Cherry Rhubarb Pie

Is there anything you can do with rhubarbs except make pies and jams and jellies, often in combination with a sweet red fruit? The world may never know. I’m not in any mood to find out myself, because before this I was a virgin to making the classic rhubarb pie.

Okay, maybe I still am, since I chose cherries as its pie partner. They just looked so fresh and plump and made me want to buy more than I could eat. While strawberry is the rhubarb’s claim to duo fame, I never quite liked how strawberries cook up: the sad, sagged, muted pink slivers make the fruit’s seeds stand out so, and while still delicious the texture is not one of my favorites. Rhubarb mating season has begun.

I got my rhubarbs at the Farmer’s Market so they must be in season. It makes me wonder if chefs around the country are beginning to serve their own versions of rhubarb pies and other desserts. I don’t bake like a world-class pastry chef, and I’m sure they have some good tricks up their sleeves, but for some reason, I know I wouldn’t have found this at any bakery or restaurant of the city, on that certain day. And that makes me happy. As long as I don’t fail too often at completely improvised recipe attempts. For this one, I actually borrowed heavily from a recipe on Martha Stewart for just rhubarb pie. I wasn’t aware of just how tangy and tart rhubarbs are before making this. Since they are, it’s good to make sure whatever fruit you have next to it is a little milder and sweeter, and you should be set to go.


whoa, your celery’s on fire!


the gratuitous beginning-of-summer bowl of cherries shot


meeting and making nice together


all said and done

Cherry Rhubarb Pie (makes 1 9-inch pie)

Pastry for double-crust pie (recipe can be found here)
1 lb rhubarbs (about 1 1/4 cups chopped), sliced to about 2-inch pieces
1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced (plus any juice from pitting)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tb cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pastry for the bottom crust and place into pie dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rhubarbs, cherries, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Pour mixture into pie dish. Roll out pastry for the top crust and either apply whole, or slice into strips for a lattice-weave crust (as seen above). Trim edges of pastry to an even consistency around the rim of the pie pan, re-allocating pastry bits to other parts of the rim if necessary. Crimp pie crust all around its rim.

Place pie onto a baking sheet (very helpful to avoid mess, as this pie can drip a bit, especially with a lattice crust) Lower oven temperature to 375 and bake pie about 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is lightly browned. Let stand for almost an hour before cutting into and serving.

Cost Calculator (for about 8 servings)
1 lb rhubarbs: $3.00
1 cup cherries (at $4.00/lb): $3.00
3/4 cup sugar: $0.25
Pie crust ingredients combined: $1.50

Total: $7.75

Health Factor

Seven brownie points: As far as pies go, you could do a lot worse than get some sugar and fat from butter for dessert. Since most pie crusts were made with trans fatty shortening pre-ban in NYC, making one yourself is the best way to make sure you’re not eating shortening — and knowing how to tell the difference. I’m not that educated of the palette to rightly tell myself, but I can say that it’s pretty good crust using just butter. Rhubarbs, as their color cries out, are full of antioxidants and other vitamins, like dark red cherries, but the big lesson of the day is that it’s also full of calcium.

12 Responses

  1. ann
    |

    Not so different from jams and pies, but rhubarb can also make a delicious punch (usually in combination with sugar and some red fruit) :)

  2. Patricia
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    I was raised eating rhubarb pie without any added fruit, which is apparently pretty uncommon, especially in the bay area. My mom likes telling this story about a time she was purchasing rhubarb, an old woman approached her, asking if she was going to make a pie. “Yes,” my mom replied. “Do you use strawberries in your pie?” asked the old lady. “No, never,” my mom’s response, “That’s sacrilegious!” The old lady smiled, agreeing. My mom wishes that she had gotten the old lady’s address and dropped off a slice.
    Whenever my mom or I see it for 2.99, and check to make sure it doesn’t bend when you shake it-a pie is in the works. We have also made something similar to applesauce out of the green stalks-which we call swill. Very tasty.

  3. Shary
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    I’ve made many cherry pies and many rhubarb pies but only recently heard about mixing them together. I tried it last night (although I substitued quick tapioca for corn starch). It was delicious, but I thought the cherries overwhelmed the rhubarb. Next time I’ll try fewer cherries in the mix.

    If you like rhubarb juice, try a “rhutini” — a rhubarb juice martini. Garnish with lime. Yum.

  4. Danniella
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    I’ve never had rhubarb pie anyway but straight and liked it, but cherry rhubarb! Awesome, almost better than plain. My family loved it too. This recipe went straight into my files. Thanks so much!!!

  5. Perry O.
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    This is my first year of making rhubarb pies, as I have a huge plant near the barn at the house I moved into, here in Amboy, Washington. I’ve made several strawberry/rhubarb pies, which were excellent, but now onto cherry/rhubarb pies, trying your recipe, as I also have several cherry trees in my small, but bountiful apple/pear/cherry tree orchard. I’ll let you know how they turn out, and great site and article….made me laugh…”whoa, your celery’s on fire”….good one…..

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  7. Mrs. Mac
    |

    I googled cherry rhubarb recipes tonight. We have a sour cherry tree that I just planted last year and have enough picked for a pie this year. Also some rhubarb in the garden that is ready to pick. These pies will be made with only a top crust … saving lots of calories … and using only butter .. no shortening. One pie will be baked now … and the other filling will be frozen (without crust) for a delicious treat in mid winter. thanks for sharing.

  8. Patanol
    |

    Patanol…

    Is there anything you can do with rhubarbs except make pies and jams and jellies often in combinatio […]…

  9. Janice
    |

    Rhubarb chutney is nice way to use rhubarb that is not a dessert. We like it with roast pork, grilled chicken breasts or on left over chicken sandwiches, much healthier than mayo.

  10. Jerlene Lathe
    |

    Really intriguing story, something identical to this occurred to me not too long ago and it pretty much played out in the same way to how you describe it.

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  12. Larry
    |

    I grew up in upstate NY and we had rhubarb in our garden. My aunt use to make us rhubarb pies every spring as long as the rhubarb held out. I was one of the few that loved them. Now sixty years later and living in Alabama it’s very hard to find rhubarb down here. But I have been making my fruit pie as everyone here calls it with rhubarb, strawberries and blueberries. It’s delicious. Now I have to try the cherry/rhubarb pie and will as soon as I can find some rhubarb in a store here.
    Love your blog.
    Larry

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