The Bun’s birthday was this past Saturday and, per tradition, he gets a strawberry pie every year. I know that I could probably hunt down a store-bought version somewhere, but I don’t really ever trust them to be what I want. I also think that they are extremely perishable, so it is easier just to make my own instead of taking a chance on getting a bad one.
Over the years I’ve been making strawberry pies, I have experimented with different crusts, different treatments of the berries, and different glazes. I think that this year’s version was pretty good. I really like the way the pie looks when you just take the tops off of the berries and place them in the crust (as in the picture). I have tried slicing them and it just ends up looking like a jello pie with strawberries in it. The glaze I made this year was very tasty, very easy, and in the end, looked pretty nice. I kind of prefer the way that a gelatin glaze looks because it is clear instead of cloudy, but it is far more labor-intensive than the cornstarch version I present here. Regarding the crust, I think that a good pate brisee is the right choice for flakiness and integrity. A trick I learned this year using an egg wash helps to keep the crust from getting soggy from the juice of the berries and the glaze.
If you can find local berries for this recipe, I highly recommend them (we got a bunch from the French market that came from Michigan); each bite is a little taste of summer, in spite of the still wintry feel here in Chicago. Strawberry Pie.
After picking 5 quarts from our local farm share yesterday, I knew my first adventure in strawberry pie making was imminent. Then, I read your blog last night! Perfect. Right off I feel a need to defend…I bought my crust. (Head hung low.) I know I lose tons of points for this, but I’d like bonuses for hand picked, organic berries and the use of my pastry brush to smooth the glaze! (My spooning the glaze still left it lumpy.) It is chilling right now and we will eat tonight after Amy’s soup! Thanks for the fabulous directions.
John thanks for the tips on Strawberry pie. We picked several quarts (11) and I made a pie but my crust got very soggy. It was still very tasty but what did you mean about what you did to the crust to prevent the soggy crust. Were my berries just too ripe?? HELP!!!
Basically, what I did was to blind-bake the crust as you normally would, but I took it out of the oven a few minutes before it was completely done and brushed a mixture of egg yolk and a little milk on the whole thing, especially the bottom. Then I put it back into the oven for about two more minutes, or until the egg wash became brown and shiny. I really think that this helped keep the crust from getting too soggy. However, if the berries were super ripe and juicy, I am not sure you could do anything to prevent a soggy crust – except for maybe eating the whole pie in one sitting!
Wow, this looks exactly like the strawberry pies my mom used to make each summer. Thanks for posting – looks super tasty!