In my last post, I talked about a mix of ingredients (strawberry and pistachio) that I thought was great but, in fact, isn’t—at least, according to flavor experts. Now, I think we can all agree that the combination of strawberries and rhubarb IS a match made in heaven, right? I can think of no better food duo: the sweetness of the strawberries is perfectly balanced by the tartness of the rhubarb. Even their textures are complementary: in this pie, the strawberries become soft but still keep their shape, laying all comfy and surrounded by the rhubarb that turns into a delicious compote in the baking process. This pie is a spectacular one—THE seasonal pie you should be making right now. It’s so good that I’ve been enjoying it for breakfast, too. The oats in the crumble count as a daily dose of fiber, right?
Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble Pie
For one 9-in [23-cm] pie
1 9-in [23-cm] pie crust
For the filling
1 cup [250 ml] sugar
¼ cup [60 ml] cornstarch
1 tsp [5 ml] orange zest
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] salt
3 cups [750 ml] rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ½-in [1.25-cm] pieces
4 cups [1 L] strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
For the crumble topping
2/3 cup [160 ml] rolled oats
½ cup [125 ml] all-purpose flour
½ cup [125 ml] brown sugar, packed
½ tsp [2.5 ml] ground ginger
6 tbsp [90 ml] chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-in [1.25-cm] cubes
1/3 cup [80 ml] slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp [15 ml] butter
To prepare the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F [175°C]. Roll out the pie crust into a circle shape. Fit the dough over a 9-in [23-cm] pie pan and crimp the edges as desired. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then cover with a piece of parchment paper and add pie weights (or dry peas). Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove the pie weights and parchment paper and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and reserve.
Increase the oven temperature to 425°F [215°C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To prepare the filling: Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl. Remove 2 tbsp [30 ml] of the sugar mixture and set aside. Add the orange zest and salt to the large bowl, whisk, then add the rhubarb and strawberries and mix to coat the fruits with sugar. Let sit while you prepare the crumble topping.
To make the crumble topping: Place the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor (see note). Pulse until the oats are ground and the mixture is well blended. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. Remove the bowl from the processor, take out the blade, and mix in the slivered almonds with a spoon (you can also transfer the crumble to a mixing bowl to mix in the almonds).
To assemble the pie: Sprinkle the 2 tbsp [30 ml] sugar/cornstarch mixture over the bottom of the blind-baked crust. Pour the fruit mixture into the crust, spreading it evenly. Dot with 1 tbsp [15 ml] butter. Cover the pie evenly with the crumble mixture, pressing it down slightly so it forms a crust of sorts.
Place the pie on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet (so it catches the dripping juices) and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F [175°C] and bake for about 40 minutes longer, until the juices are thick and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and allow the pie to cool and rest for several hours (a half-day is best). This will allow the filling to set and make the pie easier to serve.
Serve the pie on its own, or even better, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
- I recommend blind-baking the pie crust first because I find it remains fairly soggy when I skip this step (due to the juiciness of the filling). You can definitely skip this step if you’re short on time, but know the crust won’t be as flaky.
- Processing the oats makes for a finer crumble texture. You can skip this step, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then incorporate the butter by hand (or using a pastry cutter). The crumble will be chunkier, but just as delicious!
Recipe Credit: Marie Asselin, based on a recipe by Magnolia Bakery.