Summer approaches, and even the spiders are getting excited. (If I had noticed that one before taking the picture, I probably wouldn’t have got up so close.) My son’s backyard strawberries are growing and just hinting at the vibrant and luscious ripeness to come. Despite the unseasonal heat here for the last few weeks (it’s been hotter in southern Ontario than in southern France), summer won’t really begin until the strawberries are ripe and ready for picking. When I was a kid, late June meant a trip to the pick-your-own strawberry farm. The reward, other than the leaving with hands and faces smeared red with juice, was the fresh strawberry pie that Mom would make when we got home. I’d like to revive that with my kids, although the number of pick-your-own farms around here seems to be shrinking; are all the berry farms succumbing to the pressure of the cheap California berries? But I digress. . . . In anticipation of the strawberries we’ll surely find on some farm nearby, I’m pulling out my mother’s recipe for strawberry pie and I’m going to test it against a couple I’ve never tried before.
I’m not sure of the original source of my mother’s recipe, although it does include “strawberry gelatin powder”. Browsing the Jell-O site turned up no recipe that is exactly the same, so I’m not sure if that was the source. It could have been a Chatelaine or Homemaker’s magazine from the 1970s. In any case, it’s one delicious pie, although I have wondered for a while if there were a way to make the glaze that wouldn’t involve flavoured gelatin. To that end, I’m trying out a recipe from Canadian Living’s Country Cooking (Random House, Canada, 1991). It uses puréed strawberries to flavour the glaze. The third recipe is from The Food Channel in the States. As with the Canadian Living recipe, the glaze gets its flavour from strawberries rather than strawberry-flavoured gelatin.
To start us all off, here is the recipe my mom uses for fresh strawberry pie (sometimes called “Glazed Strawberry Pie”):
Fresh Strawberry Pie
- 9” baked pie shell
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp white corn syrup
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp strawberry gelatin powder
- 1 quart fresh, whole strawberries, cleaned and hulled
Mix sugar, cornstarch, syrup and water together. Boil until thick and clear. Add gelatin powder, stirring until dissolved. Cool. Arrange berries in pie shell (tops down). Pour gelatin mixture over the berries and chill 4 to 5 hours until set.
I’ll try this one out first and let you know next week how it goes. Up for a little strawberry eating? Why don’t you give it a try yourself and let me know what you think?