t’s my fault that I didn’t have enough home grown strawberries to make a pie today. All because I allowed the little ones to pick ripe berries from my strawberry pots. Small hands discovering plump red berries among the leaves captivates their attention. They left with stained hands and happy smiles. So it was off to the grocery to buy more strawberries for this seasonal specialty.
I tested out several strawberry pie recipes but kept coming back to an adapted favorite from the Three Many Cooks site.
The filling for this pie is more soft set than stiff.
Note the cornstarch is mixed with cool water before cooking. Don’t be tempted to try to dissolve it in hot water to hurry the cooking process. What will result is a clumpy mess.
Use fresh, not thawed frozen berries, which exude too much juice for the filling to thicken properly.
If you’ve eaten strawberry pie at a restaurant and wish you could recreate it at home, this recipe has your name on it!
My family’s favorite fresh strawberry pie
3 quarts/3 pounds fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon powdered pectin
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 level tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cool water
Squeeze of lemon juice (a teaspoon or so) — optional but good
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pie shell, pre-baked
Whipped cream for garnish
Slice a generous quart of strawberries. Set aside for filling.
Cut 2 heaping cups of the best berries in half and set aside for the top. Measure after cutting.
Take another 2 cups of strawberries and cut in half. Place in food processor and puree until very smooth.
Measure out 1-1/4 cups of the puree and pour into saucepan with sugar, pectin and salt.
Bring to a simmer over low heat, whisking constantly. Continue to cook until mixture foams a bit, another minute or so.
Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Whisk cornstarch, water, lemon juice and vanilla.
Put pan back on heat and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Continue to cook and whisk until mixture is stiff. It starts out opaque and will turn fairly translucent when cooked a few minutes.
Remove 1/4 cup of mixture. Set aside for glaze.
Put remaining mixture into a bowl and lay plastic wrap on surface to keep filling from developing a “skin”. Let cool to room temperature.
Stir in the quart of sliced strawberries.
Pour into pie shell and smooth top.
Arrange the 2 cups of halved strawberries in a pattern on top. Start at the outside and work into the center.
Now you’re ready to glaze. If glaze is too thick to brush on, add a bit of water until you get the right consistency. Brush glaze on top of berries.
Refrigerate several hours for filling to set before serving with a dollop of whipped cream.
Glazed gelatin strawberry pie
A straight-forward, vintage recipe, The glaze is a homemade version of store-bought glaze and is better tasting. Gelatin allows the pie to cut fairly easily.
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 pkg, 3 oz, strawberry gelatin
4 cups sliced strawberries – measure after slicing
1 pie shell, pre-baked
Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan until smooth.
Turn heat to medium, bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk and cook until thick, a couple of minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in gelatin until dissolved. Refrigerate just until slightly cooled, about 15 minutes.
Pour strawberries into pie shell and pour gelatin mixture over.
Refrigerate until set. Serve with whipped cream.