Thursday, June 04, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Pie

I have been making fresh strawberry pie for years.
I'm not even sure where I got the recipe, but my mom has it written in the journal she started about 70 years ago, so perhaps it has been around for awhile.
My recipe calls for fresh berries in a pre-baked pie shell, then a gel poured over the top.

My local newspaper prints a Food section every Wednesday.
Last week's section included a recipe for strawberry pie.
Their recipe also makes a gel to pour over fresh berries, but cuts the steps by using a premade pie crust, Jello, and lemon-lime soda.
I had just purchased a case of nostalgic soda pop at Cost Plus World Market, and it contained Bubble-Up, so I thought I'd try this.
Honestly, this couldn't be easier--it came together in a snap.
I used the premade pie crusts from Trader Joes (very good when you're pressed for time and can't make your own).
This recipe is pretty good, but my original is even better.
I'll post both.

Strawberry Pie (from the newspaper)

1 refrigerated pie crust, such as Pillsbury

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch (be sure to check expiration date. Old cornstarch will not thicken properly)

1 cup lemon-lime soda, such as 7 Up

1/2 package (3 ounces) strawberry Jell-O (1/4 cup)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 cups fresh strawberries, cut into bite-size pieces

Real whipped cream for topping, to taste

Prepare the crust according to package directions for a baked pie shell. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a 2-quart or larger saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and lemon-lime soda. Place over high heat, and bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 1 minute, or until slightly thick.

Remove from heat, and add Jell-O and lemon juice, stirring well. Set aside to cool. (Consistency will be like warm pudding upon some cooling and will thicken further in refrigerator.)

Rinse and cap strawberries, cutting any large berries into bite-size pieces. Place the berries in the cooled crust, and spoon the filling (it's OK if it is slightly warm) over the berries. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

To serve, slice the pie and top each serving with whipped cream.

Fresh Strawberry Glazed Pie

1 9-inch baked pie shell (I use this recipe, and have also heard this recipe is excellent. Sometimes I go old school and use lard in my pie crust)

6 cups fresh strawberries (1-1/2 quarts)

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons corn starch

1/2 cup water

1 small package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
(No, please do not use low fat. eeeww)

Mash enough berries to measure 1 cup.
Stir together sugar and cornstarch.
Gradually stir in water and crushed berries
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.
Boil and stir one minute.
Beat cream cheese until smooth.
Spread on bottom of baked and cooled pie shell.
Fill shell with remaining berries, arranging in pretty patterns.
Berries can be whole, halved, or both.
Pour cooked berry mixture over top of fresh berries.
Chill at least three hours or until set.
Serve topped with whipped cream.



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