4 August 2011

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Pastry = heaven. I have no shame in admitting, more than once, if there was some ready-rolled puff pastry in the fridge and I couldn't be fussed to cook I would happily shove a sheet in the oven and call it lunch. If I didn't start worrying about looking like a block of butter I might have made it a weekly occurrence. And this brings me on to this stupendously awesome recipe. I love pastry. Pies have pastry. I love pies.

Now I've eaten a lot of pies in my time and I've made a lot of them also, I really should resemble a pie, but this...this is the most deliciously summery pie I have ever ever ever made, maybe even tasted. So that's saying something!

Half the strawb's nice n small..
Other half nice n chunky :)

It is a pure blast of unadulterated strawberry goodness. If you imagine the gorgeously unique flavour of the best strawb you have ever eaten, then multiply that by a bazillion, you may be nearing this pie. I could eat the warm sauce all by itself, and partly did...I didn't think it was possible to improve upon the fresh taste of a ripe strawberry, but this recipe somehow intensifies it. Maybe because it has 2 whole pounds of strawberries and nothing else to distract from them apart from a vessel made of delicious flaky pastry to shovel them in your mouth...that might be it. 2 pounds of strawbs, it's practically a health food!

It is crazy easy, even easier if you use a store-bought crust (if you fancy making your own you could try my go-to) and it is such an impressively stunning colour. If you are looking for your summer pie, here it is, thank me after you have eaten a bite (and then curse me after you have finished the whole thing)

Fresh Strawberry Pie
Adapted from Short Stop
Makes one 9 inch pie

2 pounds fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar*
3 Tbsp cornstarch
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 unbaked pie crust

To bake the crust: Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Prick the crust all over with a fork, about 40 times, and line the inside of the pie with a piece of foil, gently pressing it around to mould to the shape of the crust. Weigh the foil down using dried beans, uncooked rice or copper coins
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil/weights (the foil should be ok to handle). Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the edges turn light golden brown

Chop the tops off all the strawberries then chop 1/2 of them (1 pound) into very small pieces You could use a food processor if you wished **
Place the diced berries into a saucepan, add the sugar and the cornstarch, mix well
Add the lemon juice and cook on medium-low heat, stirring using a whisk to crush the berries, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened enough so that it drops off the whisk slowly
Remove from the heat

Cut the remaining strawberries into halves and stir them into the cooked mixture
Pour the mix into the baked pie shell and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until pie is set

Cut yourself a hunk of a slice and taste summer

* The original calls for 1 cup sugar but mentions you could use less depending on the ripeness of your berries. I used 3/4 cup and found the sweetness to be just perfect, if anything I would try using even less next time
**I like to use the small and less perfect strawberries for the 'sauce' and save the prettier ones for halving later

        Click for the printable :)

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