Monday, May 14, 2012

Got Strawberries??????

We certainly do. And this year Beatrice has deemed that all berries must be eaten.... none for the freezer. Now that may sound rash (bad pun) but i think i can handle it. Strawberry smoothies, pancakes, fruit cups, AND a new experiment,,,, Strawberry Pie.

I saw this last year in Cooks Illustrated (the only magazine we get) and it sounded so good. But as most things go, i got busy and soon strawberry season was done. BUT not this year. So i went back to the magazine and found that "America's Test Kitchen" could be found on the internet. A couple of clicks and i was a member and could download recipes and watch some of the videos. Right there in the kitchen. What a deal.... (did i mention i really like my iPad now that i've gotten used to it).

Now the trouble with a strawberry pie is that the berries are really really juicy and when you cut the pie, it falls apart. The test kitchen seemed to have solved this problem by combining corn starch and sugar free pectin.

SOOOOO  i tired it. Following the recipe closely (not normal for me) since i really wanted this to turn out spectacular. AND the final product looked great.

The Princess and i decided that we should share this spring time treat that looked oh so very good. SOOOO after dinner we packed it up, along with a half gallon of vanilla ice cream, and headed off to share with friends Bob & Marty.

WELLLLLL what looked so good turned out to have the same problem as the other pies the the Test Kitchen tried before finding the secret (which i have not found yet) to keeping the berries from ooooozzzzzing all over as you cut the first piece. YEPPERS, my first attempt at Strawberry Pie was a partial failure. Partial because of a lack of 'stick togetherness' of the berries. BUT, given the choice of tossing it in the garbage or covering it with vanilla ice cream, we opted for the latter. And just for good measure (and because it tasted so good) we all had seconds, leaving 'no prisioners'.......

Of course, berry season isn't over yet, so i may make another attempt. Friend Marty thinks that i just didn't cook the corn starch/sure gel mixture long enough. Guess i should try again... soon.

4 pints (about 3 pounds) fresh strawberries , gently rinsed and dried, hulled 
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons Sure-Jell for low-sugar recipes 
  Generous pinch Table salt
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1 Baked Pie Shell

1. FOR THE FILLING: Select 6 ounces misshapen, underripe, or otherwise unattractive berries, halving those that are large; you should have about 1½ cups. In food processor, process berries to smooth puree, 20 to 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. You should have about ¾ cup puree.
2. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell, and salt in medium saucepan. Stir in berry puree, making sure to scrape corners of pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with heatproof rubber spatula, and bring to full boil. Boil, scraping bottom and sides of pan to prevent scorching, for 2 minutes to ensure that cornstarch is fully cooked (mixture will appear frothy when it first reaches boil, then will darken and thicken with further cooking). Transfer to large bowl and stir in lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature. (Maybe cook a little longer, till it is like the lemon filling in lemon merange pie)
3. Meanwhile, pick over remaining berries and measure out 2 pounds of most attractive ones; halve only extra-large berries. Add berries to bowl with glaze and fold gently with rubber spatula until berries are evenly coated. Scoop berries into pie shell, piling into mound. If any cut sides face up on top, turn them face down. If necessary, rearrange berries so that holes are filled and mound looks attractive. Refrigerate pie until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve within 5 hours of chilling.

If you try this, let us know your success,,,, or invite us over to help decide....:-)



Unknown said...

That looks scrumptious !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious!
But berry season hasn't even come close to start up here :-)

I don't think I've ever eaten strawberry pie, not something we seems to do here but I must try this in late June when our strawberries ripe.

Have a great day!

Sandra said...

i would eat it runny or not, and even without ice cream, of course i prefer the ice cream. don't eat so many berries you break out in a rash.. LOL

Montanagirl said...

Looks pretty inviting to me! I've never made fresh strawberry pie, so I'm no help.

Unknown said...

It looks great...too bad it was runny...:)JP

Elaine said...

Looks yummy and tastes yummy, so a little runniness is not important. I had to laugh when you said the Test Kitchen had the secret to solving this problem but you had not found it yet. They are always very confident that their way is the best, and I try many of their suggestions. I even have one of their cookbooks. Sometime, though, some of the old recipes work just fine. I made a strawberry pie not too long ago and it set up just fine. I used a recipe from my old Betty Crocker cookbook and it's very similar but uses more cornstarch and no Sure-Jell and even added a little water. I suspect Marty might be right and you didn't cook it long enough. As long as it tasted good, though, I wouldn't worry too much about. You can always call it ice cream upside-down pie with strawberry syrup.....

Ludwig said...

The "Inquisitive Cook" ( says continued stirring will make it runny. I think I also saw something about this in a recent issue of Cook's Magazine.
Regardless, the pie looks good, made me want to have a slice, runny or not.

grammie g said...

Hey Grenville...My goodness who cares when it taste good..spoon it out if ya gotta ; }
I always used the recipe on the side of the box of tapioca for fruit pies, sets up real good!!
Keep cooking there is always someone willing to eat it..I know I would ; }

Connie said...

My mom used to make strawberry pies sometimes. She had them in some kind of thickening gel, but I'm not sure what she did. I don't know what recipe she used. Yours sure looks good even if it didn't hold together the way you wanted it to.