Sunday, April 23, 2017

Strawberry Pie.

  It's strawberry time at the Malco Farm in Point Harbor right over the bridge.
We've been picking strawberries there for years and look forward to these berries every year.

Daughter Hawthorne was home this weekend(!)  She and her friends went a-pickin' and brought me a big box of beautiful berries.
I immediately set about to make my all time favorite strawberry pie.

Usually when I cook something and write about it,
I take step-by-step photographs for the how-tos and what-fors.
And I always try to get the money shot.
Didn't do that this time.

 This time, I only have the last piece of the pie.
And that's it right up there.


 That's how good this pie is.
It was eaten that quickly.

You deserve the recipe for Strawberry Pie.
And I'm giving it to you.

You can use a store-bought crust, but I made my own crust.
By the way, if you use store-bought crusts, buy the refrigerated ones that come rolled up two to a box.  Do not buy the frozen ones.  They'll crack in the freezer and they're not as deep as the refrigerated ones. 

The pie dough recipe makes enough for 2-3 pies, depending on their deep-dishedness.
You could also use the additional dough to make individual quiches, galettes (which is a free-form pie, either sweet or savory), little tartlets, cheese sticks, and all sorts of things.  Sounds like another post for the blog, another chapter for the book.

Here's the recipe for the pie crust dough.
I never met Craig Calhoun or his grandmother, but Craig was a friend of a friend of mine from another lifetime.  I have the friend's recipe in his own handwriting in my "Dessert" binder.

Craig Calhoun's Grandmother's Foolproof Pie Crust

4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 TB sugar
1 1/2 cups Crisco

Combine flour, salt, and sugar.  Cut in Crisco, a bit at a time, until you get a crumbly meal.

(Whenever I make a pie dough, I like to have different sized crumbles.)

1 egg
1 TB cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

Whisk egg, vinegar, and water.
Add to dry ingredients.
Combine and work into a cohesive ball.
Form into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Cut off enough of the pie dough for one crust.
Wrap remaining dough in plastic and refrigerate until another use - within 2-3 days.

Strawberry Pie
1 pie crust, cooked

Roll out above dough approximately 1/8 inch thick.
Spread out in pie pan, pressing.
Prick dough with fork.
Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Let cool.

Pie Filling
1 quart just picked strawberries from Malco Strawberry Fields in Point Harbor
Reserve about two dozen or more choice strawberries.
Wash and hull berries.

1 cup sugar
2 TB cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 TB unsalted butter

4 ounces cream cheese

Purée quart of strawberries.  Pour purée into saucepan.  Heat to a boil.  Add in sugar.  Combine water and cornstarch and add to strawberry/sugar mixture.  Cook, bubbling slowly, over medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and add butter.  Let cool a bit.

In a food processor or by hand, mix cream cheese and about 2 tablespoons of the strawberry mixture until smooth.  Evenly spread cream cheese mixture over baked and cooled pie crust.  Arrange the 2 dozen or so reserved berries, sticking bottoms into the cream cheese base.  Pour the cooled strawberry glaze mixture over top.  Chill.

If you have any leftover strawberry mixture, save it for breakfast tomorrow.  Great on toast!  Or oatmeal!  Or tapioca pudding!  Or fingers!

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