One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It’s one of those memories of days gone by.
When we used to go with the family to the local diner near our lake house, or even venture off to Big Boy…but not for the food, mind you. And NOT for that creepy smiling boy with the hair that looked like a giant swirled Hershey’s kiss spinning around on the roof.
We all had one thought on our mind at Big Boy….Strawberry Pie.
Ripe, red strawberries, mixed in a luscious glaze that oozed around the berries and surrounded them with sweetness. The pie was mounded with fluffy whipping cream piled to the sky and it was all tucked inside a flaky homemade crust.
The good news, is, you can make it at home. I can make it at home. We ALL can make it at home…and it’s pretty darn easy I tell ya!
I confess to you, that right now, if our temperatures here in Oklahoma are under 100 degrees, we think a cold front has visited.
St. Francis of Assisi once said “”A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”
St. Francis apparently, had never been to Oklahoma in August.
The sun is not only driving away shadows, but all living green forms of plants, the water in our lakes, the breath from our bodies, and it literally is sucking all moisture and comfortableness along with it.
I am all for cool fruit pies with sweet cold whipped cream capping it off…let’s make some shall we?
I searched for recipes and finally settled on the Cook’s Illustrated pie recipe. I made it once, and decided it was a tad too tart, with a bit less glaze than we liked. Easily remedied, I changed a few things and now it seems to suit us just fine.
You’ll need quite a bit of strawberries for this recipe. I made two pies and bought two of these babies.
For one pie, you’ll need a 2 lb or 32 oz. container of strawberries, or even 4 pints, if you’re counting that way. (Double this for two pies).
Now you’ll want to pick through these little darlings, and find two cups of the rejects, or the ugly ones. This means the ones that have bruises, dents, are misshapen, or just plain are not gorgeous enough to be displayed in the your final glistening, fruity masterpiece.
See the spots on this one? They went into the “less than lovely” pile.
They had a few strange spots and were unworthy..but they were worthy of something else.
Two cups of rejects get cored with my little scooper tool. If you don’t have one – just use a paring knife to dig out the leaves!
Keep going until they measure out about 2 cups.
And while you’re at it, go ahead and hull out the rest of the package of strawberries, cuz who wants a bunch of strawberries with leaves on them in a pie?
Push the rest of them aside but pour your 2 cups of Island of Misfit Strawberries into the food processor. Turn on the processor for literally 20 to 30 seconds until is becomes puree with no visible chunks at all.
Make sure you scrape down the sides if needed and then turn it back on.
Now in a medium sized sauce pan, add in 1 1/’4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of corn starch, and 2 teaspoons of Sure-Jell low sugar (the pink box.) and oh yes! Add in 1/8 teaspoon of salt!
Whisk this all up.
Then pour in your strawberry puree.
Put this over medium to medium high heat and keep whisking it until it starts to bubble, then whisk it for 1 1/2 minutes. It will thicken up and get nice and glossy and reddish pink.
Then pull it off the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Then add in your strawberries…you know, your beauty pageant strawberries..the ones who passed inspection. Add them gently, as if they are a delicate flower and mix them up. You don’t wanna mash the gosh darn things!
You can do this in a separate bowl, or if your sauce pan was big enough, just use it. I did that on my second recipe. I am ALL about less dishes to wash!
Now, pour the whole mess into a baked pie crust. If you don’t have a favorite pie crust recipe, try this one!
Now to make it extra pretty, try to position all the strawberries with their points going up.
Let this baby chill out in the icebox for about 2 hours.
Then pile on the whipped cream and enjoy it.
Relish the coolness of the filling …with its juicy tart berries and the silky glaze covering them.
And maybe….just maybe…the heat of summer will seem a little kinder, a little more bearable….
Here’s to your thermostat falling a bit and your dishes laden with berries! Happy Summer!
- Filling - 2 t. Sure-Jell for low-sugar recipes (the pink box)
- 4 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed with hulls scooped out
- 1 cup sugar
- 2½ T. cornstarch
- ⅛ t. Salt
- 1 baked pie shell (recipe follows)
- Shell - 1¼ cups flour + more for work surface
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons(3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ¼ cup chilled vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 tablespoons vodka, cold (I was out and used water here too)
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- For the filling: select 6 ounces misshapen and unattractive berries.
- Halving those that are large; about 1½ cups.
- In a food processor puree for 20-30 seconds.
- This makes about ¾ cups puree. In a medium saucepan whisk sugar, cornstarch, sure-jell, and salt in medium saucepan.
- Stir in berry puree.
- Cook over med-high heat, stirring constantly and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes while scraping bottom to prevent scorching.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add lemon juice.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile pick out the most attractive berries, about 2 pounds.
- Add berries to bowl with glaze and fold gently.
- Scoop berries to pie shell and mound high (make sure to have a really high pile here, they will settle in quite a bit).
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve within 5r 15 minutes.
- Rotate plate, remove foil and weights and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Let cool to room temperature before filling.
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