Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie ♥

Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie ♥, a summer masterpiece and a perfect balance of sweet and tart and cinnamon.
Oh my, this pie, people, this pie. It's a 100% rhubarb double-crust pie from pie master Anne Dimock, no strawberries, no eggs, no tapioca, just pure rhubarb. It's a country pie with a perfect balance of sweet and tart and cinnamon and is my "go-to" recipe for a plain rhubarb pie although it's hardly plain, instead it's just perfect.

Fresh & Seasonal, a Summer Masterpiece. Beautiful Pink Rhubarb Color. Rave Reviews.

Pie Nibbles

As a pie-maker since age 16, I couldn't resist Anne Dimock's book Humble Pie: Musings on What Lies Beneath the Crust (affiliate link) when first published last year. Over the winter, I slowly nibbled through the chapters, savoring every page, considering apples and blueberries and rhubarbs, wondering if I might ever — ever ever ever — attain Pie Queen status.

But it took timing — her "Straight-Up" Rhubarb Pie being published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine and a big supply of Canadian Red rhubarb (many many thanks to my Auntie Meryl!) — to help me deliver three perfect rhubarb pies in all of two weeks.

The first pie, we groaned with pleasure. The second pie, we ate in silent appreciation. The third pie, we laughed over with new cooks (my nephews, ages 16 and 14!) and new friends (Nupur and Vasant!). This pie has sooo much going for it. Let me tell you about it.

Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie ♥, a summer masterpiece and a perfect balance of sweet and tart and cinnamon.

The Rhubarb Filling

Just five ingredients, just rhubarb, sugar, flour, a tiny touch of cinnamon and a few dots of butter
No tapioca, no cornstarch, no eggs, no gelatin, no jello, no pectin for thickening
No strawberries, no apples, no orange, no pineapple, no other fruit, just rhubarb

What Makes This Rhubarb Pie So Special

It's all about the rhubarb! It's adorned with nothing more than sugar, cinnamon and butter, thickened with no more than flour.
The rhubarb:sugar:flour:cinnamon proportions are perfect. For every cup of sliced rhubarb, use 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon flour.
The recommendation of Penzey's Extra Fancy Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon is worth heeding: it's amazing. This big cinnamon is now the only cinnamon I buy, it's worth going out of your way for. A quarter teaspoon might not seem like a lot: but thanks to Anne Dimock, it's perfect.
The all-shortening crust is easy to work with and there's plenty of it, especially good for new pastry makers.
Best of all, the crust moves straight from mixing bowl to oven, no chilling except while prepping the rhubarb. This makes it FAST to get to the table: my estimate is about 90 minutes plus time to cool. All-shortening (let alone lard) crusts are out of favor now but they are delicious. I figure, if you're indulging, indulge all the way.

This Is My Last Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Never say never, they say. But I shall go out on a limb here to say that I shall never use another recipe for rhubarb pie. Well, except for one, my favorite rhubarb custard pie. But that, as they say, is a different pie altogether. (Ha. Eight years passed before I shared that recipe, it's finally here, Rhubarb Custard Pie.)

But Rhubarb Cake? I've got that. Or Rhubarb Muffins? This northern soul l-o-v-e-s rhubarb! See?!

"It was the most delicious rhubarb pie, so easy to make and got rave reviews!" ~ Erika
"The pie came out PERFECT! Happy Birthday Pie to Me!" ~ Dale
"... this really is the perfect rhubarb pie! Not too sweet and not too runny." ~TinaW
"... mmmmh...delicious." ~ Jill

Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie ♥, a summer masterpiece and a perfect balance of sweet and tart and cinnamon.

Just updated. First published way back in 2006.


Hands-on time: about 30 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes plus time to cool
Makes 8 "city" slices and 6 "country" slices or 12 "Matthew" slices

This crust is beautiful so I'm sharing both Anne Dimock's recipe and techniques plus a few of my own tips. But both new and experienced pie bakers will find additional tips, tricks, tools and useful techniques in my photo tutorial about how to make flaky tender pie crust. It's a butter-shortening crust but the techniques are the similar.

6 tablespoons ice water (just put a few ice cubes into a glass with cold water)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons sugar
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) vegetable shortening aka Crisco

5 cups sliced fresh rhubarb, strings removed if tough, cut into about 3/4 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
5 tablespoons (40g) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably Penzeys

1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut in tiny cubes

Heat the oven to 425F/220C. Fill a glass with the ice water.

MIX THE CRUST Before measuring, fluff the flour with a fork to leaven it with air, then measure out the 2 cups, better still, weigh the flour. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a large fork (my preference) or a pastry blender. Stop as soon as the sheen of the shortening disappears and the mixture is a bunch of coarse pieces. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the ice water at a time over the dough, lifting and tossing the flour with the fork, wetting the flour evenly, not soaking any area. When it all begins to come together, gather the floury mix in your hands in a ball and then pull apart into two pieces: if it crumbles, it's too dry and needs a teaspoon or two of more water. While you don't want a goopy dough, more water is far better than less but go easy with each addition. Gather the dough into two balls, one larger than the other for the bottom crust.

ROLL OUT THE BOTTOM CRUST Anne specifies three steps for rolling out and preparing the crust.

#1 Flatten the larger ball into a disc for the bottom crust, rounding any rough edges; do round the edges, it helps create a circle during rolling. Dust both sides of the disc with flour. Then working quickly, roll out the dough with a flour-dusted rolling pin from the center a bit but don't yet roll the dough thin.
#2 Use a knife to lift the slightly flattened disc from the counter. Dust it with flour again and put it aside for a moment. Dust the work surface with flour, then place the disc in the center. Working quickly and from the center out, roll out the dough until it's quite thin and is 1 - 2 inches larger than your pie dish.
#3 Place the rolling pin a third of the way in from one of the edges. Roll the crust onto the pin, then into the pie pan. Lightly arrange the crust into place, the edges flopping off the sides of the pan. Place in the freezer while prepping the rhubarb.

MIX THE RHUBARB FILLING Toss the rhubarb pieces with sugar, flour and cinnamon.

ASSEMBLY Arrange the rhubarb in the bottom crust. Dot with the butter. Roll out the top crust. Using your fingers, dab the rim of the bottom crust with ice water. Arrange the second crust on top. Trim the edges, then crimp the edges together to seal. With a sharp knife, cut several vents in the top crust.

BAKE THE PIE Bake for 15 minutes at 425F/220C. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F/180C and bake for 25 - 30 minutes more until a bit of pink juice bubbles from the vents; my first two pies took a good 15 - 20 minutes longer than this so gauge by color and juiciness not by time.

COOL Let the pie cool before slicing, this can take several hours, always best to make pie very early in the day so that it can settle in. Serve with good vanilla ice cream.

LEFTVOVER PASTRY? You will have scraps of leftover pastry: this is good! Cut the odd-shaped pieces into bite-size sections and transfer to a baking sheet. Don't reroll – that will make the pastry tough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350F/180C. Eat while hot!

The third pie did "ooze" more than preferable, perhaps because I dabbed more than the specified 1 1/2 tablespoons butter?
The first two pies took considerably longer to bake than specified but that might have been my mother's oven since the third, baked in my own oven, did not.
The crust is pale, enough that the next time, I might brush it with milk before baking. But then again, why mess with perfection?
Since my very first pies, I've been a less-is-more, one-crust pie maker: even the best of crusts seemed to add unnecessary calories. THIS pie is worth the indulgence of two crusts. Trust me. If you can't trust me, to absolve any lingering guilt, remember that this is in fact a vegetable pie.
Don't forget the ice cream!!

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Still Hungry?

More Favorite Rhubarb Recipes

~ Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothies ~
~ Custard with Rhubarb Sauce ~
~ Rhubarb Bakewell Tart ~
~ more rhubarb recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Roasted Rhubarb ~
~ Rhubarb Jelly & Rhubarb Jam in One Hour ~
~ Country Rhubarb Cobbler ~
~ more rhubarb recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2006, 2007, 2012, 2013 (repub) & 2020

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. AnonymousJuly 17, 2006

    Why, yes, yes I do like rhubarb, Alanna, and I love the idea of a pure rhubarb pie, undiluted by other fruits. The color is fabulous! Unfortunately, I won't be able to get any until next March around here, but when I do...(this time I'll bookmark the recipe like a good, organized cook!)

  2. another wonderful pie! I love rhubarb!

  3. AnonymousJuly 18, 2006

    Rhubarb pie is one of my all-time favorites. And your recipe for the crust is identical to my mother's that I've used for years...down to the extra 2 tablespoons of crisco. I'm with you on the idea that while shortening (or lard) based crusts are just not the thing these days, I still use them nearly every time. Otherwise, its just not a proper pie for me!


  4. This looks delicious! Such complete instructions - I know I'll have success when I get around to trying this! My mom adores rhubarb pie so I'll have to surprise her with this! Thanks!

  5. That looks soo good ;) Thanks for sharing the recipe...I'll have to take the plunge and buy some rhubarb soon to try it.

  6. Jennifer ~ Yes, it's largely past season for rhubarb now. Even in northern Minnesota, where this came from, you stop cutting by the 4th of July. I squeaked by a few days after ...

    Catherine ~ If you already love rhubarb, this'll be a special treat.

    Anonymous ~ "Your mother's" pastry recipe is easy to work with. There's plenty of dough so it's not at all difficult to roll out and thus scraps leftover for baking, too, a second benefit!

    Megan ~ Most of the instructions are tips from Anne Dimock. She's a true Pie Queen.

    Nupur ~ Rhubarb's pretty special, it's likely past season in NY now. But don't you worry, the plants I put in two weeks ago seem to be taking so maybe by next spring I'll be able 'send' you some. ;-D

  7. Oh that looks wonderful Alanna! And such a gorgeous red color! Now I find myself looking forward to next years first crop of rhubarb, because I WILL be making this pie! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. AnonymousJuly 30, 2006

    Now, you've given me another pie and another cookbook to long for.
    Two crusts, trust you...OK.

  9. I happened upong your recipe in a google search. It was the most delicious rhubarb pie, so easy to make and got rave reviews! I cant wait to try other recipes on your site!

  10. AnonymousJune 07, 2010

    I was wondering if this is a sweet or not too sweet rhubarb pie recipe? I was asked to make a rhubarb pie and have never made one and they requested it to not be too sweet.


  11. Teresa- it was not too sweet. And everyone I made it for raved about it, I would definitely suggest making this recipe.

  12. I scaled your recipe up to 7 cups of frozen rhubarb and added 1 more T. of flour because I felt frozen rhubarb would pack down tighter than the fresh and measure out to be more fruit. The pie came out PERFECT! That's for a 10" deep dish pie. Happy Birthday Pie to Me!

  13. I made this tonight. I used a different crust but this really is the perfect rhubarb pie! Not too sweet and not too runny.

  14. AnonymousJuly 13, 2012

    I never made a rhubarb pie - not a fan of it - but my son's new girlfriend loves it. I have a pie crust recipe - my grandmother made pies for a living, so I think I can handle this. :) Now one question/suggestion to post??? I am all for the "5 cups" of Rhubarb - but exactly how much do I buy at the store? (Why can't plants grow in plastic measuring cups??? :)

  15. Anonymous ~ Aren't you a good mother?! I do mostly weigh ingredients but it seems I always make this pie at my dad's where the rhubarb is handy but a kitchen scale is not.

    But just guess-timate when you find stalks in the grocery store (and hurry, they're looking not so good right now). After trimming the ends, removing any rough spots, imagine one stalk cut into small pieces. Would it make about a cupful? I think so. Then buy an couple of extras, just in case, and use the extra rhubarb for Rhubarb Smoothies. That'll be a hit too!

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  17. Looks like a delicious pie! Thank for the the additional notes. My pies tend to ooze for whatever reason so perhaps I'll back off the butter next time.

  18. Rhubarb! I'm so ashamed I haven't tried it yet! Thanks for reminding me. I might as well bake your pie next week!

  19. First time I made this I forgot the cinnamon and it suffered. You can bet I never forgot the 2nd time.....mmmmh...delicious. Thank You!

  20. Perfect recipe. Baked for 30 minutes after reducing temperature to 350.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna