This week’s super easy, super fresh recipe comes from our own Julie Dreyfoos, production manager for Fearless Fresh and The Culinary Life. I’ve been trying to coax Julie into the limelight for a while now, and I’m excited that she’s decided to step out from behind the curtain and share a little bit of her childhood through a story about strawberry pie. (If you’re in a super pie mood, also check out my Spiced Summer Blackberry Pie and Nectarine Bavarian Pie.)
This fresh strawberry pie recipe is made with the sweet strawberries of summer inside a buttery pie crust. The recipe was passed down to me by a very special woman with a heart of gold, who adopted my family as her own when I was a toddler growing up in Ohio. Ethel taught me the basics of cooking and I spent many days with her in the kitchen rolling out sugar cookies, baking pies, canning pickles and everything else from the garden.
During hunting season, Ethel’s husband Eddie brought home venison, quail, and pheasant, and in the summer brought in enough fish that we could eat perch and catfish all through the winter. Her freezers were always full, and her cellar shelves always brimmed with jars of the summer’s bounty.
One of my favorite things Ethel made was her fresh strawberry pie recipe. It was my ‘birthday cake” for many years, and she would always make two strawberry pies, because she knew I would eat a whole pie by myself and would not want to share even a bite.
- Serves: 8 (or 1)
- Calories: 269
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated fat: 7g
- Unsaturated fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 39g
- Sodium: 137mg
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 3g
- Cholesterol: 31mg
- 2 pounds of fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and quartered
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries)
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- One baked single crust pie-crust (recipe below)
- Fresh whipped cream lightly sweetened, for serving
- Take 1/2 of the strawberries and place in a medium saucepan with sugar and cornstarch. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher while cooking over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Once the mixture is thick, remove from heat and then let cool slightly.
- Once cooled a bit, stir in the remaining strawberries and pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Place in the refrigerator and let set for a 3-4 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream, if you like.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 ounces (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3-4 tablespoons ice cold water
- Place flour, salt and sugar in food processor and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add half the butter and pulse again several times. Add remaining butter and pulse a few more times. The mixture should be course, with clumps about the size of peas.
- In the food processor, sprinkle dough with 1 tablespoon of water at a time, pulsing after each addition. You want the mixture to just stick together when pinched between two fingers - but be careful not to add too much water, which will make the dough too sticky. Sticky dough is a total pain to roll out, because it sticks to everything.
- Turn the dough out onto a cutting board and gather it all together in a mound. Push down on it lightly to combine. Working quickly, create a small disc and sprinkle with a small amount of flour to keep it from sticking. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes (or up to 2 days).
- Remove crust from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before rolling out, to make rolling a bit easier. Use a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you are rolling out the dough, check every few seconds to make sure it is not sticking to the table. If it sticks, sprinkle flour underneath.
- Carefully place dough circle into a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate and hangs a little over the edge. Use a knife to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish and crimp as desired.
- Put the pie plate in the freezer for about 30 minutes, until chilled. Doing this will help keep the crust from shrinking when baking.
- While the crust is chilling, preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
- Once the pie crust is chilled, use a fork to poke holes all around the crust. (This is called "docking the dough.") Line the pie crust with piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans, or dried rice. Bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the parchment paper and weights. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Let cool completely before filling.