Summer is here and you know what that means – the best fruit EVER is finally back in season! This Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is a testament to the superiority of summer fruit. Sweet, juicy strawberries mixed with tart, tangy rhubarb all wrapped together in a buttery, flaky crust!? I mean, c’mon! What more could a person ask for? Let’s make it together!
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Pie Filling Ingredients
- Strawberries: I prefer to use fresh strawberries when baking pies and pastries. The reason for this is that unlike blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, strawberries should be sliced when being prepared for filling. Frozen berries become mushy when thawed and the overall effect isn’t the same.
- Rhubarb: Fresh or frozen rhubarb will work fine here. Be sure the frozen rhubarb is in chunks and not strips. Add to the filling while still frozen.
- Sugar: Moisture and sweetness are the reasons for sugar. As explained in the recipe card, you can add a smaller amount of sugar to maintain tartness or you can increase the amount for a sweeter result.
- Orange Juice/Zest: Orange juice and zest have differing flavors but together they work well to hold together the strawberries and the rhubarb. Furthermore, its many faces make it highly compatible with other flavors.
- Vanilla Extract: There is a reason why so many fruit pies and crumbles are served with vanilla ice cream – the flavor combination is to die for. The luxurious creaminess of vanilla paired with the candy-sweet flavor of strawberries and the tartness of rhubarb makes for something truly special.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is the emulsifier in this recipe. Without it, the pie filling would become very wet and runny, making for a soggy crust.
- Salt: Salt is used to bring out the flavors of the fruits as well as cut through their sweetness a bit.
Steps to make an incredible vegan strawberry rhubarb pie:
- Make the pie crust. You will be using this Vegan Pie Crust recipe. Whisk together your dry ingredients then cut in cold vegan butter and shortening using a pastry cutter. Stir in the ice water then bring the dough together with your hands before dividing in two. Shape each section into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic. Chill the dough for 2 hours.
- Par bake the pie crust. Remove one disk from the fridge and roll out about 1/8-inch thick on a floured surface. Gently place in a 9-inch pie pan and poke holes in bottom and sides of the crust using a fork. Chill again for 30 minutes. Place a sheet of parchment paper into the pie shell and cover evenly with ceramic pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the filling. Stir all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer filling to par baked pie crust shell.
- Assemble pie and bake. Roll out the second disk of dough 1/8-inch thick. Transfer it to your pie using a rolling pin and lie it gently over the top of the filling. Trim excess pie crust and crimp the edges. Cut perpendicular slats in the top of the pie and wrap the edges in tinfoil. Brush with nondairy milk and sprinkle generously with sugar. Time to go in the oven!
Tips for Making Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- Make the crust ahead of time! Pie crust requires a lot of chilling. Make your pie crust dough in advance and chill it in the fridge as a plastic-wrapped disk. The crust will keep like this for up to 2 days.
- Don’t skip par baking! A lot of people skip this step to save time but it’s NEVER a good idea. The worst thing ever is when you put a ton of time into a pie only for it to have a soggy bottom. For those that don’t know, “par baking” is the act of partially baking your crust before adding the filling.
- Transferring unbaked pie crust doesn’t have to be hard. If you flour your rolling surface well, you shouldn’t have a problem with sticking. You can gently roll your dough up over a rolling pin to move it from countertop to pan. You can also lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the rolled out dough and roll it up like a fruit rollup. The plastic will keep the dough from touching itself.
- Bake until deep golden in color. Brush your crust with nondairy milk and sprinkle generously with sugar before baking to achieve this beautiful color and flakiness. Do not take your pie out when it is only starting to yellow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do people mix strawberry and rhubarb?
Unbaked rhubarb has an intense sourness. When this sourness is countered with a sufficient amount of sugar, it begins to produce fruity notes that resemble the unique, candy flavor of strawberries. When the two ingredients come together, balance and flavor complexity are achieved.
Can I use frozen fruit?
While fresh or frozen rhubarb work great for this recipe, I wouldn’t recommend using frozen strawberries. Frozen strawberries do not work well in pies and pastries. Unlike blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, strawberries need to be sliced. It would be near-impossible to slice strawberries frozen and thawed berries get mushy. Fresh is best when it comes to strawberries.
Why is my strawberry rhubarb pie soupy?
There are two reasons this can occur. The first is that you did not use enough cornstarch (or your emulsifier of choice) when preparing your pie filling. When fruit cooks it releases water. For this reason, cornstarch is used to absorb this excess water and help congeal the filling. Accurately measure your ingredients to avoid soupy pie filling.
The second reason for this is simple – you didn’t let the pie cool for long enough after it baked. When a pie first comes out of the oven it is a hot mess – literally! Moreover, the filling needs time to cool and solidify before you cut in. This should take a minimum of two hours.
How do you keep the bottom of a fruit pie from getting soggy?
“Par baking” or “blind baking” is the best way to avoid a soggy bottom. Par baking is the act of partially baking the bottom pie crust before adding in your filling. Fruit releases a lot of water when exposed to high temperatures. For this reason, fruit pies should always utilize par baking. Instructions for par baking are included in the recipe card below.
How to Serve/Store Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Wait at least 2 hours after the pie has been baked to slice into it. Serve with nondairy whipped cream and a big scoop of nondairy vanilla ice cream!
Fruit pies always keep best at room temperature under plastic wrap. They can be stored like this for 2 days. If you would like to extend the life of the pie to 3-4 days, keep it in the refrigerator. Just keep in mind that this will make your pie crust less crisp.
If you would like to freeze your pie, allow it to cool completely after baking. Cover it with plastic wrap and wrap the entire thing tightly in tinfoil. Freeze for up to 1 month.
If you make this recipe, please tag @censoredbaker on Instagram!Print
Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Buttery, flaky pie crust filled with strawberries and tangy rhubarb. Serve with nondairy vanilla ice cream for extra points!
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 1 9-inch Pie 1x
- Category: Pies and Pastries
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
3 c fresh strawberries, sliced
3 c rhubarb, sliced 1/4-inch
1/2 – 3/4 c sugar*
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp nondairy milk for brushing
coarse sugar for sprinkling
- Make the Pie Crust: If you are going to be making your own double pie crust, follow the instructions laid out in this recipe. Roll out one of your chilled pie crust disks on a floured surface into a 10-11-inch circle that is about 1/8-inch thick. Carefully lay dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Turn under/trim the excess dough around the edges. Poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust using a fork. Cover pan with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 days) in the fridge.
- Par Bake: Start by par baking* the crust. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Once pie crust is chilled, remove from the fridge. Crumple up a square sheet of parchment paper and then unfold it. Push it down into your pie shell and fill with ceramic pie weights. Spread them out evenly in the bottom of the pan. Place crust in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow crust to cool for 15 minutes before removing the weights.
- Make the Filling: While crust is cooling, prepare your pie filling. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and stir together gently using a wooden spoon. Mix until you no longer see any dry ingredients and the fruit looks sweet and syrupy. Pour all of the filling into par baked crust.
- Assemble Galette: Remove your second pie crust disk from the fridge and set on a generously floured surface. Roll into a 10-11-inch circle. Using a rolling pin, carefully transfer the dough over to the pie. Gently roll the dough over the top of the filling. Turn under the excess crust around the edges and crimp using your index finger and thumb. Cut perpendicular slats in the top of your pie crust for ventilation while baking.
- Bake: Brush the top of the pie with nondairy milk using a pastry brush and sprinkle with sugar. Wrap the crimped edges of the crust in tin foil to keep them from burning. Place pie on center rack of 375 F degree (190 C) preheated oven and bake for 55-60 minutes or until top crust is golden brown. Allow pie to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.
*Baked pie will keep under plastic wrap at room temperature for 2 days. You can stretch a pie’s life to 3-4 days if you keep it in the refrigerator. Just keep in mind that this will make the crust less crisp.
*If you like the fruit in your pie to maintain some of its tartness, use 1/2 c sugar. If you like your fruit on the sweeter side bump sugar up to 3/4 c.
*I am a big believer in par baking. This is the act of pre-baking the bottom layer of crust before it is filled with filling and baked for a second time with a top crust. This ensures your bottom crust will be just as flaky and delicious as the top.
*There is lots of dough chilling in this recipe. I know it’s annoying, but it’s important. Every time you work the crust with your hands or a rolling pin the butter starts to melt. You want the butter melting to take place in the oven! This will give you the flakiest crust imaginable!
*It’s always a good idea to bake your pie with a sheet of tinfoil underneath it. This way if your filling bubbles over the edge of the pan the foil catches it and you won’t be left with a big cleanup job.
*For more pie crust tips see this recipe.
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