Fresh Strawberry Pie tastes like sweet summertime wrapped up in a buttery-crust.
Hey Friends! Welcome to Berry Week! This week, the Theme Weavers and I are celebrating all that is bright, juicy, and wonderful about the abundant berries of summer. I’m going to kick the week off today with my most-favorite summer pastry, the Fresh Strawberry Pie!
My Bloggy Besties and I began plotting Berry Week while the snowbanks were still knee high around these parts. We were all daydreaming about warmer temperatures and bountiful berries. I knew at that moment we put Berry Week on the Books that I was going to have to share my one true love with my Friends.
No, I’m not sharing the Bacon Slayer. He’s all mine, Ladies! However long before my beloved was slaying bacon for his family, I began an affair with a strawberry pie that rocked my ever-loving world.
My eight-year-old-world, that is. When I was growing up, we didn’t have much money, but on the bi-monthly Pay Day, my mom and I would go out to dinner. Being an 8 year old with a discerning palate, I’d always vote for McDonald’s. Being a single mother that worked full-time, my mom would always vote for “anywhere that someone will wait on me, for a change.”
As a mama of four boys, I totally get that now.
In the little town we were living in, the only place with a waitstaff was the local Big Boy restaurant. So at least once a month, we’d venture to Big Boy in search of a meal and a little break for my mom.
I’d invariably order the spaghetti and garlic bread. I just felt you should know that.
Semi-Related Tangent: Mr. Betz, my second grade teacher, was always at the Big Boy dining with his wife while we were there. He brought his banjo to school on Fridays, and played while the students danced around the classroom. I thought Mr. Betz was The Bees Knees!
But back to the pie…
After a relaxing dinner of me slurping spaghetti and begging to go talk to Mr. Betz, sometimes…sometimes I’d be allowed to order dessert. I would always, without fail, order the strawberry pie–it was kind of a tradition. I loved fresh strawberries, and Big Boy was the first place that I’d ever eaten a pie containing fresh fruit. I was amazed at the juicy wonder of their strawberry pie.
My boys and I have a different tradition with strawberries and pie. We visit a local farm each summer to pick as many strawberries as we (Read: I) can carry. (This year, we picked 55 pounds in around an hour!) After all of the jam has been made, gallons of berries have been frozen for the winter, and I still find myself up to my elbows in freshly picked strawberries…well, then it’s time to make a Fresh Strawberry Pie.
Making a Fresh Strawberry Pie at home is really quite simple. All that is required is a few pints of ripe strawberries, a baked 9-inch pie shell, and some strawberry jam.
Note: If you are making your own pie dough, and I really hope that you are, you can find instructions on how to “blind bake” the pastry by clicking HERE.
Also Note: I choose to thin out jam with a little water to glaze the pie because I’m not a fan of the overly-red gelatinous glaze that typically dresses a fresh strawberry pie. Just Say No! to the Pouch o’ Red Goo sold in the produce section.
Rinse the strawberries and pat them dry before removing the leafy green tops. Let’s pause for a moment to tout the wonder that is the OXO Strawberry Huller. I’ve been putting up strawberries for a very long time, and never, EVER has that job been easier than it is with the OXO Strawberry Huller that my Friends at OXO were kind enough to send me.
Here’s how it works:
Simply insert the serrated edge of the Strawberry Huller into the center of the leafy top of the strawberry. Give it a quick twist to remove the stem and leaves, and press the plunger on the end of the huller to release the stem. Done in two seconds flat, with no waste! OXO’s Strawberry Huller is revolutionary, I tell you! It literally saved me hours of work hulling all of those pounds of strawberries. I never want to be without it again.
Since I’m making a fresh pie, I like to draw a little of the juice out of the hulled strawberries to avoid a soggy crust. This can be accomplished by setting the strawberries, cut side down, onto a double-thick layer of paper towel to absorb some of the juice. Let the berries rest for 10 minutes before assembling the pie.
While the strawberries are resting, thin out the jam with a tablespoon or two of water, depending on the stiffness of the jam. The jam will serve as a glaze for the berries, holding them together in the crust.
I hear using a Blue’s Clues spoon expedites the process. 😉
For the first layer, begin in the center to line the pastry shell with strawberries, working in an outward circle. For the second layer, repeat the process, nesting the berries in any “open” areas of exposed pie crust. We’re going for maximum strawberry coverage, here.
Once the strawberries are tucked into the pie shell, spoon the thinned jam over the fruit, and into the crevices between the berries.
Use a pastry brush to coat the exposed strawberries, and (ahem!) clean up any spills on the pie crust. The strawberries should glisten! Chill the pie for 2 to 3 hours, or until set.
Fresh Strawberry Pie tastes like sweet summertime wrapped up in a buttery crust. Go ahead and start your own love affair with strawberries this summer with a Fresh Strawberry Pie.
- 1 Nine-inch Pie Pastry Shell
- 3 pounds (about 4 pints or 6 C.) fresh strawberries
- 1 C. strawberry jam
- 1-2 Tbs. cold water (depending on thickness of jam)
- Blind bake the pie pastry according to package directions, or if making from scratch, click to follow instructions found here. Cool completely on a wire rack. (About 15 minutes.)
- Rinse the strawberries well before removing the leafy green calyx. (Often called “hulling” the strawberries.) Set the hulled strawberries onto a double-thickness of paper towel to dry for at least 10 minutes to dry out some of the excess water.
- While the strawberries are drying off a bit, use a fork to stir in a tablespoon of cold water into the jam to thin it enough to begin to run off a spoon when tipped. (I start with one tablespoon, but have used up to two, depending on the thickness of the jam. I find that freezer jam works best, as it is not as stiff as traditional jam.)
- Beginning in the center of the prepared pie shell, arrange the strawberries in a circular pattern, working outward, until pie shell has been fully lined with fruit. Repeat the process with additional layers of berries, nestling them in between the other strawberries, until pie shell is brimming with fresh fruit.
- Spoon the thinned jam over the strawberries, allowing it to fill the gaps in between the fruit. Use a pastry brush to coat the exposed berries with the jam so that they glisten. Refrigerate the pie for 3 hours, or until set. Serve cold slices with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, if desired.
- Fresh Strawberry Pie is best enjoyed the day it is made, but will keep, if wrapped, in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Take a gander at the rest of the Berry Week fun:
- Monday: Me-Fresh Strawberry Pie / La Petite Pancake-Berry Sangria
- Tuesday: Inside NanaBread’s Head-Annie’s Blackberry Cake / From My Sweet Heart-Summer Berry Terrine with Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- Wednesday: Climbing Grier Mountain-Vanilla Gelato with Peach-Blueberry Compote & Honey Whipped Cream / Tenaciously Yours-Strawberry Smash
- Thursday: Country Cleaver-Berry Sorbet Float / The Girly Girl Cooks-Strawberry-Rhubarb Stuffed French Toast
- Friday: Buffy and George-Black Raspberry & Cherry Pie with a Gluten-Free Crust / Kvetchin’ Kitchen-Berry Earl Grey Cocktail / The Grommom-Berry Crisp
- Saturday: Munchin’ in the Mitten-Cherry Clafoutis / Decadent Philistines Save the World-Raspberry Marshmallows (served two ways)
Not-So-Fineprint: The kind folks as OXO graciously provided me their Strawberry Huller to test and evaluate. I received no other compensation for this post. As a Rabid Fan of OXO products, all opinions are my own.