We all have foods that are part of our family’s history, like Grandma’s tomato sauce, or Dad’s mashed potatoes. This strawberry pie is one of our family things. While she didn’t develop the recipe, my mother perfected its execution and a June without this pie being served at least once, was just not the same.
As I mentioned last week when I posted the recipe, this is the first of three versions of fresh strawberry pie that I will try out this month. When I say “fresh” strawberry pie, I mean both that the strawberries used are fresh and that they are not baked. This is not a jammy dessert.
The first step with just about any pie recipe is to prepare the crust. Use your favourite recipe to make a 9″ pie shell. Or, buy a frozen, ready-made one; just don’t tell Gordon Ramsay. I made my own,
because I always like homemade better (although I’m still working on my crust-making technique). But if you’re pressed for time and not entertaining any tantrum-prone chefs, the berries really are the star of this pie, and a ready-made crust will make this an easy but impressive dessert. Bake the crust until it is golden.
Once you have the baked pie crust, you clean and hull your berries. I have a thing about the hulling of strawberries. Unless they are served complete with leaves, they should be hulled. For the un-hull-initiated, that means taking the hard white centre out of the top of the berry after cutting off the stem. The photo above shows a properly hulled berry. Line your pie shell with the berries.
The third step is to prepare the glaze. You mix the cornstarch, corn syrup, strawberry-flavoured gelatin, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Heat until the mixture boils, and then keep it simmering until it thickens and gets translucent. The recipe says the glaze should become clear. I don’t find it ever gets completely clear, but it does get less cloudy. Then the gelatin powder is added and stirred in until it dissolves. The photos below show the glaze before cooking, when it reaches the translucent stage, and after the gelatin is added.
The next thing is to allow the glaze to cool the glaze and then pour it over the berries, being sure to cover each one. The final step is to chill the pie for four to five hours. So, once the crust is ready, this really is an easy dessert to make.
Not all of my kids would try the pie. Our third child has a thing about the seeds on strawberries ruining the texture for her and our youngest is a purest–strawberries are eaten on their own or with
whipped cream, not in a pie. But my husband and our other two children tried it and liked it a lot. The only surprising comment came from my son, a newly minted teenager. He found the glaze a bit too sweet. Still, he didn’t turn down the piece offered him the next day.
So this is one family tradition I feel compelled to continue. This pie is definitely worth making again, but I am excited to try some different versions. Next week I’ll review one from Canadian Living. Tune in to see if we’ve got another keeper!