This is the perfect summer pie. Fresh, ripe strawberries are so good on their own, but making them into a pie is a wonderful way to highlight those strawberries. For this pie, you really need to use perfectly ripe strawberries to get the best flavor. I used organic strawberries that I bought at the farmer’s market, and I recommend you do the same if at all possible.
While most fruit pies call for baking the fruit in the pie shell, strawberries don’t bake up all that well so we keep them fresh and unbaked in this pie. Instead, a few strawberries are pureed and cooked on the stove with some sugar and gelatin to make a sweet glaze. The glaze is gently tossed with the rest of the fresh strawberries to create a sweet, fresh strawberry filling. I put the filling into my favorite homemade pie crust (which I blind baked first), and served generous slices of pie with some freshly whipped cream.
This fresh strawberry pie is a dessert that is on the lighter side, but so completely satisfying. I just know it’s going to make many more appearances on my table this summer, and in the summers to come.
One year ago: Pasta Shells with Sausage and Roasted Peppers
Fresh Strawberry Pie
Makes about 8 servings
For the filling:
- 4 pints (about 3 lbs.) fresh strawberries, gently rinsed and dried, hulled*
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp. Sure-Jell for low-sugar recipes**
- Generous pinch of table salt
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 baked 9-inch pie shell***
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
- To make the filling, select 6 oz. of the most unattractive berries, halving those that are large; you should have about 1 1/2 cups. In a food processor, puree the berries until smooth. You should have about 3/4 cup puree. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell, and salt; whisk to combine. Stir in the berry puree. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and bring to a full boil. Boil for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan constantly. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, pick over the remaining berries and measure out 2 pounds of the most attractive ones; halve only extra-large berries. Add the strawberries to the bowl with the glaze and fold gently with a spatula until the berries are evenly coated. Scoop the berries into the baked pie shell, piling into a mound. If any cut sides face up on the top, turn them face down. Refrigerate the pie until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve within 5 hours of chilling.
- Make the whipped cream just before serving. Whip the cream on medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed and continue beating until medium peaks form; mix in the sugar until combined. Cut the pie into wedges and serve with whipped cream.
*This is more berries than you will actually need for the pie, to account for any imperfect strawberries.
**Be sure to use Sure-Jell for low- or no-sugar recipes (pink box) and not regular Sure-Jell (yellow box), or the glaze will not set properly. Look for Sure-Jell either in the baking section, canning section, or Jello section of your grocery store.
***To pre-bake the pie crust, roll the pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough. Crimp the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and adjust an oven rack to low-middle position. Line the chilled pie shell with foil so that it lays over the edges of the dough. Fill with pie weights and bake until the surface of the dough no longer looks wet, 20-25 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil and return the crust to the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 10-12 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.