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Apr 9, 2008 11:13 AM

Watery Rhubarb Pie

I made a strawberry rhubarb pie on Saturday and it came out watery, even if it did taste terrific. I added no butter or any liquid of any sort, and yes, I did add about three tablespoons flour mixed in with the sugar. Someone told me that rhubarb has to be roasted for hours before used, to dry it out. That doesn't sound right, but maybe... Can anyone suggest what I'm doing wrong?

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  1. No, you don't dry out your rhubarb. If you are finding it too runny, then I would use cornstarch rather than flour. It has more thickening power. I would sprinkle some on the bottom of the pie shell before filling. Or you could add some tapioca when you toss the fruit with the sugar. Young rhubarb has more water than older, summer rhubarb, also.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sarah galvin

      Thanks, you may be right, Sarah, becasue this does not happen in the summer.

      1. re: sarah galvin

        Yes, I just baked what is a tasty, but terribly watery rhubarb pie! The difference from my last one is that I used rhubarb from a local farmers market and the stalks are much bigger. Based on the discussion here, I'm assuming that is what made the difference. I used a recipe from and they use flour. I will try tapioca next time. Still, I'm a bit surprised since using fresh, farmer rhubarb would have been what most people used a century did those farmer's wives do to make a non-watery rhubarb pie?!!

      2. I use Minute Instant Tapioca to thicken mine. The portions are are on the side of the box. It is still going to be a bit juicy, that is the nature of the vegetable.

        1 Reply
        1. I totally agree with the above suggestions about using Minute tapioca to thicken instead of flour or cornstarch. I believe you will even find the right proportions to use on the tapioca box.

          Tapioca is great thickener for other pies as well. I also use it for apple, blackberry, and blueberry.

          1. i agree that tapioca is better for thickening fruit pies (except apple or pear) than flour. I use tapioca flour that I get at an asian store.

            Also, with strawberry rhubarb pie, i find that if i dont let the pie cool completely before cutting it, it tends to be runny. I think the rhubarb and strawberry juice thickens more than most pie juices as it cools.

            1. Rhubarb is inherently liquid once it's cooked. I'd never even dream of making a pie with it.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Harters

                Interesting - rhubarb pie is a classic in the States! As is strawberry rhubarb pie.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  so classic, in fact, that rhubarb used to be called "pie plant" in some parts of the states—and probably still is!

                  1. re: missmasala

                    Thanks - I'd never heard that before.

                    1. re: missmasala

                      My husband's favorite pie is Rhubarb, just plain rhubarb. No strawberries or anything else messing it up. I made one for his birthday last weekend.

                  2. re: Harters

                    "Rhubarb is inherently liquid once it's cooked."

                    If that's the case, what are all those chunks in my rhubarb pie?

                    1. re: FrankJBN

                      I didnt say there aren't chunks. I said it's inherently watery.

                      Cook rhubarb and you get a lot of juice. This is a very good thing. Just not in pie.

                      That said, maybe we have different rhubarb here than you have there. Whilst I can find many recipes for compote, fool, crumble and tart, I only see one for pie (and that one doesnt have a pastry base, just a top (so no base to get soggy)