make a lattice pie crust, but I tried to keep this basic. Look at the photo collages above and below for step-by-step visuals on how to make a lattice pie crust.
- After slicing twelve one-inch strips, I sliced four of the twelve in half vertically. Meaning there are now eight 1/2-inch strips and eight 1-inch strips.
- The 1/2-inch wide strips I keep as a “pair” and alternate them with the 1-inch wide strips, weaving in and out, up and down to make the lattice top.
- However, if you don’t want to bother with strips of two different widths since this is purely cosmetic, your pie will turn out just fine if you keep all 12 strips the same 1-inch width and make a classic lattice that way.
Please refer to the lattice collage when making your lattice top pie crust. This is truly a case where a picture is worth a million words!
Tip: Before draping and then pressing the bottom pie crust into your pie plate as well as rolling out the pie crust for the lattice top, allow the pie crust to come to room temp for about 15 minutes or it will be prone to tearing or ripping.
How to Serve Rhubarb Berry Pie
Rhubarb pie can be served warm or chilled. If you don’t allow for it to cool completely before slicing, that’s fine but expect it to have a much messier presentation.
You can allow it to set at room temp or in the fridge but I recommend storing it in the fridge, for up to 5 days.
It’s fabulous with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or whipped topping, or simply plain.
Can I Make a Homemade Pie Crust?
For this pie, I used a store bought Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust because I don’t relish making pie crust from scratch.
However, if you have the time and desire to make your own homemade crust, go for it! I have an all-butter pie crust recipe that I absolutely adore.
Can I Use Frozen Rhubarb?
Yes! I made this strawberry rhubarb pie with tapioca before rhubarb is in season, usually which coincides with the late spring and early summer months in the US.
Depending on your area and grocery store, frozen rhubarb can also be a seasonal item. However, I was lucky enough to find some frozen rhubarb at my grocery store.
If you’re using frozen, measure out the 3 cups, then thaw it, and finally drain any excess water.
For those of you lucky enough to grow fresh rhubarb or find it in your local markets, you’ll want to use the trimmed stalks that are free from blemishes that you wash thoroughly beforehand.
Can I Use Frozen Berries?
I used some fresh and some frozen strawberries, and frozen blueberries. Although you can really use any combo of fresh or frozen — blueberries or strawberries.
If you’re using frozen fruit, it doesn’t have to be completely thawed. I’d say a little over halfway thawed is fine.
Neither frozen strawberries nor blueberries will release an extreme amount of natural juices as they thaw so you don’t have to worry too much about draining them.
Do I Have to Add the Blueberries?
No, you don’t have to make a strawberry-blueberry rhubarb pie like I did. If desired, you can use all strawberries and keep this a classic strawberry rhubarb pie with tapioca.
Tips for the Best Rhubarb Pie
Rhubarb: Make sure never to eat rhubarb leaves as they can be toxic!
Berries: The berries are very mix-and-match in this rhubarb berry pie recipe. For example, if you have only strawberries and no blueberries, or vice versa, that will be just fine.
Additionally, if you have blackberries or raspberries on hand, they will also work in this recipe. Aim for two total cups of berries.
Filling: Allow the fruit mixture to stand for 15 to 30 minutes before spooning it into the pie crust. This helps to allow the tapioca to start absorbing the natural juices that will be released.
Baking tips: Bake the pie on a preheated baking sheet. This serves two wonderful purposes: in case of an overflow or bubbling over, the mess is contained on the baking sheet. Secondly, by placing the pie plate on an already hot sheet pan, the crust will start cooking immediately and this prevents a soggy crust.
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Rhubarb Berry Pie
- 1 package refrigerated pie crusts, should contain 2 crusts; alternatively make a double-crust homemade pie crust recipe
- 3 cups rhubarb*, diced into 1 to 1.5-inch pieces
- 1 cup sliced strawberries**, I used some fresh/some frozen, either are fine
- 1 cup blueberries**, I used frozen, fresh are fine
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus about 2 tablespoon for sprinkling
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon quick-cooking or minute tapioca
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
- Preheat oven to 375F and place a baking sheet or pizza stone inside the oven to heat up as well.
- Allow the refrigerated pie crusts to soften for about 15 minutes on a clean counter before flouring your countertop as needing to prevent sticking, rolling out one pie crust, and draping it into a greased 9-inch glass pie plate; set aside.
- While waiting for the pie crusts to come up to warm temp, to a large bowl, add the rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, 1 cup sugar, egg, Minute Tapioca, flour, and gently stir together, and allow the mixture to stand for 15 to 30 minutes. This allows the fruit to release its natural juices and tapioca starch to start working to thicken them.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle your counter with additional flour to prevent sticking, flatten the second crust with a rolling pin, and roll it out so that it's 12 inches in diameter.
- Using a pizza cutter/wheel, slice the crust into 1-inch wide strips, making 12 strips.
- Vertically slice 4 of those strips in half to create 8 thinner strips (1/2-inch each in width); leave these strips in pairs.
- Arrange the strips in lattice design over filling.***
- Seal and flute edges of the pie plate using your fingers.
- Evenly sprinkle the top with about 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Cover the entire pie plate with foil, place on the preheated baking sheet (helps guard against accidental overflow and also begins cooking the bottom crust immediately and prevents a soggy bottom) and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove the pie plate from the oven, remove the foil, and create a barrier of foil to just cover around the crust around the perimeter of the pie plate. This strategically placed foil helps prevent excess browning/burning. Bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the lattice crust is lightly golden browned. Watch your pie and not the clock, noting it could finish earlier/later than the estimates given and it's your job to watch it so it doesn't burn or come out underdone based on how your oven operates, fresh vs. frozen fruit, etc.
- Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours at room temp before slicing and serving, or until completely set. You can accelerate this process by placing the pie in the fridge.
- Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or whipped topping, or plain. Store leftover pie well-covered (airtight) in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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