They say the best recipes are those passed down from family and friends, and this recipe proves it. I made a new friend, Sandy, at the gym a couple of years ago. We often found ourselves in the locker room or hot tub at the same time (preparing for a grueling workout ha ha), and the conversation often turned to recipes. Sandy is one of those perpetually happy people, is friendly and kind to everyone, and always has a big smile on her face. She also has incredible recipe ideas. One day, she described a Strawberry Rhubarb pie with an oatmeal crust, and I was hooked. I love pie but am not the biggest pie crust fan, so I was drawn to that idea like a magnet. This recipe originated from one in Family Circle Magazine from 1982. Sandy added strawberries to the original, and I made a couple of small changes myself, and that’s what cooking is all about. Love somebody’s idea, then get busy and make it your own by adding your own touches. I intend to make it every chance I get.
I’ve cooked and baked a lot of food in my day, but I’m thinking this strawberry rhubarb pie ranks right up there in the top 10 (it still doesn’t beat mac & cheese, but come on now, what does?). It is so easy and fun to make, and it’s tastes incredible. Not only that, the jewel tones of the rhubarb and strawberries make it irresistible. I love that you can see the filling peeking out from the oatmeal crust, which makes me want to jump in there with both hands. I used Minute Tapioca to thicken the filling mixture, and you can see how well it sets up. Also, tapioca makes your filling look more clear than cornstarch, but really – you can go either way.
The end result is a strawberry rhubarb pie that’s a little sweet, a little tart, and then there’s that crunchy, buttery crust and topping. Somebody hand me a fork!! And let’s not skimp on that ice cream or whipped cream either.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you! Just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org I promise to get back to you.
I hope you can give this one a try – it’s a keeper in my book. And thanks so much for reading today!! Happy Summer!! xoxox
- FOR THE CRUST
- 3 cups oatmeal (you can use either quick cooking oats or regular oatmeal. I used regular because I like the extra chewiness in the finished crust, and the oats get a little ground up I anyway if you mix them in a food processor, but up to you).
- 1 ½ sticks butter, melted
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- FOR THE PIE
- 6 cups rhubarb (preferably red), cut into one-inch pieces – here’s the thing about that: using rhubarb that is green skinned will still taste delicious, but the eye appeal will be umm, not that great.
- 4 cups fresh strawberries (local if at all possible) washed, hulled, and sliced in half
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup Minute Tapioca (NOTE: you can also use ½ cup cornstarch. Both will do the trick, but tapioca is clearer, while pies thickened with cornstarch can be a little bit cloudy looking – both work so no problem with whatever you choose).
- ½ teaspoon salt
- NOTE: The original recipe calls for the addition of ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves. I left them out because all I wanted to taste was the rhubarb and strawberries, but feel free to experiment if you’d like.
- FOR THE CRUST
- If you have a food processor, this is a good job for it: Pulse together the oats, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter just until mixed.
- If you are mixing by hand, just stir the whole works together.
- Pat about ⅔ of the crust mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, going up the sides as far as you can. I used a deep-dish pie dish, so if you use a regular sized one, no worries – you’ll just have a little more topping left over. It worked pretty well to use a big tablespoon and coax the oats up the sides of the dish, so if your oats are not cooperating, you might try that strategy. Set the remaining topping aside until ready to bake.
- FOR THE PIE
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- In a smallish bowl, stir together the Minute Tapioca (or cornstarch) and water. Let stand and do its thing for about three minutes. The reason for this exercise is to allow the tapioca or cornstarch to dissolve, and form for lack of a better word, a slurry.
- In a Dutch oven sized pan, stir together the rhubarb, sugar, and salt. Stir in the tapioca (or cornstarch) and water slurry. Bring to a boil over medium heat, until thickened and bubbling, and let it boil for about one minute. NOTE: The rhubarb will not be tender or cooked through – this is a good thing. The first time I tried this recipe I decided to cook the rhubarb until it was soft…and then it disintegrated. The pie still tasted great but didn’t look all that hot).
- Once the mixture is thickened, remove from heat and gently stir in the strawberries, just until mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into the crust and sprinkle the remaining topping over the top of the pie. You might have too much filling if you aren’t making a deep-dish pie, which is another good thing. Just spoon it into a bowl and grab the ice cream!
- Bake for 20-35 minutes, depending on whether you are using a deep-dish pie pan or not. The filling should start to bubble, and the pie should look like it is thickened and set. Check on the pie’s progress after about 15 minutes. If it looks like it’s getting too brown on top, spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and lay it gently over the top of the pie to prevent burning. That should do the trick.
- Cool to room temperature before diving in. I refrigerated it overnight before slicing and it was good as gold the next day.