May 24, 2012

Strawberry Pie

The past few weeks, I have been in cookie heaven. And by that, I mean I am interning at Cheryl's cookies. I have spent most of my time in the merchandising department attending meetings and doing competitive research. However, last week I had the opportunity to spend several days at the company's photo shoot. After attending the shoot, I have picked up a few helpful photography tricks that I have been excited to try. Commercial food photography has a mixed reputation. Many novice foodies are appalled when they read about photographers who use mashed potatoes in place of ice cream. However, Cheryl's photography remains true to the products. No mashed potatoes, no weird chemicals...just a little Pam cooking spray to make icing look fresh. My job at the photo shoot includes gathering cookie assortments from the shelves to be prepped by the food stylist and dusting cookies with a paint brush so they are crumb free!

With my crazy schedule, I have been surrounded by cookies, cakes, and frosting, but I haven't had much time to bake in my own kitchen. Well, this weekend was the perfect occasion because I went strawberry picking for the first time. I found a farm that is only twenty-five minutes away from my house and you can pick your own strawberries for only $1.40 a pound. Strawberries are in season right now, and they will be available for picking for the next two to three weeks. If you have a local strawberry farm near your house, I urge you to pick your own berries - they are delicious! So, after hand picking ten pounds of strawberries, I decided to make a strawberry pie. 

Pies are wonderful to make in the summertime, and they are unassumingly easy to make. Unlike a cake which requires precise baking times, fruit pies are much more forgiving. In fact, the only baking required for this pie is the crust. This pie crust recipe is very simple to make, and it does not require chilling the dough. So, if you are short on time and have some good strawberries on hand, you should try this pie. Don't forget the cool whip!

1 1/4 cups flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold butter
3 tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt.

Use to knives to cut in the stick of butter. Continue until the crumbs are pea size and smaller.

Add water, additional if necessary, until the dough comes together but is not too sticky.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface.

Place in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Crimp the edges of the dough.

Poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. 

Chill the crust for 15 minutes.

Place aluminum foil and pie weights on top of the crust and bake for 15 minutes. The pie weights will keep the crust from rising during baking. If you do not have pie weights, you can put an empty cake pan on top of the crust while it bakes. 

Remove the foil and pie weights, rotate the pan, and bake for 5-10 more minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Allow to cool to room temperature.

3 pounds strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 1/2 tsp. Sure-Jell (Premium Fruit Pectin - No sugar needed, pink box)
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Put 6 ounces of strawberries (about 1.5 cups) in food processor or blender and process until the berries become a smooth puree. 

Combine sugar, corn starch, and Sure-Jell, and berry puree in a saucepan over medium high heat. Allow to come to a boil for two minutes. Continue to constantly stir with a rubber spatula to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 

Transfer the mixture into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and allow to cool.

Halve the reaming two pounds of strawberries.

Pour the puree sugar mixture over the strawberries. Put the strawberries in the cooked pie shell.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve with cool whip.

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.


1 comment:

  1. yeah, strawberry season! and your pie looks amazing!!