This recipe is based on the July 1995 Cooks Illustrated Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. It's easy when you use Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts. John loves this combo and I've had varying results. So far this recipe has been consistent for me. It's important to use the right amount of thickener with a pie like this because you could easily end up with a soupy, runny mess of a pie (I've made a few of these). Here is what Cooks has to say about sugar and tapioca:
The amount of sugar and tapioca you use is relative, depending on the fruit’s quality and your taste. If you prefer a less sweet pie or if the fruit is especially sweet, use the lower sugar amount. If you like your pie juices fairly thick, or if the fruit is really juicy, then opt for the higher amount of tapioca. If you are using frozen fruit, measure it frozen, but let it thaw before filling the pie. If not, you run the risk of partially cooked fruit and undissolved tapioca.
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 cups fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3–4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 package of two Pillsbury Pie Crusts*
Take Pillsbury Pie Crusts out of the frig so it can come to room temperature..
Heat oven to 400-375 degrees.
Toss fruit with sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, salt, pepper and tapioca. It’s really important to let it stand for 15 minutes.
Unroll the first crust onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it so it is even. Don’t over roll it because it is already the right thickness. Do this for both crusts.
Fit one piecrust into bottom of pie dish. Fill with fruit mixture. Lay second crust over top. Trim top and bottom dough edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute dough in your own fashion, or press with fork tines to seal.
With the dough trimmings you can gently reform and rollout to make decorations. I made little strawberries and cut some little vines for the vents.
If pie dough is very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
Place pie on baking sheet in the middle of the oven; bake until top crust is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
*I've used other brands and they just don't turn out as well.