Making Friends with Cornstarch – Strawberry-Rhubarb Gallette

Written by
Strawberry Rhubarb Gallette (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)


If you’ve read my pie posts over the past couple of years you know I have a dread of cornstarch.  For some reason I can intuit the amount of flour needed to thicken the juices of most fruit pies, but with tapioca or cornstarch I haven’t had such good fortune.  The filling of the pies either come out too loose or so thick they’re like some weird industrial foodstuff.  Finally I had the brilliant idea of actually looking up the thickening table in Rose Levy Barenbaum’s The Pie and Pastry Bible. Success!  I made this gallette with Mara Mara Strawberries from Pudwill.  It’s the best Strawberry Rhubarb I’ve made.

Sometimes I find that although the flavor of strawberries and rhubarb together is lovely I don’t really like the texture of cooked strawberries.  So usually I use raspberries with rhubarb.  But the Mara Mara’s not only lent their more aromatic “wildness” to the flavor but their texture is slightly different and I didn’t mind it so much.  I also took Good Food Producer Harriet Ells suggestion to cook the rhubarb a bit first.  It worked really well.  And I have to say that I really like the cornstarch in this pie.  The filling is more brilliant in color and the flavors are brighter since there isn’t any flour to dull them.

And, to all you smart alecks out there, I know it’s not a pie, but when you make as many as I do and you’re testing recipes, a gallette is the quickest way to get something in the oven.

Keep reading for the recipe…

Mara Mara Strawberry Rhubarb Gallette

To peel rhubarb catch the edge of the stalk with a paring knife and pull off the fibrous outer layer in ribbons.  It’s really easy.  Easier than using a peeler.

Dough for single crust Pie
2 cups sliced rhubarb, peeled
2 pints Mara Mara or other aromatic Strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup sugar
Squeeze of lemon
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Place the rhubarb with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Let cook until the liquid comes out of it.  Drain and place cooked rhubarb in mixing bowl.  Let cool.
When the rhubarb is cool, add the strawberries, sugar, and lemon and stir.  Start with 1/4 cup of sugar then taste the fruit.  If it needs more sweetness add more sugar.  Don’t oversweeten.  Add the cornstarch and mix until you no longer see raw starch.

Roll out your dough and place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pour your filling onto the center of the rolled dough. Gently bring the edges up over the first couple inches of filled leaving the center uncovered.  Place on the lowest shelf in an oven preheated to 425 degrees.   Cook for 20 minutes then turn heat down to 375.  Cover pie with foil if it is coloring too quickly.  Bake until juices are thickened and fruit is tender, approximately another 20-30 minutes.