Strawberry Rhubarb Pie-in-a-Jar

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie-in-a-Jar

Written by Emily

Pie is my zen. Time and again, I’m always surprised by the random thoughts that enter my mind as I clear my head and focus on making pie. Over the past few weeks, my pietifications have centered around a funny phenomenon that I now affectionately call the Disappearing Mommy.

I’ve been seeing articles recently about how social media – Facebook specifically – can lower your self esteem and influence your self perception in more negative than positive ways (thank GOODNESS Facebook did not exist when I was a teenager). While I’m sure these articles make very good points, I just usually shrug them off and feel grateful that I would never allow something as trite as Facebook to influence how I feel about myself.

As usual, I’m a walking contradiction and have realized that Facebook has actually begun to affect the way I see my life as told through photos. Not a day goes by that I don’t see a beautiful picture posted of a friend in my newsfeed. In the age of Instagram and Hipstamatic i phone apps, beautiful, artsy pictures are being posted left and right.

These women post new profile pictures of themselves more frequently than I can come up with something witty to say in my status update. The photos are cool – maybe a profile of her staring off in the distance, or a sassy head tilt accompanied by some sun glasses. Or they are with their children, lost in a gaze or walking in the shadows. These are not the same pictures that I have of myself – mostly in the middle of talking, chewing or eyes shut. That’s when I even come across a picture of myself. See, I wonder who is taking pictures of these women? Do they take them themselves? Do they have husbands or partners who fawn over them and carry a camera at all times? Is there a well kept secret that families are hiring professional photographers on a regular basis much like the revelation I just had that a majority of my friends hire housekeepers?

The reality is, even if I wanted to post pictures of myself, I don’t have many to choose from. And to make matters worse, I don’t have many pictures of me with my children. I discovered this when my son had an assignment to bring a picture of himself and his Mom to show and tell. As I was tearing the house apart looking for a picture, I realized that photos of him and his Dad were in abundance, but other than the “just born” photos, the pictures of the two of us were slim. I finally found one from three years ago, but at least it was the two of us.

And so the photos of my friends and their children flood my Facebook news feed and I wonder what my photo legacy has become. If something happened to me tomorrow, what snapshots would tell the story of my life with them?

I’ve become the disappearing mommy whose time behind the lens has had the unintended consequence of cheating her out of the opportunity to document her life. Will they remember how I buried my face under their ear to kiss their necks and smell them? Will they remember our dance parties in the living room before dinner? Will they remember that I liked to jump on trampolines and sing karaoke? I don’t know – no one is taking pictures of that stuff.

I do not have many photos of me and my own Mom. I have a few family photos, but I honestly don’t know if I have a photo of just the two of us. Has she always been the one behind the camera? And if not behind it, avoiding it? My family is facing generations of disappearing mommies. Mothers who have created countless photos of the life that happens around them, yet appear all too infrequently on the other side of the lens.

To remedy the disappearing mommy syndrome, I decided that I just need to start asking people to take my picture when the situation warrants. So, for the past couple of weeks, I have done just that and, you guessed it… posted the pictures on Facebook.

I love pie delivered in different forms. Making pie in a jar is one of my favorites because it’s a one-stop dessert, ready to eat right from the jar. They seem daunting, but I actually find them easier to make than regular pie. When rolling your crust and lining the jars, don’t fret. You can serious just pat pie dough gently into the jar until it’s lined and not worry about cutting circles for the bottom or strips for the sides like I suggest in the recipe.

Print Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie-in-a-Jar



  1. Prepare pie dough and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  2. Prepare filling while pie dough is chilling.
  3. Dice rhubarb and strawberries into approximately 1/2 in thick pieces. You want them small enough to fit into the circles, but large enough that they don't cook all the way down when heated on the stove.
  4. Add the strawberries and rhubarb to a medium saucepan and cook for about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. If using frozen fruit, there will be more liquid then with fresh. I poured some liquid off to keep an equal consistency with the fruit (pour off before adding the sugar).
  5. While the fruit is cooking down, combine 1T of brown sugar, cinnamon, and 2T of cornstarch in a small bowl or ramekin. Add cornstarch mixture to the pan and continue to stir for another minute or two over medium-high heat until thick. Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl. Add lemon and lemon zest. Bring to room temperature or refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Make the topping by combining all ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
  1. Roll pie dough until it's about 1/4 inch thick - just as you would for a single crust pie. Using the lid from one of the jars, cut 8-10 circles and place each circle at the bottom of each jar.
  2. Roll the dough a second time and begin cutting strips that are about the width of the jar. You will use these strips to line the sides. While you want to touch the dough as little as possible, don't kill yourself on this step. I generally just bring the dough right to the edge but you can also add enough dough to sculpt an edge.
  3. Once the jars are lined, chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes - 30 would be better if you have the time. This is also a great step to do a day ahead of time. While waiting for jars to chill, make your topping (also can do a day ahead of time).
  4. When the jars are chilled, place filling into each jar. Fill each one to the top and cover generously with the topping mixture.
  5. Place jars on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on 400 for about 35 minutes until brown on top. The bottom of the jar should look golden brown. I dissected the bottom crust on this one and it turned out flaky and crisp.
  6. Cool completely before eating and enjoy!

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