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. Originally published May 24, 2012.–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 thrill to the notion of pie but just don’t have the time—nor the inclination—to roll out the requisite pastry. While we’re on the topic of penchants and 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
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 3 H
- Makes one 9-inch pie
- For the crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the surface
- 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (3 1/2 oz), 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 all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 1/2 oz), 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
- 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.
Recipe Testers Reviews
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
I made a couple versions of this pie—one as written and another one which was gluten-free and made with stevia instead of sugar. The "normal" one came out fantastic and was very highly praised. The other one was very good but of course those who tried both preferred the first one. That being said, for us who cannot have sugar, yeast, and certain flours, it was still a very nice treat and I fully enjoyed it!