Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Pie

 I searched high and low on the internet and in various cookbooks that I had lying around from the library for a basic strawberry pie.  Just strawberries.  I came up with nothing.  Nothing.  Nada.  I really couldn't believe it.  So, I defaulted to my Betty Crocker cookbook that housed the recipe that I had used the previous time I made strawberry pie.  So, this is my offering to the foodie blogosphere....fresh, open-faced, strawberry pie.  To its credit, my brother deemed this pie better than my apple pie.  Amazing.  Though I am not sure that anything can top a classically perfect apple pie, this strawberry pie does deserve its own category of greatness.  The recipe calls for 1 1/2 quarts of fresh berries; I used 3 1-pound clamshells of berries.  (I kept the rest of the proportions the same).  More is better.  :)

*A Sidenote:  To avoid the laughter that comes from certain family members at my photographing my food, I took this picture right after assembling the pie.  So, if the filling looks "un-set," that is because it is.  I whisked it off to the fridge after its photo session was over.  I'm trusting that it still looks mouthwatering enough for you to make this in your kitchen!

Fresh Strawberry Pie
Adapted from "Betty Crocker's New Cookbook"

1 pie crust, baked
1/1/2 quarts fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled (I also quartered mine)
1 cup sugar
3 tbl. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
3 ounces cream cheese, softened.
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 475 degrees.  Roll out pie dough 2 inches larger than your pie plate.  Place rolled dough into pie plate, and trim overhanging dough 1 inch from the rim.  Fold and roll pastry under, even with the plate.  Flute the edges.  Prick bottom and sides of pastry thoroughly with a fork.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until light brown; cool on wire rack.  Off oven.

For the filling, mash enough strawberries to measure 1 cup.  I used my food processor for this.  Mix sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan with a whisk.  Turn heat to medium-low.  Gradually stir in the water and mashed strawberries; increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil and stir 1 minute; cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add vanilla and mix well.  Spread on the bottom of the baked pie shell.  Fill shell with strawberries.  Pour the cooked strawberry mixture over the top.  refrigerate about 3 hours or until filling is set.  If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, refrigerate any remaining pieces.

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