I just bought some of our local Chesterfield Berry Farm strawberries and they are so sweet and delicious. Unfortunately this year they will not have pick your own berries because of the cold wet winter. I was looking forward to going out in the fields and picking and picking and picking. I love the experience and it doesn’t hurt that every now and then you can pop one in your mouth. I’ll miss that picking with my grandson…
As promised I want to offer some more of my strawberry recipes I have accumulated over the years. The first one today is the Strawberry Pie. Shoney’s (a restaurant in Virginia and I think still Big Boy in other parts of the country makes a really good one. The one I make is just about a perfect clone.
2 (8 or 9 inch) pie shells, baked (recipe for pie crust can be found below)
2 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries washed, tops removed, and patted dry. Leave whole
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored Jell-O® (do not use the kind with sugar substitute)
Prepare the pie crusts. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe you can use it or you can use a graham cracker crust or a regular pie crust with a little sugar added to the dough. Here is a pie crust recipe which is very good.
Tender Flaky No-Fail pie crust
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar – Omit if crust will be used for savory pie
2 tsp. salt
1 3⁄4 cup shortening
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1⁄2 cup ice water
Using a Pastry blender, two forks, or a stiff whisk, combine the first four ingredients until a crumbly, cornmeal-like consistency has been achieved.
Beat in egg, vinegar and ice cold water until it is all moistened.
Using your hands, mold the mixture into a ball, cut it in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
(if you are using your food processor, just add the first four ingredients in the order stated, and pulse til cornmeal-like consistency is achieved, then add the wet ingredients and pulse after addition until the mixture forms dough)
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a size slightly bigger than your pie plate. Gently pick up the pie crust and place it in the pie plate, fold the crust down around the edges and press with your fingers to make it ruffled. If using at a later date, dough may be refrigerated for three days.
For this pie bake the pie shell for 11-15 minutes at 350 degrees, depending on your oven temperature. Crust will be lightly browned. Many cooks will add beans or glass beads to the unbaked pie shell to keep it from puffing up but I don’t find it necessary. I use a glass pie plate.
tip: to keep the crust from getting soggy It is a good idea to brush with egg white and sprinkle lightly with sugar before baking.
Now for the strawberries. Hull and wash the strawberries and place in bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the sugar and the cornstarch set beside stove to add to saucepan later. In a saucepan pour cold water and heat over medium heat until it begins to boil. To the boiling water add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and cook until it begins to thicken.
Remove from heat. While still very hot add gelatin mix, and stir gently with a large spoon until smooth. (do not whisk this mixture because you will get too many air bubbles). Allow mixture cool to room temperature.
Starting in the center place strawberries in baked pie shells; position berries with points facing up. Pour cooled gel mixture over strawberries.
Refrigerate until set. Refrigerate any leftovers as if there would be any…
Serve with fresh whipped cream. There is nothing better.
To Make Whipped CREAM
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 1 tsp of honey to stabilize
Whip the cream to soft peaks in a well chilled medium glass or metal bowl using an electric mixer. Add the sugar and whip to combine. Pipe onto pie using a pastry bag and tip or your cake decorator.
tip: There is no better dessert topping than real whipped cream. However fresh whipped cream tends to separate and I want it to be fuss-free. Thankfully, I discovered that by adding honey to whipped cream, it becomes stabilized and won’t separate. Here’s the trick: Add one teaspoon of honey for each cup of whipping cream. Then whip and sweeten as you normally would (I use powdered sugar) and your whipped cream won’t separate.
Reaction I usually get from my family are squeals of delight!
I hope you try this pie. It is the perfect blend of sweet and tart.
Until later… Betti