I am a strawberry pie novice. I’m not blessed with the nostalgia of eating it as a child. I have no memory of gobbling down a gorgeous slice on a sticky summer evening. I envy those of you who regularly enjoyed traditional strawberry pie from your favorite little diner. On the corner. With kids playing stickball in the street. And a waitress named Flo sporting bright pink lipstick and mostly purple hair. I hear strawberry pie is a pretty big deal in Pittsburgh, and since I have a new friend who hails from there, I thought I’d give it a whirl. This needs to be a “thing” on the West Coast. Like yesterday.
We start with a whole bunch of strawberries. The recipe calls for two cups. I heaped my measuring cup full until the ruby slices were falling out. That’s two cups…right?
Then you put all those beautiful berries into a pre-baked and fully cooled pie crust. I always use America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe because it produces a perfectly buttery, delightfully flaky crust. Every time. The secret to the fluted edge is in the temperature of the dough. It should be nice and chilled. If you have a favorite pie crust, feel free to use it. But I highly recommend the Test Kitchen version. It’s the same crust I use in my Blueberries and Cream Pie.
Then we make the filling. This pie is easy. It uses Jell-o. I don’t feel badly about that. Nope. Not at all. Also, this is a very sweet dessert. I cut back the sugar a little from the original recipe, and found it perfectly sweet. I’ve discovered the “east-of-the-Rocky’s” version of sugary is very different from what Seattleites would deem sweet. If you aren’t into syrup, cut back the sugar some more. Probably a cup will be plenty for you.
Oooooh. That’s so pretty.
Succulent strawberries swimming in sugary sweetness. Mmmmmmmm.
Couldn’t get any better…right? Oh wait. Did someone say whipped cream? Um. Yeah.
That’s right. I did. Boom. Gorgeous.
What pie looks this good on the first slice out of the tin? Seriously? Company pie with an everyday difficulty level. Winning! This is succulent and gloriously refreshing at the same time. In my opinion, a perfect summer dessert.
Nice and firm. No strawberries leaking out in a puddle. Perfectly topped with cool and fluffy cream. Like a strawberry shortcake. But it’s a pie. Yessssssss.
If you think this looks delicious, you’ll probably also love my Red White and Blue Berry Trifle. Either of these tasty and easy desserts would be perfect for your 4th of July celebrations!
Easy Strawberry Pie
adapted from With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart
Pie Crust (from America’s Test Kitchen)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/4-inch
pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4-6 tablespoons ice water
Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Add chilled shortening and pulse until coarsely ground. Add chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to large bowl.
Sprinkle 4 tablespoons water over flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, stir mixture until dough forms. If dough remains crumbly, add remaining 1 tablespoon water. Form dough into 4-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. (Dough can be frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic and aluminum foil, for up to 2 months. Thaw completely at room temperature before using.)
Let chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature, about 10 minutes. Working on lightly floured work surface, roll dough into 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to pie plate. Trim, fold, and crimp edges. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Double wrap in foil, add pie weights or dry beans to keep from puffing and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 375° oven. Remove weights and foil – bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
For the Filling
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 oz box strawberry Jell-O (the little box)
2 cups sliced strawberries
Line bottom of cooled pie shell with the sliced strawberries
Combine cornstarch, sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add the Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Pour over the strawberries and refrigerate until set.
Serve with whipped cream.