As I was going through my notes from you, it dawned on me again that this site is a journal of sorts. Of your lives and mine. And it’s not just about food. In the process of cooking more and eating at home more during this pandemic, we’re realizing that eating together without having to rush out somewhere has its advantages.
We’re continuing to be more frugal. Not wasting — thinking twice about tossing out over ripe bananas (refrigerate or freeze and make banana bread later). Or bell peppers whose skin is wrinkly from languishing in the vegetable drawer (cut in half, remove seeds, smoosh halves down, drizzle with oil. Grill, roast or broil, skin side up. Skin, then freeze).
Even finding joy instead of frustration during a long wait at the store. Translates to yes, we’re starting to get back to normal, carefully.
Local strawberries will be ripening soon, if not already. I’m thinking that may be the reason for strawberry pie requests. “Like Frisch’s, if you can,” one reader asked.
Here’s what I call a “new and improved” version of my strawberry pie recipe. I’ve upped the lemon juice and cornstarch to assure a good gel since some strawberries are juicier than others, and that can make for a loosely set pie. My berries were more tart than usual, so I increased the sugar amount, too. That’s why you see a range in the recipe — you decide how much you need.
Is this recipe as good as the pie Frisch’s is famous for? At my house, it’s a resounding yes. I hope it is for you, too.
Fresh strawberry pie
Sub in raspberries if you like.
9” pie shell, baked
5 nice cups strawberries, halved or quartered, divided into 2 and 3 cups (about 2 pounds)
3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup lemon juice
Whipped cream for garnish
In a pan over medium heat, mash together 2 cups of berries with sugar.
Whisk together water, corn starch and lemon juice. Add that to berries. Cook and stir until mixtures comes bubbles and boils. Cook a couple minutes more, and keep stirring. Mixture will be good and thick. Remove and pour into bowl. Stir in remaining berries.
Cool a little before pouring into baked pie shell.
Refrigerate a couple hours or more to chill, then serve with dollop of whipped cream.
Sweetened whipped cream
No real recipe, but for every cup of cream, stir in 1- 2 tablespoons sugar and a tiny bit of vanilla if you like. Whip.
Tip: Perfect baked pie crust
Roll dough 2-3” wider than pan. You won’t have to stretch dough to fit pan, which causes shrinking during baking.
Poke bottom and sides with fork. This is called docking and keeps crust flat.
Leave caps on, rinse and air dry.
Hull: cut stem out in circular motion to remove.
Place in single layer on baking sheet, freeze until firm, then place in containers.