Fresh Strawberry Pie
Fresh strawberry pie is the epitome of spring! This pie is filled with tons of fresh berries and no need for jello! All of the flavor comes from the berries in this beauty of a pie!
A couple of weeks ago, it refused to be spring in Chicago. It was ridiculously cold for being the first of April and we even got another dusting of snow.
To be fair, I was fully aware of Chicago’s long winters pre-move, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t grumpy about it. I wanted sunshine! I wanted patio weather! I was more ready than I had ever been for it to really feel like spring!
So on a gloomy day off, I was bound and determined to make it feel like spring even if the weather insisted that winter was still here. I put away my winter coat for the season, vowing not to bring it back out again until at least October, and I purchased a whole load of strawberries. (Luckily my grocery store is next door to our building so running out in the cold without my coat wasn’t too terrible.)
I like to think I had a little bit to do with the change of the weather for the better! I feel I willed the warm weather to come and stay. It is now full on spring here and I am loving every minute of it.
This fresh strawberry pie is 100% a necessity for you this spring and summer. You HAVE to make this! It is incredible. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I had actually never made a strawberry pie before and I was skeptical about how much I would like it. But holy wow. It was like a dream. One of the best pies I’ve ever tasted! MAKE THIS! You will want to hug and kiss me and squeeze me for commanding you to do so.
Another cool thing that happened in the last couple of weeks, besides me making the pie of my dreams, is Baker Bettie was named in the top 10 of Better Homes & Gardens Blogger Awards for Best Baking Blog. Somehow I didn’t receive all the emails telling me I was even nominated. I found out towards the end of the voting period by someone congratulating me on being nominated.
I am so incredibly honored that so many people voted without me even having to beg you to do so! Thank you! This means to world to me and also means that I need to get my booty in gear and manage my time when I’m not working better to bring you all more recipes! I’m on it. I owe it to you. You guys are my favorite!
Ok, now onto this pie….
First you want to start by making a dough for a single pie crust. I highly recommend using my Basic Pie Dough Recipe. It is my favorite and extremely simple to make!
Then you are going to fit the dough into your pie plate and try and make it look all pretty. But don’t stress about the pretty part. This pie is rustic. It will taste amazing no matter what your crust looks like. But I highly recommend following my tutorial on How to Keep Your Pie Crust From Shrinking if that is something you usually have problems with!
Dock the dough with a fork all around the bottom and around the sides. Brush the edges of our pie crust with an egg white wash, then lay a piece of parchment paper in the crust and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or rice. Bake until golden brown and allow to cool completely before filling.
While you pie is baking and cooling, let’s get onto these strawberries!
(ignore my terrible kitchen lighting please!) Take half of your cleaned strawberries and cut them into small pieces. Save the other half to the side for later.
Toss the cut strawberries with sugar, cornstarch, a large pinch of salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice and put in a large saucepan over medium heat. You will cook these for about 10 minutes, until very thick and glossy. It may take a bit longer depending on how juicy your strawberries were.
While your luscious strawberry filling is simmering on the stove, take that other half of strawberries you reserved and slice them in half. ONLY in half.
Allow the cooked filling to cool slightly and then combine the halved strawberries with the finished cooked filling.
Once the filling and the crust have cooled to room temperature, pour the filling into the crust and let it set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
That’s it! No strawberry flavored jello needed. All the flavor of this baby comes straight from the strawberries! The lemon juice and zest helps bring out their natural flavor and you really don’t need to add any fake flavoring to a pie filled with this many luscious berries!
If you prefer to have a double crust situation for this pie, here is what I suggest you do next. Roll out another piece of pie dough and cut out some shapes. Lay them on a sheet tray, brush with an egg white wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake until golden brown.
Your pie filling is not going to be baked, so what you can do is take the pieces of baked pie crust and arrange them on the top of the pie once it starts to set.
Once my pie was all ready to go, I decided for just 1 little piece of pie crust on top as decoration. I wanted all those beautiful strawberries to shine through. Then I just snacked on the rest of the baked pie pieces like cookies which was equally as good of a use for them!
I decided to top pieces of my pie with sweetened whipped ricotta cheese. It didn’t get super thick and hold up like whipped cream, but man was it good! I mean, fruit and cheese. Duh! I highly recommend you trying it to.
And MAKE THIS PIE! I’m telling you. You won’t regret it.
For the Pie Crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- kosher salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- ice water
For the Strawberry Filling
- 3 lbs fresh strawberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 TBSP cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- zest of half a small lemon
- juice of half a small lemon
Place the flour in a large bowl and add a large pinch of salt. Mix together.
Add the shortening into the flour and cut in using a pastry cutter or fork until the consistency of coarse meal.
Gently stir in water a couple of TBSP at a time until the dough can form into a ball.
Pat dough out into a disk and cover and place in the refrigerator to rest while your oven preheats to 375F.
Roll the dough out to a large circle, about 3" wider than your pie plate. Gently transfer the crust into the pie plate and lift up on all the sides to let it gently settle in. Do not stretch and pull the dough.
Trim and crimp your crust. Prick the dough with a fork all over the bottom and up the sides. Brush just the edges with an egg white wash (optional) then lay a piece of parchment paper into the crust and fill with pie weights or beans.
Place the prepped crust in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking, this will help reduce shrinkage, then baked at 375F for 12 minutes. Remove the parchment paper with weights and continue baking the empty crust for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before filling.
Wash and hull the strawberries. Chop 1/2 of the strawberries with into small pieces and save the other half to the side.
Toss the chopped strawberries with the sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon zest and place into a sauce pan with the lemon juice over medium-low heat. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently and mashing the berries with a spoon or whisk, for about 10 minutes until very thick and glossy. This may take more time if your berries were really juicy. The mixture should cling to the spoon or spatula for a few seconds before falling back into the pan. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
Cut the reserved strawberries into halves and mix with the slightly cooled cooked filling. Allow to cool to room temp before filling the pie shell.
Pour strawberry mixture into baked and cooled pie shell. Chill in refrigerator for 3 hours, or until pie is set. Serve topped with sweetened whipped ricotta if desired.