Monday, June 22, 2009
Let me tell you, friends--just thinking about this pie makes me hungry. Lately my parents' garden has been producing oodles of strawberries. And by oodles I mean they are up to their eyeballs in strawberries and my usually mild-mannered father has an urge to swear every time he goes out to the garden and sees how many more strawberries he has to pick, wash, and stem. So, I've been taking as many of them off their hands as I can, and my favorite way to use them is in this pie. Oh how I love this pie. The recipe comes from my mother who got it from a friend who got it from her next-door neighbor's best friend's cat's cousin once-removed or something like that--you know how recipes are. But regardless of it's origins, this is a spectacular pie.
The ingredient that turns this pie from ho-hum strawberry into mmm-mmm-strawberry is the thin layer of cream cheese you spread on the pie crust before adding the strawberries. It also has the added benefit of protecting your crust from getting soggy, because soggy crust is just yucky. You can use a store-bought pie crust or make your own. If you do make your own, allow me to recommend putting some tin foil on it and weighting it down with rice, beans, or pie weights for the first 8 minutes or so of baking to keep it from bubbling or shrinking too much. That's because you bake it ahead of time on its own (called blind baking, fyi), which means there isn't the nice heavy filling to weigh it down. And now, the recipe:
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
3 T. cornstarch
3 T. strawberry gelatin
3 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
9 inch deep dish pie crust, baked
3 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened.
Spread a thin layer of cream cheese in the bottom and up the sides of the baked pie crust. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cornstarch. Cook over medium high heat until it boils and thickens. Remove from heat; add gelatin. Cool slightly. Slice berries and place them in the bottom of the baked pie shell. Cover with strawberry mixture. Chill for at least one hour. Top with whipped cream. Pie is best eaten the day it is made because the crust can get a little soggy if kept too long.