Fresh Strawberry Pie

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Fresh Strawberry Pie 


As a child, I picked endless boxes of strawberries in our large garden on the farm. The strawberry patch had its own spot with rows and rows of green plants my father carefully mulched with straw each spring and fall. How exciting it was to see the first flowers appear on the plants each spring, because that meant soon the juicy berries would be appearing!  The excitement lasted right through the first day of berry season. Then my back started aching from bending over to search for the berries as I plopped handfuls into my small box, then dumped them into a larger box at the end of the row.


By the time I had picked berries for a week, I was done.  I mean, the berry picking had to go on, but I'm sorry to say there was quite a bit of complaining in the middle of it.  We started early in the morning to beat the heat, while the plants were still heavy with dew. Soon the skirt of my dress would be soaked as I scooted along the rows, picking those juicy red berries which I would be so thankful for later on in the winter, but which now seemed to stretch into an endless chain of monotony.

These days I gather my berries from the country market close to our house. I'm grateful for the hands who get up early in the morning to pick these beautiful gems, because I know the work that goes into each box.

Here's the recipe for a fabulous strawberry pie that will be sure to please the guests at your table.


Fresh Strawberry Pie

Recipe by Epicurious

Ingredients

1 9-inch pie crust ( recipe here or you can make a cookie crust, recipe below)
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
¾ cup white sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
Whipped Cream, for garnish

Process:

Select 20 large strawberries similar in size and set aside. Dice remaining berries and toss with sugar and lemon juice. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Drain berries in a sieve set into a large glass measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 2 cups. Transfer liquid to a medium saucepan and reserve berries.

Sprinkle gelatin over strawberry liquid and let soften 1 minute. Bring to a bare simmer, stirring until gelatin has dissolved. Add diced berries, then transfer to a metal bowl set into an ice bath and stir frequently until mixture begins to mound, 30 minutes or so.

Spoon ½ of filling into pie crust and arrange reserved whole berries, stem ends down, on filling. Spoon remaining filling over and between berries. Chill pie until filling is set, at least 4 hours.

Cookie Crust

1 5-ounce package shortbread cookies
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with rack in middle. Pulse cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs, then pulse in sugar and butter until combined. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Cook’s notes: 

Pie crust can be made 2 days ahead and kept covered at room temperature.
Filled pie can be chilled, loosely covered, up to 1 day.


Naomi’s note:  It took my filling longer to set up in the ice water bath – about 30 – 45 minutes. But it turned out beautifully.

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