Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie ~ sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb team up for this easy one crust crumble topped pie. Was there ever a springier dessert? I don’t think so. Be sure to make room in your recipe file for this one!
I’m not much of a double crust pie person, it’s not usually my thing, but hand me a slice of crumble pie and I’m a happy camper. This strawberry rhubarb crumble is the picture of a spring dessert in my mind, and the flavor doesn’t disappoint.
I could have pulled out all my food styling tricks and crafted a shot of a ramrod straight wedge of pie, cold from the refrigerator (or freezer!) with all its juiciness tucked away inside. Yeah, but that’s not this pie. This one is schlumpy and relaxed, and frankly, that comes with the strawberry rhubarb territory. When you try too hard for a thickened pie filling it can wind up being stodgy, which I detest. I’ll take the free flowing juices anytime :)
You’ll have to go back in with the pie server and scoop up what was left behind so as not to cheat anybody. That’s not so much to ask from a great dessert. However, if you want less of a slump, then refrigerate the pie overnight and cut the next day, it’ll behave better. And see my tips for preventing runny pies, below.
Sometimes I mention that this or that dessert ‘isn’t too sweet’, and that’s often true of my desserts, I tend to prefer them that way. But this one is definitely on the sweet side. If you prefer it less so, cut down on the sugar in the topping maybe add some rolled oats or finely chopped walnuts or pecans to it. I’ll be doing a few crumble topped desserts this season and I will be experimenting with that as well. You might also play with the ratio of tart rhubarb to strawberries.
The crumble topping is the ultimate pie shortcut, but I go a step further and use a frozen pie crust. That allows me to lavish all my attention on the delicious fruit filling, which is really the point of it all. I like to pop the frozen crust out of its tin and insert it into one of my own pie plates.
The frozen pie crust I like is Marie Callender’s Deep Dish Pie Crust. I use it straight from the freezer, no thawing.
One of my all time favorite ingredients, and the most cherished bottle in my spice cabinet, is my Vanilla Bean Paste. It’s a paste version of vanilla beans, so while it’s pretty pricey, it’s cheaper and easier to use than vanilla beans…think of it as a cross between vanilla extract and a vanilla bean. The flavor is absolutely wonderful, and well worth the extra cost. I panic when I run out.
Vanilla bean paste adds a rich warm flavor to the filling for this strawberry rhubarb pie.
Spring and summer pies made with rhubarb, berries, and stone fruit are notoriously juicy. You can embrace that (I actually prefer my pies on the softer side) or you can fight it. If you’re a fighter, I did the legwork for you and researched the issue:
Tips for preventing runny pies
- I added a grated apple to this recipe, the natural pectin in apples helps the juices thicken naturally. This tip comes to me from my friend, fellow blogger, and pie expert Tricia at Saving Room for Dessert.
- You can try cooking the filling for a few minutes on the stove top beforehand. This gives the thickener a chance to work. In this case you can try substituting cornstarch for the flour.
- You can toss your filling together an hour or two before cooking. Drain off any juices that have accumulated, and heat it in a small saucepan to reduce them to a syrup. Pour over the fruit topping before baking.
- If flour doesn’t thicken your pie, try other thickeners like cornstarch, tapioca flour, arrowroot, or a specialty baking product like Instant Clear Gel, which has super thickening powers.
- If yours is a two crust pie, be sure to vent it to allow steam to escape. A lattice or crumble topping encourages better evaporation of liquid.
- The Kitchn recommends sprinkling graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of your crust to absorb excess liquid.
- Pay attention to the baking time and make sure you’ve baked your pie long enough. You should see bubbling juices, which indicates that the temperature has gotten high enough to activate your thickeners.
- Let your pie cool to room temperature, or even refrigerate before slicing. This allows the juices to set up. Play it extra safe and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
Just in case, I always bake my pies on a baking sheet to catch any juice eruptions.
Plan to serve this pie à la mode, it just isn’t complete without a scoop of vanilla.
Other strawberry and rhubarb desserts to check out ~
- Strawberry Lemon Blondies, these babies have gone viral this season, so they’re a must try. Very moist and easy to make.
- Easy Strawberry Cake, this cake starts with a cake mix and so really earns the easy in the title.
- Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, this is perfect for Mother’s Day, or any occasion when you need an elegant little brunch cake.
- Rhubarb Crisp, I love that the rhubarb doesn’t have to share the stage with strawberry in this gorgeous recipe. Simple fruit crisps and crumbles are my desert island dessert.
- Easy Rhubarb Breakfast Cake, you’ll just need a couple of ruby stalks to make this simple snack cake.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie
- 1 frozen deep dish pie crust not thawed (I like Marie Callender's)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter cut in pieces
- 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch optional
- 2 cups thin sliced rhubarb
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 apple peeled and grated (about 1/2 cup)
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Put the crumble ingredients in a food processor and pulse about 25 times, or until it resembles coarse crumbs. Pour it into a bowl, add the vanilla paste, and work it in with your fingers, I like to create some clumps in the mixture with my fingers by pressing it together to get a coarser crumble texture.
- Whisk together the sugar and flour for the filling in a large bowl. Add the fruit and toss to get it all coated with the flour sugar mixture.
- Transfer your frozen pie crust to one of your own pie plates if you like. Fill the frozen pie crust with the fruit filling. Top with the crumble topping.
- Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and bubbling. Check the pie half way through and if it seems to be browning too quickly, lay a piece of foil loosely over the top.