Even though I’ve always loved the idea of rhubarb pie, I’ve steered clear of it for years, assuming it was too fussy and difficult to get right. But this spring I was determined to find an easy, foolproof way to enjoy my spring haul of rhubarb in pie form.
The answer is this double-crust pie, which looks like a showstopper but couldn’t be easier to make. It’s delicately sweet and tangy with a ruby, melt-in-your-mouth filling surrounded by a lightly burnished and ultra-crisp crust. Here’s how to make it.
4 Smart Tips for the Easiest Rhubarb Pie
The best rhubarb pie is simple — just rhubarb tossed with a little sugar and something to thicken the filling, enveloped in a flaky pie crust. But, as you likely know, combining a wet filling with a crisp pie crust can be a tricky task. Here are a few important things to know about making rhubarb pie from scratch.
1. You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb for this recipe. Just be sure to thaw the frozen rhubarb first. About an hour at room temperature does the trick.
2. Protect the pie crust with an egg wash, both inside and out.When brushed on the pie’s empty pie shell, an egg wash — just an egg and water whisked together — will prevent your pie’s bottom crust from getting soggy. It also helps brown and add shine to the top crust.
3. Venting is key for a perfect rhubarb filling. Rhubarb has a surprising amount of moisture, and sugar draws it out. Make sure you’ve got plenty of vent holes — either make them with a circle cutter as I did, or top the pie with a lattice. Venting allows moisture to leave the pie as steam, and prevents sogginess.
4. Preheat a baking sheet for the pie. Place a baking sheet in the oven as it preheats. When you add the pie to the oven, set the pie on the preheated baking sheet. This initial blast of heat will ensure the bottom crust is crisp. Plus, the baking sheet will catch any bubbling filling that leaks out.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes to 45 minutes
- 1 (14 to 16 ounce) package prepared pie crusts, thawed if frozen
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 1/2 pounds chopped rhubarb (about 6 cups or 6 stalks), thawed if frozen
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespooons coarse sugar, such as demerara
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat. Unroll one of the pie crusts and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate, being careful not to puncture the dough.
- Using a fork, whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Brush the the pie dough with an even layer of the egg wash. Refrigerate the pie dish and remaining frust while preparing the filling.
- Place the rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and toss until well combined. Pour all of it, including any liquid, into the prepared crust.
- Unroll the second pie dough on a work surface. Use a 1-inch round cutter or paring knife to make 8 to 10 vent holes in the dough. (Alternatively, use a straw to create tiny vent holes.) It is important that the filling has plenty of holes to vent, or the filling won’t thicken.
- Transfer the second crust onto the pie over the filling and crimp the edges to seal. Brush the top and edges of the dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle generously with the coarse sugar (you might not all of it).
- Bake until the filling is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes — you may need to cover the top or edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil if the crust is getting too dark. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours before serving.
Make ahead: The pie can be made 1 day in advance.
Storage: Cover the pie and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.