Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Ginger Crumb Topping

The combination of strawberry and rhubarb is a classic for good reason: the sweet, juicy strawberries are perfectly balanced by the tart rhubarb. Our version features a crumb crust on top, which works well with a very juicy fruit filling such as this one, as a traditional pie crust topping would get soggy. The crumb also provides crunchy textural contrast to the soft fruit inside.–Sam Mogannam

LC Penchants & Proclivities Note

We like the notion of pie. Quite a lot, actually. That said, this recipe also turns out quite a nice crumble when you omit the pie crust–perfect for those days when you just don’t have the time nor the inclination to roll out pastry. While we’re on the topic of penchants and proclivities, if you’re the type who doesn’t prefer a  thick filling, simply use a little less than the amount of flour called for in the recipe.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Ginger Crumb Topping Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 3 H
  • Makes one 9-inch pie

Ingredients

  • For the crust
  • 1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for the surface
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ice-cold water, more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • For the filling
  • 2 1/2 cups (4 to 5 large stalks) rhubarb, sliced on the diagonal 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 1/2 cups hulled and halved strawberries (if the berries are quite large, quarter them)
  • 2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the crumb topping
  • 2/3 cup (3 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  • Make the crust
  • 1. Place the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • 2. Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix the chilled ingredients on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Combine the ice water and vinegar in a small measuring cup. With the mixer running, slowly add the vinegar mixture to the flour mixture, adding just enough for the mixture to come together into shaggy clumps. (If you’ve added all the liquid and the dough is still not holding together, add enough cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it does cling together.) Be careful not to overmix the dough, or it will become tough.
  • 3. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a 5-inch disk, and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a few days. (If the dough has been in the fridge overnight or longer, let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes prior to rolling, as it needs to have a bit of give. If it has been refrigerated for only a couple of hours, you can roll it out immediately.)
  • 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12 1/2-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie dish, preferably deep-dish, by either folding the dough into quarters and unfolding it in the dish or rolling the dough around a rolling pin and unrolling it into the dish. Tuck the excess dough under the edges to create a double thickness and a smooth edge. Then pinch the dough every 2-inches to form a decorative border. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling and crumb topping.
  • Make the filling
  • 5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and position a rack in the center of the oven.
  • 6. In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour, and cinnamon and toss gently but thoroughly to combine.
  • Make the crumb topping
  • 7. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugars, ginger, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two table knives, cut the mixture until the biggest pieces of butter are something like the size of small peas. The crumb topping will still seem very dry and floury looking. That’s okay.
  • Assemble the pie
  • 8. Spoon the filling into the pie crust, then top with the crumb mixture. Place the pie on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper and bake until the crust is dark golden brown, the filling is bubbling, and some juices are spilling over the edge, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack, if you can stand the wait, before slicing and serving.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Natasha Taylor

May 24, 2012

I’m not sure if there are many things better than a piece of homemade pie—and while it is so often viewed as a holiday treat (apple pie at Thanksgiving) or a summer delight (fresh berry pie), there really is, in my humble pie opinion, absolutely no reason to put pie in the category of a once-in-a-while dessert. This pie was so good, I had to make it twice (once with the crust, once without). To be completely honest, while the crust is good (not the best I’ve had, but certainly an honest, reliable crust), the real winner in this dessert is the fruit and the lovely ginger topping. The topping may not look moist enough prior to baking, but it browns up golden, buttery and delicious–it will be just fine. The fruit, if ripe, does create a good amount of juice, so just be aware that it may spill out over your pie pan if you’re not careful. When making the crumble version, I used an 8×8″ pan, which turned out very well (and avoided this problem). Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this is near perfect.

Testers Choice
Sita Krishnaswamy

May 24, 2012

Oh, this was a delicious pie. Especially loved the ginger crumb topping, which perfectly complemented the tartness of the rhubarb. Very easy to assemble and definitely a crowd pleaser. I served it with homemade vanilla ice cream.

Testers Choice
Lori Widmeyer

May 24, 2012

I made this as a crumble instead of a pie, oh-so-easy and amazingly good. I think with the crust it would be too too much dough, but as a crumble it was the perfect balance between tart and sweet–the filling was thick enough to allow it to be served easily. A huge hit with everyone in the family! I let it cool completely, as the recipe stated, but think it would be wonderful warm with ice cream too!

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

May 24, 2012

This is a great crumble if you do not have the time to make a pie crust. The strawberry-rhubarb filling comes out tender and gooey. I was glad I baked the pie on a cookie sheet covered with foil, as there was some overflow of the filling. The crumb topping is sweet, crunchy, light and a wonderful contrast to the light berry flavor and tart rhubarb. It was very easy to eat. The crumble smells amazing as it bakes. It leaves the aroma of strawberry in the kitchen and brings smiles to all who enter.

Testers Choice
Jackie G.

May 24, 2012

I really like what strawberries and rhubarb become when you put them together, so I knew that I had to make this recipe as soon as I saw it. It did not disappoint. I love crumb toppings and felt that there was no need to add a crust to the mix. I wanted the fruit to be showcased, so I made this into a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. I really liked the ginger in the topping. So much so, that I increased the amount of ginger in the topping to a really generous teaspoonful when I made this again a couple of days later. I also reduced the baking time. The first time I made the recipe, the fruit cooked down too much. It was delicious, but there was no evidence that there had been strawberries and rhubarb at one time. The second time I made this, I cut the baking time down to one hour. You could see the rhubarb slices in the crisp this time, yet everything was very tender. I may cut the baking time even more the next time that I make this, just to see what it is like with perhaps 5–10 minutes less time in the oven.

Testers Choice
Carrie S.

May 24, 2012

After searching three grocery stores, I finally found the last five stalks of rhubarb in my neighborhood. The stalks were skinny, but I bought them all because nothing makes me love spring more than rhubarb and strawberries paired together. This recipe was worth the extra effort because I think it is a great winter-to-spring dessert. The ginger in the topping is subtle, almost too subtle for someone like me who loves ginger, but it adds a bit of heat (slightly spicy) to the topping that was a nice surprise and quite welcome on a cold night. I did away with the pie crust because of the time-consuming rhubarb search and am glad that I did. There’s plenty of crumb topping. I didn’t miss the pie crust at all. A few tips: I recommend using a high-sided baking dish or a deep-dish pie pan, because in a 9-inch pie pan, the filling overflowed onto the baking sheet (thankfully covered with foil). If you like ginger, I think adding a bit more would be fine.

Testers Choice
Amy Iacopi

May 24, 2012

Disclaimer: I made this into a crisp and couldn’t find any rhubarb, as all of it had been sold by the time I got to the one store (out of four total) that had already started carrying it. So, this review is for a strawberry ginger crisp. But wow—simply put, this was amazing! I was nervous about all the sugar making it too sweet, but that wasn’t the case at all. I left out the last quarter-cup of the topping because it seemed like overkill, but after seeing how it came out, it probably would have been fine. Still–if you’re not into a lot of crisp/butter on top of the pie/filling, don’t feel the need to use all of it. I can’t wait to make this again once rhubarb is back on the grocery shelves!


Comments
Comments
  1. Raye says:

    I also saw this recipe on Martha, and one look at the photo and I was downloading the Bi-Rite book on my Kindle app for my iPad. It’s just the best recipe. Everyone just raves about how wonderful it tastes. It’s my new go-to crust for fruit pies and my trusty topping for crumbles and cobblers. I add crystallized ginger as a bonus flavor, don’t leave it out. I froze the leftover crust and topping and it was just perfect the next time I made tarts.

    • Lindsay Myers says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Raye. I also love crystallized ginger in desserts. Thanks for letting us know about your experience!

  2. Jamie says:

    Now THIS is summer and I look forward to making this or something, anything like it. Who doesn’t love the cooked fruit, the oozing juices and the tender topping? This one is gorgeous!

  3. Suzanne says:

    I assume crystallized ginger was used in place of ground ginger? Can you use fresh grated ginger? Sounds like this topping would be delicious with pears.

    • David Leite says:

      Hi Suzanne. As you know, the recipe calls for ground ginger, not crystalized. I think Raye, one of our testers, substituted it. We’re going to check for you. I wouldn’t recommend fresh ginger, as equal amounts of fresh and ground doesn’t mean equal amount of flavor or heat.

      • Raye Tiedemann says:

        I used both ground and crystalized ginger, which wasn’t in the recipe. I used Ginger People little crystalized chips, so they’re already in bits. They added an extra zing to the recipe.

  4. Greg says:

    I had left this recipe on the kitchen counter for my husband to see. When I came home from work, it was in the oven. I would request this for my last meal. It is “slap your momma fabulous!!!” Thank you Mr. Leite for continually wonderful recipes!

    • Rachel Kaufman says:

      Ooh, gotta love a significant other who can take a hint (even an accidental one). We’re so happy that you liked the pie, Greg!

    • David Leite says:

      Greg, LOL! “Slap your momma fabulous!” I have a new phrase now. So glad you and your husband liked it. Keep eating, and we’ll keep posting.

  5. Rachel Kaufman says:

    Yes, yes, yes! After learning that this is “slap your momma fabulous” I had to make it. It is all that and more. I used crystallized ginger too, not having any ground on hand(!). I whizzed it up in the cuisinart (which I also used to assemble the topping, because who has time for knives or pastry blenders?) and I think I ended up with about one and a half teaspoons, which was perfect for me because I looove ginger.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no one can argue with “slap your momma fabulous”! Swell thinking on the crystallized ginger, Rachel. Can’t wait to try it myself…

  6. Greg says:

    I had to tell you….
    We had an abundance of rhubarb so my lovely husband made this again but substituted blueberries for the strawberries. He increased the ground ginger 1/4 tsp as I suggested to be a little more pronounced. I had to slap my momma again. The blueberries were just as good.

    • Lindsay Myers says:

      Hmm, wonder if we’re going to hear from your momma on this subject, Greg! But blueberry-rhubarb pie sounds out-of-control tasty. Thanks for the tip!

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