Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Tarragon Sugar

June 3, 2022marissamakes

Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves:

a strawberry rhubarb pie with latticed crust, styled with warm woods, neutral cloths, and pink cosmos flowers.

Strawberry rhubarb pie with a twist

Strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my all time favorite pies, and an absolute must for spring and summer. I’ve put a slight spin on this classic recipe by making a tarragon infused sugar for the filling. It’s herbaceous, floral, complex, and most importantly, absolutely delicious.

Tarragon: for extra spring flavor

Tarragon is a very aromatic herb that has a subtle flavor similar to licorice or anise. It’s often used in savory applications alongside seafood, but due to its light sweetness, works extremely well in desserts. In this recipe, I combined white granulated sugar with fresh tarragon in a food processor and pulsed until the tarragon was fully combined. The result is a gorgeous green, fragrant sugar. You will have some leftover tarragon sugar, so be sure to save it in the fridge to sprinkle on top of other desserts, infuse in drinks, or use as a sugar rim. You can check out some other ways to make infused sugars and syrups on the archives.

the strawberry rhubarb pie without a lattice, showing the rich reds and pinks of the filling.

If you really don’t like the flavor of tarragon (I know, some people don’t like licoricey flavors. I can’t say I agree, but I do get it 😉 ), you can omit it, but the flavor is extremely subtle in the baked product, so I do encourage you to try it out first! If it really is a dealbreaker, simply replace with an equal quantity of granulated white sugar. Dried tarragon will not work in this recipe, so be sure to get fresh tarragon: I can often find mine at my local farmer’s market.

How to make the perfect pie crust

You can find my full write up and recipe for my favorite all-butter pie dough here. The most important things to remember when making all-butter dough is not to let it get too warm, and not over handle it. Over handling results in too much gluten development. This will make the crust too chewy and tough.

The addition of apple cider vinegar gives the dough a lovely flakey texture when baked. Don’t be alarmed by the vinegary smell of the raw dough: the vinegar bakes out of it in the oven. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step!

The unbaked strawberry rhubarb pie decorated with pastry flowers, leaves, and strawberries. The warm wood worktop is scattered with rhubarb, strawberries, tarragon, and cosmos flowers.

How to make the perfect strawberry rhubarb pie

When it comes to this strawberry rhubarb pie, the filling is very straight forward because it doesn’t require any pre-cooking. Simply combine all of the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and let it macerate for about 10-15 minutes. Maceration is the process of softening foods by soaking in a liquid: in this case, lemon juice. It also helps to encourage the fruit to release excess liquid before being added to the pie, which decreases the chance of a soggy bottom. But don’t throw out the extra liquids: heat on the stove until all the sugar and cornstarch is dissolved and then use as a fabulous syrup for other desserts or drinks.

Equipment for this pie

I made this pie using a deep dish 9″ pie plate, but you can use whatever pie dish you have on hand. Just be aware that if you use a dish smaller than mine, you may have leftover ingredients. If this happens, you can make mini pies using a regular or jumbo muffin tin!

To make the tarragon sugar, you will need a food processor or small blender. You could also use a mortar and pestle, if you don’t have either.

Baking temperatures and times

Whenever I make pies or tarts, I like to bake at a higher temperature of 425 degrees F for the first 15-20 minutes of baking, before lowering the temperature for the rest of the bake. This ensures that the base of the pie cooks quickly, which helps the bottom stay nice and crisp.

After the first 15-20 minutes, lower the oven to 375 degrees F and continue baking for about 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is cooked and bubbly, and the crust is golden brown. If the crust browns too quickly, cover it with a piece of foil or crust shield to help keep it from burning.

Serving and storing

Allow the pie to cool completely before serving. It keeps well in the fridge, wrapped in foil or plastic wrap for about a week.

I hope you give this strawberry rhubarb pie with tarragon sugar a try! Be sure to tag me on instagram so I can see your bakes, and leave me a comment below! Your feedback helps other bakers who are giving this recipe a try, and I love hearing about your bakes!

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  • Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 recipe pie dough , see note
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with water for egg wash

For the tarragon sugar

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar, (200g)
  • 3 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves

For the filling

  • 4 cups rhubarb, (~450g) chopped into roughly 1/2" pieces
  • 1 lb strawberries, (453g, or one 16 oz clamshell) hulled and halved, quartered if very large
  • 1/2 cup tarragon sugar, (100g)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar , (100g) packed
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch , (30g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon

Method

Prepare the pie dough

  • 1)

    Make the pie dough according to the recipe and chill for at least 2 hours before using.

  • 2)

    When ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before rolling.

  • 3)

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Prepare filling

  • 1)

    To make the tarragon sugar, combine the sugar and the tarragon in a food processor or blender, and pulse in 10 second intervals until the tarragon is fully incorporated into the sugar. You will have some extra sugar: store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.

  • 2)

    Combine all of the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to macerate for about 10 minutes.

  • 3)

    Roll out the first disk of pie dough and place it in your pie pan. Add the filling, being careful not to add too much of the liquids released from maceration. (You can save this liquid and use it as a syrup: just heat it on the stove until everything is fully dissolved!)

  • 4)

    Roll out the second disk of pie dough, and cut into a lattice, or as desired.

  • 5)

    Brush the egg wash on the pie lattice.

  • 6)

    Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 and continue baking for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

  • 7)

    If your crust is browning too quickly, use a pie shield or a tin foil tent to keep it from burning.

  • 8)

    Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 1 week.

Notes

Here is the recipe for my all-butter pie dough

This recipe makes more tarragon sugar than you will use in the pie. Save leftovers in the fridge for up to a week. If you do not want to include the tarragon sugar, simply replace with an equal amount of white granulated sugar.

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