When I was a kid went to a local pie shop occasionally.  I was always torn between lemon meringue and strawberry rhubarb.  I think the strawberry rhubarb usually won out.

This pie is as good as I remember those pies from long ago—maybe better because I like streusel toppings.

How to thicken your pie filling:

There are three ways to thicken the slurry for a pie:

  • With cornstarch as added as thickener to cook with the fruit as it bakes.
  • With cornstarch cooked as a slurry on the stovetop and added to the filling.
  • With tapioca.

For the first to work, adding the uncooked starch to the pie filling, the filling must cook thoroughly so that the starch gelatinizes.  That is sometimes hard to do.  Cooking a slurry on the stovetop is a more sure way to gelatinize the starch.  Tapioca makes a very nice pie in this recipe.

We made the pie first by adding 1/3 cup cornstarch to the filling.  Even with the long cooking time, the cornstarch did not entirely gelatinize and the slurry was not as thick as desired.  So we changed the recipe to tapioca.

How to avoid soggy bottoms:

Fruit pies tend to have soggy crusts.  It takes a lot of heat to avoid soggy crusts.  Dark pans absorb heat and light reflect heat.   Always use a dark pan for fruit pies and you will rarely have soggy bottoms.

You can buy a dark deep dish pie pan here. 

1 9-inch single crust pie shell for a deep dish, unbaked
4 cups diced rhubarb
3 cups sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest

For the topping:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Prepare the pie crust from your favorite recipe and line a nine-inch deep dish pie pan.  A dark pie pan will make for a better, crisper crust.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, salt, cornstarch, and lemon or orange zest.
  3. Make the topping by mixing the flour, sugars, and salt together in a medium bowl.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of peas.  Set aside.
  4. Transfer the filling to the pie shell.  Top it with the topping mixture.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Turn the temperature down to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes.  The rhubarb should be tender.
  6. Move the pie to a rack to cool.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes before slicing.   Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

– See more at: http://web.archive.org/web/20131030184252/http://www.preparedpantry.com/Recipes/Straw-rhubarb-pie-struesel.htm#sthash.3ulG0zAa.dpuf

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