Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Extra Flaky Pie Crust

Have I ever told you about my granny and her world famous pie crust? The woman was a master at making the flakiest, most tender, melt-in-your-mouth pie crust I have ever tried. It was so good it defied logic.

She was known far and wide (at least around Kelowna, the town I grew up in) for her incredible talents with baked goods. I'll be the first to admit that she was a bit of a funny duck, but man that woman could bake.

I had begged her for years for her pie crust recipe but the one she gave me never turned out. It was all butter and far too tough. One Christmas I said to her, “you're never going to give me the real recipe, are you?” She just shook her head. {Note the sentence above about her being a bit of a funny duck.}

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Extra Flaky Pie Crust

I've been trying for so many years to recreate the pie crust I grew up loving and ….

I've come so close this time that I couldn't wait to share the recipe with you.

It's not exactly the same but it is very very similar. My handsome man said about 48 times that it is the best pie he's ever eaten. And my little nephew seemed to agree with him. 🙂

→ Sidebar ← Yesterday when that cute little monkey and I were walking down the street he was saying to me, in a very loud voice, “Auntie I really really really super duper super duper super duper really really love you!” I melted right there in the street.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Extra Flaky Pie Crust

The trick when it comes to any pie crust (this is the one bit of truth my granny shared with me) is that it is absolutely essential that the pastry remain COLD. 

My granny would soak her hands in a bowl of ice water then use just her fingertips to combine the butter with the flour. I cheat and use my food processor.

This recipe has mostly lard (shortening works too) which is why it is so flaky. I firmly believe that pies should never be made with an all-butter crust; they're tasty but the texture is all wrong. I think that next time I will cut back a little more on the butter just to try and get a pie crust that is exactly like my granny's was.

The beautiful thing about this pie is that the crust is so soft it actually reminds me a little of shortbread that melts in your mouth. It kind of flakes apart and then melts and makes my mouth oh so very very happy.

Also, I like to cut the fruit for my pies quite small, say about ½ inch diced pieces. Again, I'm sure this is just because the way my granny made her's and I'm always trying to recreate that. It gives the pies a cohesive, almost jam-like consistency, which I love. You can go ahead and experiment with cutting the pieces a little larger if you like.

A few other notes:

Why use vinegar in a pie crust? 

Vinegar helps to loosen the gluten in the flour and keep the pastry from being tough. It's a great trick if you are worried that you might overwork the dough.

Do you really use bacon fat in pie crust? Yes! It adds a tiny bit of extra flavor (don't worry, it's actually hardly noticeable) and it makes the crust even flakier.

Why does the butter and lard or shortening need to be cold? When the butter (and lard or shortening) melts in the oven it creates little air pockets in the pie crust which is what helps make it flaky.

Why does the pie crust need to rest in the fridge? For two reasons: 1. So that the butter and lard or shortening stays cold (see the note above). and 2. So that the gluten in the flour has the chance to relax. Ie: you won't be left with a tough pie crust.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Extra Flaky Pie Crust

If you make this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Extra Flaky Pie Crust, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Extra Flaky Pie Crust

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Extra Flaky Pie Crust

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: North American

Description

This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie has extra Flaky Pie Crust just like my Grandmother used to make. This pie is a crowd pleaser. You are going to love it!


Scale

Ingredients

Fot the crust:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ¾ cup cold shortening
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or sub white vinegar)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon bacon fat

For the pie:

  • 3 ½ cups rhubarb, diced small
  • 3 cups strawberries, diced
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • Optional: whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Combine the flour, sugar and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor and whizz it around to combine.
  2. Add the shortening, butter and optional bacon fat and pulse to combine. The dough should look a little like wet sand at this point.
  3. Pour the dough into a large bowl and add the cold water and apple cider vinegar. Working with just the tips of your fingers combine everything together just until the dough forms a ball. Divide the dough into 2 balls and wrap the balls in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for at least a half hour, or up to 2 days. (If you are making a lattice top, like in the pictures, make one ball slightly larger than the other.)

To make the filling:

  1. Combine the rhubarb, strawberry, sugar and flour in a bowl and mix to combine well.

To assemble and cook the pie:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Remove the slightly larger ball of dough from the fridge, remove the plastic and place it on a piece of parchment paper. Press it down with the heel of your palm then cover it with another piece of parchment. Roll the dough out but starting in the centre and pushing the dough away from you using a rolling pin. Turn the parchment paper ¼ turn after each roll so that the dough forms a circle. Roll the dough so that it is 2 inches larger than your pie pan.*
  3. Remove the top piece of parchment and use the bottom piece to guide the dough into the pie pan. Place the pie pan in the fridge.
  4. Remove the second piece of dough from the fridge and repeat the same process. Cut the dough into 1 inch strips.
  5. Pour the pie filling into the pie pan, criss cross the strips across the pie then pinch the edges together. (I'd give you advice on crimping the edges but I always struggle with this part.) Basically you pinch the top and bottom parts of the dough together. Don't worry about making it perfect though, I actually prefer it when it looks rustic.
  6. Place the pie on a rimmed baking tray and bake it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and continue to bake it for another 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is light brown. *Keep an eye on the edges of the crust and if they are browning too quickly cover them loosely with aluminum foil. I usually have to do this after 20-25 minutes of baking.
  7. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before you serve it.

Notes

*If the dough starts to crack at the edges of the circle use your fingers to squish it back together