How much sugar is in a strawberry rhubarb pie?

A strawberry rhubarb pie is a classic spring and summer dessert. It combines the bright sweet flavor of strawberries with the tangy tartness of rhubarb. But with all that fruit flavor, many people wonder just how much sugar is packed into a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie.

The Main Sources of Sugar in Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

There are three main sources of sugar in a strawberry rhubarb pie:

  • Added sugar in the filling – White granulated sugar is typically added when making the filling to sweeten the tart rhubarb.
  • Natural sugar in strawberries – Strawberries contain natural sugars that make them taste sweet.
  • Sugar in the pie crust – Pie dough often contains a bit of sugar, which adds sweetness to the crust.

By looking at a typical recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie filling and pie dough, we can estimate the amount of sugar from each source.

Sugar in the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling

A standard strawberry rhubarb pie filling recipe calls for:

  • 4 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

The main source of added sugar is the 1/2 to 3/4 cup of granulated white sugar. This provides:

Amount of Sugar Grams of Sugar
1/2 cup 100 grams
3/4 cup 150 grams

So the added sugar ranges from 100 to 150 grams, depending on how sweet you like your filling.

As for the natural sugar in the strawberries, one cup of sliced strawberries contains approximately:

Amount Grams of Sugar
1 cup sliced strawberries 5 grams

Since the filling calls for 4 cups of strawberries, that’s an additional 20 grams of natural sugar from the berries.

Rhubarb contains very little natural sugar at only 1 gram per cup. So the 2 cups in the filling adds only 2 grams of sugar.

In total, the strawberry rhubarb filling provides:

  • 100 to 150 grams sugar (added)
  • 20 grams sugar (from strawberries)
  • 2 grams sugar (from rhubarb)

So the total sugar just from the filling ranges from 122 to 172 grams, depending on how much sugar is added.

Sugar in Pie Crust

A standard single pie crust recipe calls for:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening or butter
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Some bakers add 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar to the dough, which provides about 4 grams of additional sugar.

But even without added sugar, the all-purpose flour contains some natural sugars and starches that account for about 1 gram of sugar per ounce. Since the crust uses about 5 ounces of flour, that’s another 5 grams of sugar.

In total, the pie crust may provide:

  • 4 grams sugar (added)
  • 5 grams sugar (from flour)

So the pie crust contains about 5 to 9 grams of sugar.

Total Sugar in a Serving of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Based on the sugar content of the filling and crust, we can estimate the total amount of sugar in a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie.

For an 8-inch single crust pie cut into 6 slices, each slice would contain:

Component Sugar per Slice
Filling (1/6 of 122-172 grams) 20-29 grams
Crust (1/6 of 5-9 grams) 1-2 grams
Total per slice 21-31 grams

So each serving of strawberry rhubarb pie contains approximately 21-31 grams of sugar, depending on the exact recipe.

How Does This Compare to Other Popular Desserts?

Here’s how the sugar content of one slice of strawberry rhubarb pie compares to other common dessert choices (Data from USDA FoodData Central):

Dessert Serving Size Total Sugar (grams)
Strawberry rhubarb pie 1/6 of 8-inch pie 21-31
Apple pie 1/6 of 8-inch pie 19
Pecan pie 1/6 of 8-inch pie 29
Chocolate cake with frosting 1 slice 38
Vanilla ice cream 1/2 cup 14
Brownie 1 3 x 1.5 inch brownie 17

Strawberry rhubarb pie contains a bit less sugar than other popular desserts like chocolate cake, pecan pie, and brownies. But it’s fairly comparable to other fruit pies and sweet treats.

Tips for Reducing Sugar in Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

If you’re looking to cut down on the sugar content of strawberry rhubarb pie, here are some tips:

  • Reduce added sugar in the filling – Cut back to 1/3 – 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup.
  • Leave the strawberries unsweetened – Don’t macerate or toss them with sugar before adding to the pie.
  • Use a low sugar pie crust – Some recipes call for no sugar added to the dough.
  • Adjust baking time/temp – Bake a bit longer at a lower temp to draw out natural sweetness.
  • Boost flavor with lime juice and zest – Adds flavor without extra sugar.
  • Top with Greek yogurt – Provides a protein boost and tangy contrast.

By tweaking the recipe a bit, you can definitely make a tasty strawberry rhubarb pie with less sugar and calories.

The Bottom Line

A slice of strawberry rhubarb pie contains approximately 21-31 grams of sugar, based on the sugar content of typical pie filling and crust recipes.

The natural sugar in the strawberries combined with the added white sugar and sugar from the pie dough contributes to the total sweetness of this classic spring dessert.

Strawberry rhubarb pie has a similar amount of sugar as other popular fruit pies and desserts. But you can reduce the sugar content by decreasing the amount of added sugar and making other recipe adjustments.

Overall, while strawberry rhubarb pie is a sweet treat, it can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

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