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Thursday, June 5, 2008

strawberry pie

finished strawberry pie

This pie was featured in the June 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine - and the editors raved about it. I decided to try it because (a) there's an influx of local fresh strawberries down at WF right now (b) A loves cut strawberries with desserts, so I figured he'd like this and (c) a reasonably healthy, chilled, refreshing dessert for 95-degree-Atlanta weather. The reality: the recipe took a lot longer than described, and the finished pie was gorgeous but fell completely apart when serving. Maybe it needed more gelatin to hold everything together, and maybe I should have buttered the pie pan so the crust would release a little more easily. A did love it though, and it certainly was a refreshing change of pace from heavier desserts I've made recently.

Grocery list: (crust) 1 5-oz package shortbread cookies, 2 T sugar, 2 T cold unsalted butter; (filling) 2 pounds strawberries, hulled, 3/4 c sugar, 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 1/4 tsp); fresh whipped cream for serving.

shortbread crust 2

This crust was my favorite part. Pulse the cookies in a food processor to make fine crumbs, then pulse in sugar and butter till combined. Press the mixture in the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan, then bake for 15 minutes until golden. (I included the shortbread packaging in the picture below - maybe this would be a way to use up any extra Girl Scout shortbread cookies though?)

strawberry pie ingredients

To make the filling, select 20 of the hulled whole strawberries that are all the same size and set aside (this will give the finished pie more texture). Cut the rest of the berries into 1/4-inch dice and toss with the sugar and lemon juice. Let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have released a lot of their juice.

strawberry syrup prep

Drain the berries into a large glass measuring cup, then add enough water till you have 2 cups of liquid. Transfer the liquid into a medium saucepan and set the diced berries aside.


Sprinkle the gelatin packet into the saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring continuously until the gelatin dissolves.

ice bath

Stir in the diced berries and transfer the mixture to a bowl set inside an ice bath (I used 2 bowls - the bottom one filled w/ice packs and ice cubes, set the other bowl w/strawberry gelatin inside, then filled the empty space with cold water). Stir until the mixture begins to solidify. The recipe says this will be 20-30 minutes, but it was at least an hour for me.

strawberry pie prep 2

Spoon 1/2 cup of the filling into the pie crust, then arrange the 20 whole strawberries (stem ends down) on the filling. Then spoon the rest of the filling around and on top of the whole fruit. Chill pie until the filling is set (the recipe says 4 hours - more like 8 for me).

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