june flour brings pie power – fresh strawberry-rhubarb pie (gluten-free)

june flour brings pie power – fresh strawberry-rhubarb pie (gluten-free)

Lately, I have posted much about my love for the flavors from childhood, but there are many flavors, textures, and dishes that I’ve learned to love as an adult–pies being one of them.

Since Chinese desserts don’t have pies—or the likes of what Americans considered a pie—I only became enamored with them after I moved to the US. I don’t recall my first slice, but it probably appeared before me at my aunt’s Thanksgiving dinner (my first).  Since she’s not a baker, I’m pretty sure she bought it from a bakery.

I wasn’t much of a cook or a baker when I was in college–unless you consider attempting to play Martha Stewart in my kitchen and end up eating the strange dish I prepared because it was saying “Eat me, don’t waste me.”  Oh, those days of trial and error (emphasis on error), but that was the period in my life that I fell in love with cooking and baking.

Even after years of amateur baking, I was still scared senseless about the pie crust, like most people.  I never failed at it royally, so what was stopping me, what made me tremble? Thanks to my blog, Twitter community, you, and a good amount of soul-searching, I realize it was a case of OCD—my fear of messiness, the urge to clean up before I dirtied anything.  I didn’t even want to sprinkle bench flour all over my kitchen counter—kind of an important step with a rolled crust.

Well . . . . I still have a long way to go to become a pie expert—I certainly won’t let the domestic fussiness stop me. A homemade pie is a dessert that embodies good old-fashioned baking; it’s also an important link to the heritage of American baking. With the season of berries and stone fruit fast upon us, this is definitely a great time to join in.

After a long absence from #BakedTogether, I am rejoining the party this month. To be honest, this is a mere coincidence or shall I say the stars were aligned in my favor. The main inspiration for this dessert was the marriage of strawberries and rhubarb—pie was just the offspring. The theme for June is Very Berry Mini Pies. Though this pie is not a mini, the guidelines are flexible, including varying the size of the pie. As much as I adore miniature baked goods, I don’t think it’s wise to weave the lattice of rhubarb in such a small scale. So here we have a full-size 9-inch Fresh Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie.

Fresh Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie


Pie Pastry
  • 2-3/4 cups (11 ounces) almond flour or almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling & Assembly
  • 3 pounds rhubarb, select 10 medium stalks for lattice work, cut remaining into 1-1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed and hulled; select small ones and keep as whole, cut the remaining into slices (the ratio of whole to slices is entirely your personal preference).
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons powdered pectin
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon Aperol (optional)


Pie Pastry

1. Lightly coat 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray, set aside.

2. In a food processor fitted with steel blade, add almond flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Pulse for 5 seconds to combine. Add butter and pulse until just combined, about 10 1-second pulses. Add the egg and pulse again until full incorporated, about 5 seconds. Transfer dough to plastic wrap, flatten into 6-inch disc and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Remove dough from refrigerator, unwrap and transfer dough to greased pie plate. Press dough evenly over bottom of pie plate toward sides and up, using heel of your hand.smooth the rim of the crust with your fingers. Freeze the crust for 20 minutes, then bake for 20-30 minutes until crust is golden brown, slightly puffy, and fragrant. Transfer to a wire rack, cool completely.

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling & Assembly

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450℉. Spray 1/2-sheet pan with cooking spray, set aside.

2. Combine sugar, water, honey and salt in a medium sauté pan, place over medium heat and bring to a bare simmer. Brush rhubarb stalks generously with the syrup and place on baking pan. Baking for 8-10 minutes until stalks are tender and still hold their shape. Cool on wire rack.

3. Add chopped rhubarb to syrup and cook until softened and still hold their shape, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and rRemove rhubarb to a bowl with a slotted spoon and cool completely. Leave remaining syrup in sauté pan.

4. Puree 1 cup sliced berries in blender until smooth. Add puree, sugar, pectin, and salt to sauté pan with syrup, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar and pectin are dissolved, about 2 minute. Off heat, skim foam from surface with large spoon.

5. Mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water in small bowl until absolutely smooth. Add cornstarch slurry to strawberry mixture, then return to boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and, continuing to stir constantly, simmer until mixture becomes thick and clear, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in extracts and Aperol (if use). Transfer to large bowl; cool for 20 minutes.

6. Using a rubber spatula, fold strawberries (whole and sliced) and rhubarb into cooled strawberry mixture, turning several times to coat thoroughly. Turn glazed mixture into baked pie shell; spread evenly and smooth surface with rubber spatula.

7. Create lattice with rhubarb strips, trim with shears to fit. Refrigerate pie for at least 2 hour before serving.