Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Fresh Strawberry Pie

I think that the summer strawberries in England must be the best in the world. They aren't the biggest, but they are the sweetest and juiciest strawberries. I love using them in desserts throughout the summer to make the most of them at their best. I made this pie for our 4th of July celebration (I know, I'm very late posting!!). Everyone loved it-be sure to make this with summer strawberries before the season is over!!

Strawberry Pie

For the pie crust:
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbsp (4oz) cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp very cold water

For the filling:
4 pints (3lbs.) fresh strawberries, rinsed and dried, hulled
3/4 cup jam sugar*
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 baked 9-inch pie shell

For the whipped cream:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 Tbsp sugar

*Please note, I have used jam sugar in place of normal sugar and Sure-Jell in Annie's recipe. We don't have Sure-Jell in England, so I thought this would be a good substitute-it worked really well, and I lengthened the amount of boiling time slightly to account for the different ingredient.

To make the pastry, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter pieves until the misture resembles coarse sand and the largest butter pieces are no bigger than peas. Add cold water and mix until the dough just comes together. You may require extra water.

Roll the pie dough into a circle, and line a 9-inch pie dish with it. Trim and crimp the edges. Refrigerate for 30mins. Preheat oven to 375*F. Line the chilled pie with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake until dough no longer looks wet, about 20mins. Remove the weights and parchment paper adn continue to bake 10mins more until the crust is lightly golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

For the filling, select 6oz misshapen berries, halving the large ones. This should be about 1 1/2 cups. In a food processor, blend into a smooth puree. You should have about 3/4 cup of puree.

In a medium saucepan, combine teh sugar and pureed strawberries. Gently warm until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then bring up to a rolling boil. Boil for 4-5mins, scraping bottom and sides of pan constantly. It should be starting to set. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in lemon juice. Cool to room temperature.

Pick over the remaining berries and measure out 2lbs of attractive ones. Halve extra-large berries. Add the berries to the bowl of jam and fold gently with a spatula until the berries were evenly coated. Scoop the berries into the pie shell, piling into a mound. If any cut sides face up, face them down. Referigerate the pie until chilled, about 2 hrs. Serve immediately and within 5hrs.

Make the whipped cream just before serving. Whip the cream and sugar on medium speed until small bubbles form (30 seconds). Increase to high speed and beat until medium peaks form. Serve wedges of the pie with whipped cream.

Recipes adapted from Williams-Sonoma and Annie's Eats

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