This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Crumb Topping is one of my favorite spring and summertime desserts. Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb bake up with just a hint of warm cinnamon and nutmeg. The crumb topping is light, tender, and crispy yet substantial enough to create a nice coating over the pie.
This strawberry rhubarb pie has three components: the bottom pie crust, the fruit filling, and the crumb streusel topping. You can jump straight to the recipe or read below for baking tips!
The Pie Crust
Use your favorite pie crust for the bottom of the pie, grab one at the store, or use my easy Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust, which takes just a few minutes to put together. It does best when thoroughly refrigerated, so I like to do the crust ahead of time and pull it out of the freezer or refrigerator. It's reliable, rolls silky smooth, and bakes up incredibly flaky. I also use this pie crust for slab pies, pot pies, and hand pies.
I use a 9-inch deep-dish French pie plate and pile in about 6 cups of fruit. That sounds like a lot, but once the fruit macerates a bit in the bowl with the sugar and lemon juice, it will break down slightly and lose some volume. If your pie plate is not a deep dish - totally fine! You'll be able to use 1 cup less fruit.
Pie Filling Thickener
Corn starch is the thickener I commonly reach for, and it works just fine in this pie, but over the last few years I've been using a product called ClearJel. It's similar to corn starch in that it thickens, but it is mostly transparent and dissolves, so the color of the fruit shines through (though not completely clear). If what you have onhand is cornstarch, definitely use that. But, if you make more than a few fruit pies per year, try out the ClearJel. It keeps forever in the pantry, and your fruit pies will never look better. (I'm not a sponsor of ClearJel - I just like the product. The link provided allows a small affiliate fee paid to me by Amazon with no extra charge to you. It helps me keep A Food Lover's Life up and running!)
Strawberry to Rhubarb Ratio
The fruit ratio is up to you. You can do half strawberry and half rhubarb, or two cups strawberry and four cups rhubarb, or the other way around. It just depends on what you have available and your personal preference. I'm lucky that we grow both strawberry and rhubarb, so I'll often have slightly different ratios each time. Just be sure to taste the filling in the event you need to add a tiny bit more sugar. Sometimes the rhubarb can be very tart.
The Crumb Topping
This is my favorite, all-purpose streusel topping that I use for pies, muffins, quick bread, and as a topping on danishes. It's a light, crispy, buttery topping that freezes well, so I usually double or triple the batch to use on various recipes over the next few months.
Other pie recipes!
Baking This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (or any pie)
Baking your pie at a higher heat for 15 to 20 minutes will set the edges and help prevent slumping. Then turn the oven down and finish the bake until the edges are bubbling and the middle looks somewhat set. When the pie cools, it will set up all the way. I bake my pies on baking steel - or you could use a pizza stone. That will help create a superior flaky bottom. I can slice a piece for most of my pies and pick it up like a hand pie without the bottom falling out. A baking steel makes a great birthday or holiday present. Here's the link to my favorite steel. It just lives in my oven full-time to bake pies, roast veggies, bake pizzas…you name it.
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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Crumb Topping
- 1 single pie crust your favorite pre-made recipe or store-bought
- egg wash for brushing on the pie edges 1 yolk + 1 tablespoon water. Optional step
- 3 cups strawberries washed and sliced into large pieces
- 3 cups rhubarb washed and sliced into ½ inch slices
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice fresh-squeezed
- ¾ cup sugar granulated - see note
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 tablespoon cornstarch or 5 tablespoon of Clear Jel *see note
- pinch of salt
- 1 ¼ cups flour all-purpose *see note
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar optional * see note
- ½ cup butter unsalted, melted (1 stick)
- pinch of salt
Bottom Pie Crust (using your favorite pre-made pie crust or store-bought)
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a sheet tray or cookie sheet with parchment or foil. Baking the pie on top of a lined sheet tray will help catch pie filling juices in case any spills over.
- Lay your pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan, leaving a 1-inch edge. Crimp or fold the edge into a pattern or decoration of your choice. Chill until ready to fill. This is an important step to avoid the decorative edge from sinking in the oven.
- Combine flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt (and apple cider vinegar if desired). Stir in melted butter until fully combined. *see notes
- Add all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. *see notes
- An optional step is to brush the pie edges with egg wash (1 yolk + 1 tablespoon water). This will create a golden color when baked but it's not essential.
- Pour in the fruit filling, distributing evenly. Top with the crumb topping right away. If the fruit filling sits in the raw pie crust for too long before being baked, the crust could become soggy.
- Using generous handfuls, top the pie with the crumb topping. It's nice to have different sized crumbs for the topping. Sprinkle some smaller crumbs on the pie crust, then squeeze some of the mixture in your hand to pack it together, then crumble it apart over the pie to make larger pieces. I like to leave a few spaces where the fruit can peek through. The topping will bake down a little, it's ok to lay it on thicker in some places to create some additional texture.
- Bake in the center of a 400F oven for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 350F. (The higher heat at the beginning of baking will set up the edges of the pie crust.) Bake at 350F for an additional 30-40 minutes. Check for color ½ way through and tent with foil if the top starts to brown too quickly. I almost always tent mine with foil at the ½ way point. Bake until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the topping is a blond to golden brown color. Remove and let fully cool before slicing. The filling will need to set up.