Now I know it’s spring. Time to whip up a pie for The Handyman to celebrate.
I’m not the type to read the last chapter of a book first but it’s good to make an informed decision about recipes. This amazingly tart, sweet and beautifully spiced pie recipe comes from Edmonton’s the Duchess Bake Shop cookbook (with some minor modifications).


My rhubarb plant, like most of the rhubarb in Naramata, is an unknown heritage variety. Almost every garden has a plant that’s likely been there for years and years. I imagine mine has supplied a lot of rhubarb pies in its lifetime. I hope it’s honoured to be blogged about.

Blind-baked pie shell

For pies that have juicy fillings like rhubarb strawberry, you will need to fully bake the shell before filling it.

In my opinion the best pie crust has half butter and half shortening.
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cubed cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cubed cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup ice water

Either using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a food processor mix or pulse the flour, butter, shortening and salt for 10 or 15 seconds. Add the ice water and mix on medium or pulse until the dough just comes together.

Don’t overmix. You want some small lumps of fat to remain to make the dough flaky.

Shape the dough into three balls. You will only need one ball for this pie so freeze the other two for future pie baking. Wrap the dough in plastic and place in the refrigerator (and the other two in the freezer) for at least a half hour.

Roll the dough out and place in the pie shell.

Freeze the shell for at least 15 minutes at this point.

Brush the pie shell with an egg wash (1 egg white whisked with 1 tbsp cream (or milk).

Cut a circle out of parchment and fill the lined shell with dried beans, rice or pie weights.

Save the rice for your next blind baking session.

Bake the shell at 375F for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges are light golden brown. Take it out of the oven, remove the parchment and rice and poke the shell a few times with a fork. Put it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.



  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

Combine all the above in a bowl and using your hands work it all together until clumps form. Set it aside.


Cut the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces. De-stem and quarter the strawberries.
  • 3 cups rhubarb
  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp orange blossom water
Use fresh nutmeg if you have it…grating it.

To make the filling, in a saucepan, place the rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and stir in the strawberries and orange blossom water.

Fill the shell to the rim and top with the crumb topping. Bake the pie at 375F for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crumb is golden brown and filling is bubbling. I like this pie warm out of the oven but it’s good cold too.

The six best words in the English language: Pie is out of the oven. The Duchess Bake Shop cookbook is the bomb. Everything I’ve tried from it has turned out beautifully and it’s fun just to browse and drool over the photos.