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Down in the corner of our backyard, tucked between some aspens and a gracious white pine tree, is a lone rhubarb plant.  It’s a monster of a plant now.  Every year I mean to divide the root but I never get around to it.  I noticed last night that it’s big enough that I can start cutting a rhubarb 1few stocks at a time.

I love rhubarb recipes.  I love strawberry rhubarb pie, the mixture of sweet and tart.  I love rhubarb crisp.  It’s time to start baking.

Make a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Dutch Crunch Topping

When I was a kid went to a local pie shop occasionally.  I was always torn between lemon meringue and strawberry rhubarb.  I think the strawberry rhubarb usually won out.

This pie is as good as I remember—maybe better because I like streusel toppings.

For this pie, you will need a deep dish pan. We recommend dark pans for fruit pies.  If you use dark pans for fruit pies and you will rarely have soggy bottoms.  That’s because it takes a lot of heat to cook through the fruit and bake the crust and dark pans absorb heat rather than reflect heat as light pans do.

You will need a pie crust mix or recipe.  If you have trouble with crusts or if your time is limited, try our just-add-water professional pie crust mix.  It’s quick and easy and since it’s used in many bake shops, you can expect professional results.  I rarely make a curst form scratch anymore—I can’t make them any better than this.

Rhubarb 2

A strawberry slicer will cut your prep time by about two-thirds.  Additionally, it cuts your berries into uniform slices for more attractive desserts.

1 9-inch single crust pie shell for a deep dish, unbaked
4 cups diced rhubarb
3 cups sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest 

For the topping:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Prepare the pie crust from your favorite recipe and line a nine-inch deep dish pie pan.  A dark pie pan will make for a better, crisper crust.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, salt, cornstarch, and lemon or orange zest.
  3. Make the topping by mixing the flour, sugars, and salt together in a medium bowl.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of peas.  Set aside.
  4. Transfer the filling to the pie shell.  Top it with the topping mixture.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Turn the temperature down to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes.  The rhubarb should be tender.
  6. Move the pie to a rack to cool.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes before slicing.   Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Rhubarb Nut Crisp

I like a rhubarb crisp almost as much as I like the pie. And a crisp is easy to make. Check this and other recipes out.

This makes a great early summer dessert. A crisp can be served hot or cold with whipped cream or ice cream.  This is another crisp that goes well with lemon cloud whipped cream. 

The secret of this crisp is the panko.  While you can use rolled oats, sugar, and butter, Panko bread crumbs are a lot better.  It makes the dessert crisper, nicer, more refined.

This recipe can also be made in an eight-inch skillet.

4 to 5 cups thinly sliced rhubarb pieces
1/3 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Combine the rhubarb with the walnuts in a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Add the 3/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons flour and toss well to evenly coat all pieces.
  2. Combine the Panko, cinnamon, the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup flour in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry knife until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over fruit.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes.  The rhubarb should be tender and the topping crisp.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Strawberry Rhubarb Betty

rhubarb 3

This is another spring favorite, a combination of strawberries and rhubarb.  A betty is easier to make than a pie.

3 cups fresh rhubarb cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
3 cups fresh or individually frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For the topping

3 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

  1. For the filling, toss the rhubarb slices and strawberries with the lemon juice and melted butter.
  2. Stir the slices with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour until evenly distributed.  Spread the coated slices in a 9×9-inch ungreased baking pan.
  3. For the topping, toss the Panko with the cinnamon and the second measure of brown sugar.  Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and toss again.  Spread the topping over the fruit to cover.  Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender when poked with a skewer or toothpick.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees to make the topping crunchy.

Serve hot or cold with ice cream.

About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He and his wife Merri Ann are the founders of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and he is the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an E-book.

Dennis and Merri Ann live in Rigby, Idaho. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.