We may have had straight-up Rhubarb Pie Day back in January, but this national food holiday–National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day–is much more flavorful. Strawberries are in peak season right this second in the Northeast, and their super sweet flavor (especially if you pick them wild!) mixes well with rhubarb’s tartness. It mellows out the pie into a gooey, pink/red, delicious mess 🙂 On Memorial Day my friends and I picked strawberries in a farm near my house (still a little amazed to say the words “a farm near my house” when I lived in Brooklyn for 25 years) and I went a little overboard, picking up over FOUR POUNDS of delicious, sun-ripened strawberries! That’s too much, even for me! So I sugared them and froze them for use at a later time….and that time is now! I’m a little scared to work with the thick stalk vegetable known as rhubarb, so this may be a straight strawberry pie this time around, but I have the spirit of the holiday at heart!
There are some bakeries in New York City that really get the balance of sweet and tart perfect in a strawberry rhubarb pie, and have that flaky, warm crust that reminds you of grandmothers baking all day somewhere in the Midwest (at least, that’s what I think of when I eat a homamde pie!) But you really have to stop by the Blue Stove, a fantastic bakery in Williamsburg that’s become the darling of many country-home pastry fiends. I once mentioned their pecan molasses pie as a stretch on the uniquely Southern Molasses Bar Day, but for today, there’s no stretching the holiday about it. This place makes one of the best classic strawberry rhubarb pies in the city. They cook the pie delicately, so you can still get the pieces of strawberries and rhubarb in the filling, and it makes for subtle yet distinct flavors–nothing about this filling came out of a can. Order it with a huge dollop of freshly made whipped cream–lighter than vanilla ice cream and won’t turn your pie into a soggy soup!–and you’ll have it made.
415 Graham Ave (between Withers St & Jackson St), Williamsburg
“At $5 dollars, it’s not exactly priced like apple pies you get at McDonald’s. You do however, get value. The nuance of the flavor was impressive because it wasn’t like it was just one red, sweet mess. You could see the chunks of rhubarb and the strawberries and they worked together in harmony.”–Food In Mouth
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“AWESOME PIE! And awesome cake, muffins, etc. This is wonderful little place with very cool staff and I always go by when I’m in the area. The strawberry rhubarb pie is the most amazing pie I’ve ever eaten.”–Justin S.
“One of my favorite bakeries in NYC….definitely top 3. The actual place is so adorable you feel as if you’ve walked into grandma’s kitchen and she’s baked all of your favorite goodies just for you. Their strawberry rhubarb pie is a-mazing, especially with a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream….that and the sour cherry pie (heavenly!!! So perfectly sweet and tart!!) are my favorites.”–Anna B.
If you want to try something a little different than your everyday bakeshop–even as good as Blue Stove may be–there are definite strawberry rhubarb alternatives in the city. Make a strawberry rhubarb crumble the perfect end to an exotic, new taste for dinner at Cafe Mogador in the East Village. This Moroccan restaurant serves authentic North African cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even for dessert. Tagines reign supreme during the evening, delicious clay pots full of slow-stewing meats, vegetables, and savory sauces that soak deliciously into your cous-cous. End this journey of flavor on a sweet note with their delicious, if not authentic, strawberry rhubarb crumble. There’s also a branch of this restaurant in Williamsburg, so you can even get both Cafe Mogador’s crumble and Blue Stove’s pie and do a quick strawberry-rhubarb taste test!
101 St Marks Pl (between Avenue A & 1st Ave)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“After having cleaned every morsel off of our table like little piggies, we indulged ourselves further by sharing three desserts – a warm chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream, a vanilla creme brulee, and strawberry rhubarb cobbler-type concotion with ice cream. We made quick work of dessert, gushing about perfect everything tasted and how the calories would go straight to our hips.”–Jason O.
“As with the starters, we had the waiter suggest something good from the dessert menu and he came up with stellar suggestions. The strawberry rhubarb, the baclava, and the chocolate cake were all DELICIOUS.”–Alvin S.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!