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Make this classic rhubarb pie recipe for the taste of summer! It’s sweet tart with a flaky crust and buttery crumble topping.

Rhubarb Pie

Nothing says summer more than rhubarb pie! This recipe is our new family favorite: the filing is intensely pink and sweet tart, encased in a golden pastry crust and sprinkled with a buttery crumble topping. It’s like a rhubarb crisp and pie, all in one! Watching the sun set with a slice of this pie topped with melty vanilla ice cream will make all your summer dreams complete. Here’s everything you need to transform those green-pink stalks into a dazzling dessert!

Ingredients in this rhubarb pie recipe

If there’s one type of produce that we go mad for in spring and summer, it’s rhubarb. It’s extremely nostalgic for both of us: we grew up eating Grandma’s rhubarb crisp and rhubarb bars. But neither of us had a family pie recipe: until now! Rhubarb pie can be a little tricky, but we have a few tips to make this a no fail recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Homemade Pie Crust
  • Rhubarb
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Vanilla extract
  • Orange zest
  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Salted butter
Rhubarb pie

The secret to no-fail rhubarb pie

Here’s the thing about fruit pies: the liquid content can vary based on the ripeness of the fruit. Your rhubarb pie might turn out perfectly one day, but the next time you make it it might be too runny. In our recipe testing for this rhubarb pie, we found it’s easy to get a really runny filling! Here’s how to make rhubarb pie not runny and perfectly set:

  • Allow the rhubarb to macerate for 30 minutes. Stir it together with sugar and let it sit at room temperature. This draws out the fruit juices.
  • Pre-cook the filling with cornstarch for 5 to 6 minutes. Cooking the filling on its own gives it time to interact with the cornstarch, making a thick and gooey filling. Don’t cook it too long, or the rhubarb will become mushy: just enough so the juices form into a thick sauce.

That’s it! Pour this filling into the crust and the rhubarb pie comes out perfectly set, every time!

For the crust

The pie crust for this rhubarb pie recipe is our Homemade Pie Crust recipe, which comes out flaky and buttery. Make sure to allow for about 15 minutes for making a homemade pie crust, 15 minutes to chill, and then about 10 minutes to roll it out and place it in the pie plate.

Make sure to use a standard pie plate for this recipe: not deep dish! Instructions for rolling it out are in the linked crust recipe. You can also substitute any pie crust recipe or store-bought pie crust if you prefer!

Strawberry rhubarb
Want to make it strawberry rhubarb? Sub in sliced strawberries for half of the rhubarb!

Rhubarb pie flavor notes

This rhubarb pie recipe is our favorite for a few reasons:

  • Orange zest brings out the sweet tart flavor. You can leave it out, but we’ve found it adds a nice complexity to the filling.
  • The crumble topping seals the deal. The buttery crumble topping is crunchy and adds another pop of sweetness: it’s like eating rhubarb crisp and pie together!
  • The cornstarch helps to make a thick filling. It’s a hefty amount of cornstarch, but you need it here to compensate for the water in the rhubarb. You can use arrowroot powder as a 1:1 substitute for cornstarch.

And that’s it! We hope you’ll enjoy this rhubarb pie recipe for all your summer occasions: like Mother’s Day, 4th of July, and more! Let us know what you think.

Rhubarb pie

More rhubarb recipes

Got more rhubarb? Here are a few more rhubarb recipes we love:

This rhubarb pie recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Rhubarb Pie

Classic Rhubarb Pie


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 pie (8 large or 12 small slices) 1x

Description

Make this classic rhubarb pie recipe for the taste of summer! It’s sweet tart with a flaky crust and buttery crumble topping.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 Homemade Pie Crust (or your favorite recipe)
  • 6 cups diced rhubarb (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon orange zest (or ½ teaspoon lemon zest)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, mix the chopped rhubarb with sugar and place it on the counter. Allow it to sit and macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes while making the pie crust (this extracts the juices of the rhubarb; do not skip this step!). 
  2. Make the pie crust. Refrigerate while you make the topping.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  4. Place the skillet on a burner on the stove. Stir in the cornstarch, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Add medium high heat and cook about 5 to 6 minutes, until the sauce becomes very thick (but not longer, since the rhubarb will cook in the oven). 
  5. Make the crumble topping: In a medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and kosher salt. Mix together with a fork. Pour in the melted butter while mixing with the fork until a crumbly mixture forms. 
  6. Roll out the pie dough, transfer it to a standard 9-inch pie pan, and crimp the edges (following these instructions). Pour in the rhubarb filling. Use your fingers to sprinkle the crumbles evenly over the filling.
  7. Place the pie on a large baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Keep the pie in the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 350°F. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the crust and crumble topping are golden. (Check on the pie around 20 minutes and cover with aluminum foil if the crust is getting too brown.)
  9. Remove from the oven. Allow the pie to cool for 3 hours at room temperature before serving.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Rhubarb pie, rhubarb pie recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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3 Comments

  1. WOW! First time ever making rhubarb pie. My rhubarb plant is only 1 year old – so i could only harvest about 1.5-2 cups from it. I added in some frozen strawberries I had on hand and followed instructions. It was amazingly delicious!! I tried to convince my partner it tasted just like celery, just so I could have the whole pie!! Needless to say he chased me around the house while I was enjoying it. One slice held up so well I could pick it up and eat it like pizza! And yes – he did end up getting a slice – well 2 slices! Haha thank you for sharing!! 10/10

  2. I’m sorry but a “classic” rhubarb pie does not have vanilla or lemon or any sort. Just rhubarb, a bit of flour, and sugar. Cinnamon? Maybe a touch, but certainly not necessary. A double crust avoids the need for brown sugar. Keep it New England simple..