My Favorite Recipe

Becky Hays’s Favorite ATK Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

As the deputy editor of Cook’s Illustrated magazine as well as an on-screen test cook for America’s Test Kitchen, Becky Hays knows what makes good food. Here’s her top pick.

Published Jan. 31, 2022.

You might have a pot of basil on your back deck or a cup with scallions you're regrowing on the sill of your kitchen window. Or, if you're like America's Test Kitchen TV cast member and Cook's Illustrated Deputy Editor Becky Hays, you might have a full-fledged garden in your backyard.

For Becky, the best possible food is a step or two outside her front door, and the moment she harvested her first stalk of rhubarb, she knew just what to make with it.

So Becky, what is your favorite ATK recipe?

I thought long and hard about this, and I have to qualify this as one of my favorites, because I can’t possibly pick only one true favorite, but I do love, love, love our Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie by [Cook’s Illustrated Deputy Food Editor] Andrea Geary. I love fruit pie, it’s amazing, and it makes me think of summertime and my garden, and it’s just the best dessert I can think of.

What do you love so much about this pie?

I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, and it’s just the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and it uses summer fruit that I just adore. Pie is probably my favorite dessert to make, so I use Andrea’s Foolproof All-Butter Dough for Double-Crust Pie

Strawberry-rhubarb pies can be, with the wrong recipe, really soupy and runny . . . you cut into it and it just becomes strawberry-rhubarb soup. Andrea figured out a way to make it look really beautiful and hold together well, too. What can I say? It’s just perfection.

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Do you have any specific memories of making this pie for your family?

One time I made the ultimate version of this recipe. I have a small garden and I managed to produce lots of rhubarb and lots of strawberries, so I made this pie with fruit from my own garden. I had picked it right outside my door. I also had this perfect all-butter crust, and I made some homemade vanilla bean ice cream. It was just . . . the best. It was a moment to remember. My whole family was happy, and it was just really satisfying, this Little House on the Prairie moment.

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