Oh how I love strawberry season in Tennessee!
We are lucky to have a farm just 30 minutes from us where we can go and pick our own. Or we can go to their farm stand in town and grab a bucket of them there. There is nothing like fresh strawberries.
So, I decided today that I just had to make some strawberry pie! I thought I would share my favorite recipe with you today.
I always make my own pie crust. And please don't judge me, but I use lard in my pie crust. I know. I can imagine the eye rolling. When I was engaged to be married 32 years ago there was a very elderly lady that wanted to give me a wedding gift I would use the rest of my life. Her gift to me? She spent an afternoon teaching me the secrets of her pie crust! And she used lard and ONLY lard. So, 32 years later I still follow her recipe to a tee.
I can still remember sitting at her rickety little table as she taught me how to cut in the lard to the flour, add the exact amount of ice cold water, and carefully stir to the perfect consistency.
She said, "Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Don't forget this step." And I never forget. Even when I'm rushed!
I have seen people struggle rolling out tough pie dough. This dough is the perfect consistency.... it just rolls out without any work or effort.
Since I was making a strawberry pie I had to cook the pie shell before placing in the filling. I just prick my crust with a fork and then pop it in the oven. I know a lot of recipes say to fill with pie weights, but I never have.
And there is my cooked and cooling crust. There might be a few little air bubbles here and there that possibly using pie weights would take care, but it doesn't bother me.
While my crust was baking I made the filling and had it ready to pour in when the pie shell came out of the oven. I love those fresh strawberries - they make the filling so bright and beautiful.
Be sure to make your pie about 5 hours prior to serving. It takes awhile to cool and set up properly. I cover mine with saran wrap before placing in the refrigerator. Also, it is best eaten the day of!
Right before you are ready to serve it, whip up some cream. Do not, I repeat, do not use the whipping cream in the can. It just does not taste the same!
I like to whip mine up pretty stiff, add some vanilla and just a tad bit of sugar. It doesn't need to be very sweet as the pie is sweet enough!
And there it is. Perfect!
So.... how do you make your pie crust? Butter, shortening, lard??? My daughter makes a lovely pie crust with butter. But I just stick with my tried and true lard recipe!
Happy Strawberry Season and pie eating!
Place pie crust of your choosing (your own special recipe or a store bought crust) in your pie pan, prick the dough with a fork (or place pie weights in) and bake in 425 degree oven until done, about 15 minutes.
Rinse, dry and hull 6 cups of fresh strawberries. Set 4 cups aside. Puree the remaining 2 cups in a blender or food processor.
Whisk together in a medium saucepan:
1 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
2 cups pureed strawberries
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, and boil for one minute.
Pour 2 cups of the remaining strawberries in the bottom of the cooked pie shell.
Pour cooked strawberry filling over the strawberries.
Place remaining 2 cups of strawberries on top of filling. You can arrange these beautifully, or you do like I did and just toss them on!
Refrigerate the pie at least 4 hours to set. This pie is best served the day it is made.
Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.