We have an enormous raspberry bush that runs the entire length of our house, and this past couple of weeks the berries have begun to ripen. I’m actually shocked at how well it’s doing, because in the spring we hacked at it and trimmed it back so much, I thought we had done irreparable damage and we wouldn’t see a huge raspberry harvest this year. Not so, apparently.
I have to pick them every day to keep up with them as they ripen; if I miss a day or two, I go out to see dozens of overripe berries fallen to the ground around the bush, and I can’t stand to waste them. It’s a wonderful problem to have, really, and I just need to keep coming up with uses for them until my energy is spent and I throw the remains into the freezer for smoothies at a later date.
Same goes for rhubarb: I don’t think I could kill our two giant rhubarb bushes if I tried. Our house was built in 1961, and I venture to guess that the rhubarb and raspberry bushes have been around for a significant portion of the time since then. Anyone who comes to my house this time of year will get a) Something baked with rhubarb; b) A handful of rhubarb stalks; or c) All of the above.
My go-to pairing with rhubarb is generally strawberries, but since I have a bumper crop of raspberries I thought I’d see how my two garden crops would pair together. Since raspberries (mine, at least) aren’t as sweet as strawberries, the pie filling ended up being a bit more tart than I anticipated, but I actually found it quite refreshing. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the flavour balance is perfect. If you have a sweet tooth, however, maybe throw in a few more tablespoons of sugar.
I am excited to share this recipe because I actually made the bottom crust for this pie! If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that pie crust never seems to work out for me. I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything, and it turned out buttery, flaky, and didn’t cause me to fly into a rage and throw it in the trash. This is a big step for me.
This recipe would also work very week for a crumble, if you aren’t comfortable making pastry and don’t want to use store-bought. Unless you’re eating the pie the first day, I’d actually recommend making a crumble instead because the filling is very juicy and if left to sit in the fridge for a day or two, the bottom crust gets a bit soggy. I also recommend reading this amazing article from King Arthur Flour about thickening fruit pies. Cornstarch and some patience (e.g. letting the pie cool before cutting it) worked for me in this case, but there are many factors that go into making sure a fruit filling is perfect for you!
If you can, use fresh local berries and rhubarb for the filling. Fresh ingredients make all the difference, I think, and I love to take advantage of what’s available during our short Calgary growing season. If you can’t find raspberries, strawberries (or another local berry) would work as well. Enjoy!
- 1 bottom pie crust (your favourite recipe, or store-bought deep-dish)
- 4 cups rhubarb, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 2 cups raspberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup quick oats
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have your bottom pie crust ready to fill.
- In a medium bowl, combine all crumble ingredients and mix with a fork until well-combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine rhubarb, raspberries, sugar, salt and corn starch. Toss gently to combine.
- Spoon filling into bottom pie crust. Sprinkle crumble evenly overtop. Bake until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown, about 45-55 minutes. If the crust starts to get too brown part way through the time, cover loosely with tin foil.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Best served the day it's made, with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and some fresh berries.