Perfect Rhubarb Pie


 Perfect Rhubarb Pie

Perfect Rhubarb Pie



This is a recipe that was back in the archives, but is so darn good that I think it’s worth bring it back again.  I made the pie last weekend and took some new photos.  This is the best rhubarb pie I have ever had, for two reasons;  it’s not runny when you cut it, and the flavor is unique.  You must see for yourself.

Rosy, tart, beautiful rhubarb.

Rosy, tart, beautiful rhubarb.

Ah, rhubarb, sweet rhubarb!  (just kidding, of course)  I’ve never tasted anything so tart in my life, and yet I LOVE it.  I can’t let a spring  season go by without baking something with it.  The most  popular item I make is rhubarb pie–Mr. D’s favorite kind of pie; but I’ve also been known to make cobbler, rhubarb muffins and sweet bread.    Last weekend I made the can’t-wait-to taste-it rhubarb pie.  Try it served with a little vanilla ice-cream along side and you will hear angels singing.

I call this “perfect” rhubarb pie, because it just melts in your mouth.  I’ve discovered that adding some orange zest and nutmeg brings out the flavor of rhubarb, without going overboard in the sugar department. In my opinion, too much sugar just makes it taste sweet, and obscures the flavor of the rhubarb, which is what this pie is all about.


We like it a little tart, so when I make it just for us, I use only 1 cup of sugar.  The recipe given here is for 1 1/2 cups which I feel is quite sweet,  but you can surely adjust the  sugar to suit your taste.   I use quick-cooking tapioca and flour as thickeners; and I also add an egg which helps bind the ingredients and  keep the pie from becoming overly juicy.  When baking, I place the pie on a small baking sheet such as a pizza pan in case it runs over, but really, with this recipe that never seems to happen.


Yield:   Serves 8


Perfect Rhubarb Pie

Perfect Rhubarb Pie


  • 4 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Pie pastry for a 2-crust  9 inch pie.   You may want to use a refrigerated  pie crust from the grocery store, or prepare your favorite pastry recipe.

This is a pie pastry recipe that I have success with:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 7-8 tablespoons ice water


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, tapioca, orange zest and nutmeg.  Stir in rhubarb; let mixture stand while you make the crust.

Prepare pastry:  In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut shortening  into flour until pieces are the size of small peas.Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water  over part of the flour mixture and stir gently with a fork.  Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl.  Repeat using 1 tablespoon ice water at a time using the 7-8 tablespoons total, until all the dough is moistened.Gather dough up into a ball and divide in half.  Roll each half into a 11-12 inch circle, for bottom and top crusts.  Place one crust in a 9-inch pie dish.  Cut decorative slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape while baking.

         2.  Combine egg and water, mixing lightly with a fork.  Add to rhubarb mixture, and stir to combine.  Spoon into pastry-lined pie dish.  Dot with butter.

Add egg mixed with a little water to the sugared rhubarb.

Add egg mixed with a little water to the sugared rhubarb.

3.  Cover with top crust.  Trim crust and crimp edges.  Lightly brush top crust with a little milk or light cream, then sprinkle with coarse sugar for a nice browned top.

Brush top crust with a little milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar..

Brush top crust with a little milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar..


4.  Cover edges with foil to prevent over browning.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil from edges, and bake another 30 minutes, until browned and filling is bubbly.

No runny pie here!

No runny pie here!


SOURCE:   Originally from a vintage cook book in my collection,  with modifications by yours truly .


3 responses

      • Ah, so it’s almost a Rhubarb Custard then… Wonderful Carolyn; thanks!!
        (There’s nothing worse than making a really beautiful looking pie (like yours; ) and then have it boil over in the oven and stick to the plate):
        I will definitely be using this great advice for other fruit pies as well – Happy Days!


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