Happy May Day! I can’t believe it’s already May, y’all! Wasn’t it just December? I swear I’m still humming “Let It Snow” around the house…wishful thinking, I guess. Although, I’m currently getting a real kick out of this Justin Timberlake meme, which makes bringing in the month that much more awesome. 😛 Hello fellow *NSYNC fans…I know you’re out there laughing and singing along with me!!
Now, let’s talk about this pie, y’all. When it comes to baking, pie is one of those things I just don’t make that much. For some reason, pie always seems like a ton of work. I used to buy crusts in the freezer section, and when I first attempted homemade pie years ago, it just ended up taking a while for it to come together. After all of that work, the crust was a crumbly mess. UGH. I just sort of mentally blocked the idea of making pie, unless there was a pre-made crust involved.
Sometimes I forget that I have a stand mixer that happily does all of the work for me…..
I had a flat of strawberries in the house, and since I promised to bring a dessert for a lunch we were going to, I decided that I had to bring something involving strawberries. I didn’t want to bring the typical shortcake, so I went to Pinterest to help me brain storm. (Don’t you just love Pinterest?!) That’s when I saw this fresh strawberry pie. I clicked on the post, and thought about pie crust. Ugh. Then I saw that the directions involved the stand mixer. Oh heck yes! My pastry cutter can stay in the drawer? SA-WEET!
So, I made this pie. With the sweet, ripe local strawberries and the light, buttery crust, this pie was just a wonderful, refreshing dessert. It wasn’t too heavy, which really allowed the strawberries to shine. It was a real winner at lunch. I didn’t end up bringing any of this home!
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp. very cold water
For the filling:
- 4 pints (about 3 lbs.) fresh strawberries, gently rinsed and dried, hulled
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp. Sure-Jell for low-sugar recipes (don’t use the regular Sure-Jell)
- Generous pinch table salt
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- To make the crust, add the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix everything together just to blend it. Add the butter pieces and mix together on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the flour until the butter pieces are no bigger than peas and the rest of the mixture resembles a coarse sand. Turn the mixer on low and add the cold water. Mix until the dough just comes together.
- Mold the dough into a ball, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch circle. Then transfer the crust to a 9 inch pie pan and crimp the edges. Cover the pie pan with saran wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and adjust an oven shelf to the lower middle slot. Take the pie pan out of the freezer and line the top of the pie crust with foil. Add pie weights on top or balled up foil pieces to prevent the dough from bubbling up and rising. Bake the pie crust for 20-25 minutes, until the dough no longer appears wet. Remove the pie weights/balled up foil and other foil. Then, bake the pie crust for 10-12 minutes more until golden brown. Place the pie pan on a wire rack and allow to cool fully.
- To make the filling, weigh out 6 oz. of weird shaped, under-ripe or unattractive berries, halving those that are large. In the end, you should have about 1 1/2 cups of berries. Using a food processor or blender, blend the berries to a puree for about 30 seconds. Measure out the puree; you should have 3/4 cup.
- Using a medium sized saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell and salt and whisk the mixture to combine. Stir in the berry puree and cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a full boil and boil for two minutes, ensuring that the bottom and sides of the pan are constantly scraped with a silicone spatula or spoon. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice; allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Look through the remaining berries and weigh out 2 pounds of the most attractive berries. If the berries are very large, halve them. Add the berries to the bowl with the glaze, and fold the mixture gently with a spatula or spoon until the berries are well coated with the mixture. Add the berry mixture on the pie crust, piling the berries into a mound. If you’d like, turn down the berries that are cut side up for a prettier presentation. Chill the pie for about two hours and serve immediately (at the most, within 5 hours of making the pie since berries are extremely moist and will make your pie soggy). Optional: serve with fresh whipped cream.