A strawberry rhubarb pie with ginger crumb topping is the best of both worlds—a sweet-tart pie and a juicy, fruit-filled crumble combine to make a dessert that dreams are made of. The crumble topping stays crisper than a pie crust and adds a pleasing texture to the tender fruit beneath.
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
DO CRUMBLES HAVE A BOTTOM CRUST?
That’s up to you. Generally speaking, a crumble is bottomless but an extra bit of pastry never hurts anybody. Leaving out the bottom is faster and might appeal to those of you looking to reduce a few carbs. Or if you’re just not feeling the notion of rolling out a crust. Don’t get us wrong, we love a pie. We really, really love a pie. But this recipe makes a perfectly tasty crumble without the bottom crust. On the subject of your dessert proclivities, if you’re the type who doesn’t prefer a thick filling, use a little less than the amount of flour called for in the recipe.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Ginger Crumb Topping
For the crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for the surface
- 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 oz) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) 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 (6-mm) 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 all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz) unsalted butter cold, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons packed dark or light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Make the crust
- Place the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour, and cinnamon and toss gently but thoroughly to combine.
Make the crumb topping
- 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
- 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.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
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.
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 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.
Originally published May 24, 2012