Honey-Lemon Rhubarb Pie with Sourdough Crust

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There is always a reason to celebrate. I just have to believe. Always. Even amidst the hustle and bustle, the weariness and sighs, the tangled relationships and other life-living discomforts…

When life feels so big, what a joy to know we are free to celebrate at anytime the littlest of things. Celebrations bring smiles, perspective, a lightness and often a refreshing momentary distraction.

We are big into celebrations in my household. Today alone we celebrated: my outside vase holding three different colors of fragrant lilacs; my youngest little treasure sleeping through the night; the unexpected absence of mosquitoes flying around our backyard; and a warm sunny morning to start our day.

And what better way to celebrate than with a slice of homegrown homemade rhubarb pie! Mama says, “Pie for breakfast, everyone! Grab your forks. We are celebrating!”


I must say, we all thoroughly enjoy this recipe. And like the sourdough coconut muffins, this pie is easy, adaptable, and nourishing! Feel free to use your favorite crust recipe if you haven’t yet taken the dive into sourdough.

And, up here, rhubarb is happily in season. If that’s not the case for you, make a couple tweaks and create a completely different flavored pie. I am confident that this recipe will work beautifully with other fruits as well.

If you aren’t a fan of lemon, feel free to leave out the zest. If you aren’t a fan of lemon, feel free to leave out the zest. I made a pie just recently without it and it was equally delicious. In my next pie or two I hope to add a cup of blueberries or maybe some raspberries. Doesn’t that sound tasty?

And one last thing, I tend to lean toward tart. Nothing like waking up a taste bud or two. So, keep that in mind when you use my sweetener quantities. I figure, if it’s a little on the tart side, you can always top it with a scoop of ice cream!

Remember — before you take a bite, don’t forget to celebrate! Do you hear a beautiful bird song coming from a nearby tree? Enjoying a particularly wonderful book these days? Receive a bouquet of dandelions from a certain special someone lately? All great reasons to celebrate with a slice of summertime goodness!

And may our eyes be forever open to the celebrations all around us and the knowledge of God’s presence in and through it all! “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” –Psalm 118:24

Little or big, what is something you can choose to celebrate today?

Honey-Lemon Rhubarb Pie with Sourdough Crust


The Sourdough Crust

  • 2 tablespoons sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup very cold water, plus more
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, or your choice flour
  • 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Makes 2 pie crusts, for 2 single crust pies, or 1 pie with a top and bottom crust. Original recipe by Wardee Harmon.

In a small bowl or large measuring cup stir together sourdough starter and cold water. Set aside. In a medium sized, bowl whisk a couple pinches of salt into the whole wheat pastry flour. Cut in the cold unsalted butter. Make a well in the flour and pour in your sourdough starter/water mixture. Use a fork to carefully combine. Add small splashes of water as needed until the dough holds together. Cover the bowl with a cloth and a plate and leave to sit on your counter 4 to 6 hours, or in the fridge for longer. (A longer souring time works just fine, but your crust may fall apart a bit as you work with it, and you may have to use a bit of sprouted or all purpose flour to make it a positive crust-making experience.)

After your dough has soured, sprinkle with baking soda and very lightly work into the dough. Consider refrigerating the dough for 15 or so minutes to firm up for easier handling. I usually just dive right in… Divide in two. Roll out the one half and place in your pie plate. Roll out the second half and have it on hold until needed.


The Pie

  • 4 cups rhubarb, heaping and sliced
  • 1/2 cup unrefined dry sweetener of choice, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sprouted or all purpose flour, or your choice
  • 1 grated lemon rind, 2-3 teaspoons
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • milk or cream

Makes 1 9″ pie. Adapted from Every Which Way with Rhubarb.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the unbaked sourdough pie crust.

In a large bowl, toss together the rhubarb, dry sweetener, sprouted flour, lemon rind, cup honey, sea salt, and cinnamon. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Dot with butter, and top with remaining pastry. Seal edges and brush with milk or cream. (Always fun to top with a sprinkle of sugar, too.) Don’t forget to make a decorative slit.

Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 45 minutes. You may need to cover the pie part way through if it is getting too dark. Cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Delicious plain or with a dollop of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or plain yogurt. Keeps covered on the counter for 2 to 3 days and in the fridge for about a week.

Mmmm…. who wants a slice of pie? What are you celebrating today?

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Melanie says

    Good Morning Wardeh,
    I was so GLAD to see you posting today! I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE all of the new contributors, such an amazing group of women! You have such an amazing way of weaving an underlying warmth to the topic at hand, while keeping it light (or lite)! You are truly an inspiration for all of us, so please know you are thought of often while not at your computer! Thanks again for all you do!

    • says

      Good morning, Melanie! Actually this is a post from Erin and the blog editor is not letting me set her as such. Weird. I am so glad to hear that you love the contributors — so do I! They’re just wonderful in many, many ways. :) Thanks for your kind words to me, too. I really appreciate it. :)

  2. Laura Cherry says

    Oh Erin!! This looks absolutely divine! I am so excited to try this recipe this week, and so grateful for your candid, honest, kind writing. We also love little everyday celebrations. Here’s to celebrating the good in life! :)

    • Erin says

      Thanks Laura! Hope you enjoy the pie as much as we do. :-) And I must say (at the moment everyone is still sleeping peacefully) it sure is fun anticipating today’s celebrations. What will the day hold? Will our chickens lay their first egg? Maybe the sun will come out? Will I finally get my onions in the ground? Yes to the onions! Now the fun part… How will we celebrate once the job’s done! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Richard Hutchinson says

    Wardee, I just have to say it, I never find an uninteresting post on here… All of your writers are plain and simple GREAT…Thanks again !!!

  4. says

    I have just begun the souring process for making this delightful looking recipe! Simply out of curiosity, why must the water that is mixed with the sourdough starter be very cold? Is it so that the butter doesn’t melt or soften in order to maintain the appropriate overall texture? Thanks, Erin, for your joyful posts!

    • Erin says

      Hi Emily~ Yeah! So glad you are giving the pie a try! And for the smile this morning! :-)
      Yes, the cold water keeps the butter from becoming too soft and in the end may help with the overall texture. Celebrating anything fun?

      • Emily Lansing says

        That’s good to know. =)
        Soon after you shared this rhubarb recipe I knew I wanted to bake it…though I had no idea whether I liked rhubarb! Soon afterwards, I received fresh rhubarb from a friend’s garden after a conversation regarding your recipe. I froze the chopped rhubarb stalks in reservation for tomorrow for a family breakfast to celebrate my birthday. =) Tomorrow will be my first time having rhubarb! I intend to add a handful of freshly picked blueberries to the pie as well.

        • Erin says

          Well, Happy Birthday to you dear Emily! I’ll say a little prayer that your pie will come together beautifully and will be tasty to all! Great idea to add the blueberries. Enjoy your special day and celebrating with your family! :-)

  5. jill says

    This sounds incredible! I decided recently that I want to try just making a pie crust and topping it with ice cream (my favorite parts of pie eating). I know, a little crazy. Any tips for how long to cook if not filling?


  6. Shantel says

    I just found this and I’m wondering if more honey would work in place of the unrefined sweetener or what you would suggest as an unrefined sweetener? I’m so excited I found this though because I have some delicious starter in my fridge that makes me geek in excitement when I think of it. Can’t wait to make this! Hope to hear from you soon!

    • Erin says

      Hi Shantel~ I love your sourdough enthusiasm! :-) You know, I think you could use another 1/4 cup of honey instead of the unrefined sweetener (or how much ever you choose…). You are adding a bit more moisture, so the texture might be different, but it’ll still be tasty! I’d love to hear how it goes for you! Don’t forget to celebrate! :-)

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