Saturday, June 25, 2016

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Pie Dough Roses

For my husband's first Father's Day last weekend, or in his case, "father-to-be-day", I wanted to make him a special pie.  And when I saw the Rosy Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie by The Kitchen McCabe on Instagram, I was inspired to make my own pie-dough-roses-covered pie.

We have a very hardy and productive rhubarb plant in our backyard, and I've already frozen quite a few stalks to bake with throughout the summer and fall.  Still, the stalks keep on growing, and we'll have more than enough rhubarb to satisfy my husband's love for it.

Rhubarb has never been my own personal favorite, maybe because I didn't grow up eating it like he did, although I do like it when combined with other fruits, since they mellow out the tartness and texture of the rhubarb.  I've made a Rhubarb Blueberry Almond Crumble Tart, which was fantastic, Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars, Strawberry Rhubarb Almond Crumb Bars, and Peach Rhubarb Pie.  And then there was jam, and more jam, too, of course.

But this time, it had to be a pie, and it had to be with strawberries.  I usually use a combination of flour and cornstarch to thicken my pies, but with the extra juiciness of strawberries, I decided to use a handful of instant tapioca to soak up the juice.

As pretty as the pie was with the raw dough roses on top, it was even prettier after baking, with the red, bubbling juices trickling in between the flowers and leaves.

It was the perfect pie to say that I know he's going to be an amazing dad to our kids.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 pound rhubarb, diced
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup instant tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus a little extra to sprinkle on top
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup very cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 4-6 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
Make the Filling:
In a large bowl, toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the sugars, spices, and tapioca until evenly coated.  Cover and set in the refrigerator.

Make the Dough:
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Scatter the cold butter over the flour mixture and cut in with a pastry cutter until pea-sized pieces of butter remain.  Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture, a little at a time, tossing with a fork to distribute; the dough will still seem fairly dry and crumbly.

Dump the dough onto a clean surface and work with your hands until it comes together into a ball.  Divide into two equal portions.

On a floured surface, roll out one portion to between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick.  Fit the dough into a deep-dish pie pan, letting the excess hang over the edge; evenly trim the edges.  Cover and refrigerate while you roll out the other half of the dough.

For the pie dough roses, roll out the remaining dough to 1/8 inch thick.  Use a small circle cutter (about 1 - 1 1/2 inches) to cut lots and lots of circles, gathering up all the scraps and rolling and cutting those, too.  Lay four circles in a row, overlapping slightly, then roll up.  Cut the roll in half, then fan out the uncut edges to look like a rose. Use a little water, if needed, to moisten the dough enough for the petals to stick together.  (See a video tutorial here by The Kitchen McCabe.) Place the roses on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Use a leaf cutter to cut enough leaves for the edge of the pie.  If the dough is rolled thinly, you'll have enough dough to cut enough roses and leaves to cover the pie.  Freeze the roses and leaves for two hours.

Assemble and Bake the Pie:
Preheat the oven to 425.  Place the pie pan on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with 1 tablespoon flour, and spoon the filling into the crust.

Arrange the frozen roses and leaves over the filling.

Whisk together the egg and water and lightly brush over the roses and leaves.  Sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350.  Cover the pie with foil and bake for another 45-60 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and thick.  Cool pie completely (uncovered) on a wire rack (overnight cooling is preferable to let the juices set) before cutting.

Yields 8-10 servings

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen
Pie Dough Roses inspired by The Kitchen McCabe