Anne Dimock's Straight-Up Rhubarb Pie

February 14, 2022
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • makes 1 (9-inch) pie
Author Notes

In this pie, there are no strawberries to claim rhubarb's glory. Anne Dimock's simple filling formula calls for ¼ cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon flour for every cup of sliced rhubarb, plus a little cinnamon, an unlikely accent that brings out the rhubarb's fire. Her golden pie crust ratio is 3:1 flour to fat—feel free to adjust both the filling and crust up or down depending on the size of your pan. Adapted from Humble Pie: Musings on What Lies Beneath the Crust (Andrews McMeel, 2005) with additional notes from The Essential New York Times Cookbook (Norton, 2010). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening (Dimock uses non-hydrogenated brands like Spectrum or Earth Balance, but use another fat like butter or lard if you prefer)
  • 6 tablespoons (or more) ice water
  • Filling:
  • 5 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
  1. Make the crust: Heat the oven to 425°F. Before measuring the flour, stir it to leaven with air, then measure out 2 cups. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and fluff with a fork. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry blender. Stop as soon as the sheen of the shortening disappears and the mixture is a bunch of coarse pieces. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water at a time over the dough, lifting and tossing it with the fork. When it begins to come together, gather the dough, press it into a ball, and pull it apart; if it crumbles in your hands, it needs more water. (It's better to err on the side of too wet than too dry.) Add 1 to 2 teaspoons more water, as needed.
  2. Gather the dough into 2 slightly unequal balls, the larger one for the bottom crust and the smaller one for the top. Flatten the larger ball, reforming any frayed edges with the sides of your hand. Dust with flour and roll the dough, starting from the center and moving toward the edges. Take a knife or thin spatula and quickly work its edge between the crust and the work surface. Lift the dough to the side; dust the dough and work surface with flour. Roll again until the diameter is 1 to 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Lay the rolling pin one-third of the way from one of the edges. Roll the crust onto the pin and then unroll the crust into a 9-inch pie pan and shift it into place. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pour into the crust-lined pie pan. Dot with the butter, if using.
  4. Roll out the top crust. Dab the rim of the bottom crust with water to create a glue. Place the top crust over the rhubarb; trim, seal, and cut several vents. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake 25 to 30 minutes more, until a bit of pink juice bubbles from the vents in the crust.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • student epicure
    student epicure
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  • Fran Bombardo Sullivan
    Fran Bombardo Sullivan
  • chefrockyrd
  • LittleKi
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

37 Reviews

Pearlz June 9, 2022
Omg Thanks so much for this recipe share! This tastes exactly like my mom's rhubarb pie. She was such a good baker. The added sugar in the crust such a nice touch and adds to the overall flavor and such a tender light flaky crust at that. The filling is wonderful Love the cinnamon
loomis May 18, 2021
This recipe made no sense to me. At least, calling the butter optional renders it defunct. If you simply cut up rhubarb, added flour and sugar and cinnamon and dumped it on the crust,which I did, it remains a dry mixture and not a pie.
carol February 6, 2020
My mother-in-law, who was a great and prolific pie baker, included 12 crumbled saltines in her rhubarb pie. The crackers were the thickening agent as there was no flour in the recipe. So darn good.
rob W. April 19, 2022
too, maybe it was the addition of salt from the crackers. I do add salt, minimal amount, to the fruit mixture for flavor enhancement but it also helps to pull the juices from the fruit for a slightly saucier pie.
I enjoy making a pie.
I haven't made rhubarb pie in a few years, this looks fantastic! It's in the oven & I'm confident the taste will be just great. 😊
student E. May 23, 2016
Great flavor and sugar to rhubarb ratio. However, it was still VERY runny/soupy.
LittleKi May 24, 2016
Maybe add a bit more flour? I just remade this over the weekend and it set up nicely.
Tom S. April 28, 2015
Just made my first Rhubarb Pie and used this recipe. Fresh from garden for the first ever harvest! It looks and smells great, cooling as I post!
Lemoni February 19, 2015
I've made this before with fresh rhubarb, and it's fantastic! Wondering if I can use frozen rhubarb in this recipe, and if so, how?
Fran B. May 27, 2014
I live near Sanford Fl, once the celery capital in these parts. I have been searching for a celery pie recipe without success. I know it exists because I have eaten celery pie and I wondered if I could use this recipe with celery instead of rhubarb. When I tasted celery pie years ago, I recall it being very similar to the taste of apple pie or rhubarb pie. If anyone has a recipe for celery pie I would be forever grateful or else I'm going to try this one with celery.
chefrockyrd May 25, 2014
while waiting for my rhubarb to grow I am buying it. Everyone has their own way- but we like either all rhubarb or rhubarb/raspberries. I do not thicken the filling with anything but precook the rhubarb instead. Just saute it in a pan with a bit of the sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice to hold the color. I let the juices thicken and then remove it from the heat and add the raspberries at the end, so they don't break down totally. I transfer it to a plate to cool it, then add it to the prepared crust. The filling is nicely thickened after baked.
boulderbee May 25, 2014
Here's a useful trick. Combine the sugar and flour before you mix it with the rhubarb. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of this mixture across the bottom crust, heap rhubarb in and then sprinkle remaining flour/sugar over the top. No need to mix. This prevents a soggy bottom crust!
LittleKi May 24, 2014
I was short on time, so shamelessly cheated on the crust and went pre-made (hang head), but the filling was fantastic and my guests polished this thing off!
edwin C. April 23, 2014
Sense Rhubarb was one of the only things that grew well in our back yard in San Francisco the pie came to be a favorate, if a bit weird by my friends standards. Mom would always use a lattice top to help with taming some of the juiciness and toss in a hand full of raisins to balance more a the powerful tartness. Still one of my favorites and it was many years before I ever knew about the Rhubarb Strawberry marriage thingy.
ElaineStLouis June 16, 2013
Earth Balance makes a very nice crust, but can be very salty, so I advise cutting back or eliminating salt in the crust if used. I made this yesterday and it is really good. I did cut back on 1/4 cup of the sugar though, as my rhubarb from the garden has been exceptionally sweet!
Big L. June 9, 2013
Instead of flour add arrow root powder, 3-4 tbs. Absorbs much better and gives no mealy consistency.
Chloe8 June 7, 2013
A homemade Rhubarb Pie! one of my favourite pie.
Carole P. May 19, 2013
Everything was delicious but it was a bit too runny. Will add a little more flour next time. Also used 1/2 butter and 1/2 Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread and that worked beautifully. I used my food processor to make the crust, pulsing to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture, then add the ice water a Tablespoon at a time through the feed tube. I made it with only a bottom crust and used an oatmeal crisp crumbly topping. My hubby says it is the perfect rhubarb pie recipe and I needn't look any further.
heatherp May 19, 2013
totally righteous recipe.
it tasted exactly like my grandmother's pie. and that's a really good thing.
Nancy M. May 15, 2013
I am totally on board with this pie. I never understand the need to add strawberries to rhubarb.
karela May 5, 2013
Here is a great trick from Cook's Illustrated. You can use half water and half vodka for the liquid. You will NOT be able to detect the vodka taste after it's baked (all the alcohol bakes out)and the vodka doesn't develope gluten like water does so you can get it plenty moist enough to roll easily and still have light, tender, flakey crust without the toughness that too much water creates. Magic!
Emsbutler May 4, 2013
My family loves this pie, too...more than any other type. So, in the spring when rhubarb is available I make sure to freeze some. I cut it into one inch pieces and pop into a freezer bag so I am always ready, even if the rhubarb isn't in the stores (or in my garden).