It is rhubarb season. It is strawberry season. And thus, it is the season for strawberry rhubarb pie, a flawless summer dessert.
A good strawberry rhubarb pie (henceforth referred to as “SRP”) is everything a dessert should be all at once. It is both tart and sweet, both soft and crumbly, both complex and comforting. It fits in just as well and tastes just as delightful on a glittering NYC rooftop as it does in the dust of a midwestern state fair.
It is so good.
And, just like you can’t take the Midwest out of the girl, you cannot coax a single bite of SRP from me once I have it on my plate. Get your own slice, you freeloader.
My mom makes SRP, and even as a kid who did not like unfamiliar foods, I was smitten with it from bite one. In fact, I was so into SRP that it took me around five blissful years to even wonder what rhubarb actually was what it looked like as a plant, for example. It looks kinda like celery, for the record, but even as a young celery-hater, that made me love the pie even more. Rhubarb was weird! It had badass poisonous leaves! Eating it was a special treat! Hell yeah! Rhubarb was so cool.
Today, the sour veggie retains the same magic for me. In a pivot away from my childhood tastes (who knew that could be a thing!), I even like it raw now it’s earthy and extremely tart, and I get the sense that if I ate it when I was exhausted, I’d wake right up. (Have not tested; do not plan to.)
But it’s still best in the pie: a goopy slice fresh from the oven, or a firmer, neat piece in a cloudy Tupperware for a lunch, or a last-ditch slice stuffed into the famous Desserts Only pocket of your stomach the one you always retain after a huge meal.
This is what makes it the Best Pie.
You can put vodka in the crust, like Bon Appetit, or black pepper in the filling, like the Wall Street Journal, but all you must do is include slightly more rhubarb than you do strawberry. This is what makes SRP magical, the Kentucky Derby winner of the fruit pie pack. This is what makes it cool. This is what makes it the Best Pie.
SRP is good with or without ice cream, by the way; but if you go the ice cream route, you have to eat outside on an Adirondack chair. It’s just the rules. I don’t make them!
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