Tag Archives: perfect pie crust

Rhubarb Pie with Tapioca

Frequently as I look at recipes from the past, and think about what my ancestors in aprons had in their kitchens, I realize how different our staples were.  What things would grandmother and great-grandmother have in their kitchen that I no longer think of as necessary?

Minute Tapioca

Minute Tapioca in its current box.

Tapioca–before the 1900’s old-fashioned ball tapioca, and after that, Kraft Minute Tapioca® in a small red box.  Tapioca went on the market in 1894, and you can read the history of Minute Tapioca here.

My mother always had it on her shelf, as did my grandmother, I imagine.  So did Agnes Badertscher (Ken’s mother.)

Ken loves rhubarb pie, but he has been after me to make it his mother’s way, thickened with tapioca, so I delved into the comfort food of old–tapioca. Besides making a nice, bland, comfortable pudding, tapioca is handy for thickening all sorts of things.

I made a rhubarb-strawberry pie by accident. Because it turned out the farmer’s booth at the farmer’s market did not have enough rhubarb for a pie, I had to stretch it with strawberries. But I used Minute Tapioca for the thickening instead of flour, for the first time.  And it was great. Agnes Badertscher’s way of making rhubarb pie has won me over.

strawberry-Rhubarb pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie made Agnes Badertscher’s way with tapioca.

I’m pretty sure that Agnes, as well as my mother, would have initially used the recipe on the package, which has not changed, so I used the Minute Tapioca which has not been a staple in my kitchen for a very long time, and tweaked their recipe just a bit. Be sure to use the perfect pie crust recipe.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie with Tapioca


  • 2 cups strawberries (sliced)
  • 2 cups rhubarb (peeled and cut in chunks)
  • 1/4 cup Minute Tapioca
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (cut in small pieces)
  • Pastry for double-crust pie


1. Mix fruit, apioca, sugar in bowl. Let stand while rolling out pie crust for 9-inch pie plate.
2. Fill crust with fruit mixture.
3. Dot with butter, cover with top crust, seal. Cut slits in top.
4. Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.
5. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and slide into preheated 400 degree oven. Bake 45-50 minutes.


This turned out sweeter than I like my rhubarb pie. I would cut the sugar if I make it again with strawberries. On the other hand, if it is rhubarb alone, it might need that much sugar.

More Places to Find Food and Family Stories

I hope you’re enjoying Ancestors in Aprons, for whatever reason brings you here–family stories, recipes, food stories.  I also want to let you know  some other sources of family stories  that I’ve discovered.  I think you might enjoy these TV shows and a web site.

Learn More About Seeking Family Stories

Family stories

“Genealogy Roadshow” on PBS goes to the source. Credit: Courtesy of David Bean
Producer: Krasnow Productions

Did you see the television show, Who Do You Think You Are?  The TLC cable channel brings the drama of a search for family stories of celebrities.

And on September 23, PBS debuted a new show, Genealogy Road Show. (It may come later in some markets, so check with your local PBS station.)  Modeled on the popular Antiques Road Show, experts travel from city to city and work to solve nagging questions about ancestors and family stories that are brought by people in the audience.

I wrote about these two shows for the website Reel Life With Jane, and you can see the article and get more information here, including links to both shows.

Explore How The Foods We Eat are Influenced by Where We’re From

If you find, as I do, that your ancestors come to life in your kitchen–through handed down recipes, cooking techniques and implements–I’m sure you’ll enjoy a website dedicated to family stories and food facts, American Food Roots.  You can find lots of food for thought (pun intended) on this site, but of course I like the “My American Roots section where people tell an interesting story relating their family and food.

Meanwhile–have you read my family stories about the

Community band Kaser trombone

Trombone of Clifford Kaser


Trombone that changed my mind about my paternal grandfather?



Maude Bartlett's tea service

Aunt Maude’s tea service




About my Great Aunt who entertained a Queen?

William Stout diploma

William C. Stout’s diploma


My great grandfather’s questionable education?



Sarah Anderson Cherry Pudding

Cherries for Cherry Pudding


Have you tried our family recipes for cherry pudding,




Making Canned Food--Re Peppers

Grandma’s Red Pepper Jam



red pepper jam,



pie crust ventsor perfect pie crust?