Homemade strawberry pie is taken to a whole new level when it’s made with fresh strawberries and a rhubarb sauce! It’s the perfect early summer dessert.
Strawberries and rhubarb are two of June’s Ohio delights. They signal the start of backyard harvests and overflowing farmer’s markets. We grow tart rhubarb at our house, and every year I buy deliciously sweet local strawberries from a nearby Amish farm stand in bulk.
Strawberries and rhubarb are found together in many recipes, and it makes perfect sense. The tart flavor and firm texture of rhubarb so nicely contrasts and compliments the juicy sweetness of perfectly ripe strawberries. A perfect pairing.
Every year we have to enjoy one really good fresh strawberry pie, but this year I wanted to incorporate all of the rhubarb growing in my backyard. Every strawberry and rhubarb pie recipe I’ve seen bakes the strawberries and rhubarb together, but the thought of baking those beautiful berries seems to be a culinary nightmare to me.
I never bake strawberries. Blech.
So I took a cue from my mother-in-law and made an incredible fresh strawberry pie that’s held together with a homemade rhubarb sauce. It’s really, really good, and so simple to make. You have to try it!
My mother-in-law makes a fresh strawberry pie that’s always a hit at family gatherings. She always uses fresh strawberries and simply holds them together in the pie with strawberry gelatin.
I admit that it tastes great, and for years hers was my go-to strawberry pie recipe. But as I’ve moved away from artificial colors and flavors, strawberry gelatin had to go. All that red food dye? Yikes! Bad stuff.
Thankfully, it’s really easy to make a homemade substitute that holds the fresh berries together with just arrowroot powder, sugar, and water. Arrowroot powder is a starchy powder that behaves just like corn starch but comes from the roots of tropical plants. Corn starch works, too, but arrowroot is a less processed and a better whole foods choice.
I used this recipe as my starting point, but replaced the strawberries in the sauce with rhubarb and adjusted the instructions so that the rhubarb would be cooked while the strawberries stayed fresh.
The verdict from the family was pretty unanimous as we ate it. My oldest daughter was skeptical of the rhubarb addition, but she was quickly convinced. My toddler proudly showed me that she ate her whole piece, attempting to claim the one leftover as her own. The rest of the family was a chorus of “Mmmm“s as they ate, and my husband happily enjoyed that last piece after everyone was in bed.
Have I mentioned that it’s really, really good?
Fresh Strawberry Pie with Rhubarb Sauce
Disclosure: I’ve included a couple of affiliate links for ingredients in the recipe. Purchasing through these links doesn’t cost you extra but supports my site with a commission. Thanks!
- 1 prepared pie shell (use your favorite recipe)
- 1 quart washed, hulled, and halved fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup thinly slice rhubarb
- 3/4 cups water, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar (I like unrefined cane sugar)
- 3 T. arrowroot powder
- In a small saucepan, combine the rhubarb, 1/2 cup water, and sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, and allow to gently cook for 10-15 minutes or until rhubarb is soft. Break up the rhubarb with a fork or the back of a spoon.
- In a small cup, combine the arrowroot powder and remaining water and whisk together until no clumps remain. Pour into the cooked rhubarb and return to a gentle boil. Cook until the mixture is thickened and no longer cloudy. Allow to cool until just slightly warm.
- Combine the rhubarb sauce with the strawberries so that it is evenly mixed, then pour into pie crust. Chill for about 2 hours before serving. Top with real whipped cream for a special touch (and we can still be friends if yours comes out of an aerosol can).
See? It’s really, really simple. Not a lot of work for really delicious results!
And I’m pretty sure I’ve got my new go-to strawberry pie recipe.