Merri Ann and I stopped at a neighborhood restaurant the other day. The waitress said that they had really good strawberries in and I ordered a slice of strawberry pie. It didn’t have a glace to it, the gelled base to hold the berries. Instead, it had a nice crust loaded with strawberries in just a little slurry and topped high with whipped cream. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A couple years ago, we got on this kick to make the quickest, easiest strawberry pie. We made pie after pie and at the end, we were timing strawberry pies at 12 minutes.
From that episode, we created an Easy Strawberry Pie, an Easier Strawberry Pie, and an Easiest Strawberry Pie. You’ll find those recipes herein.
But we were intrigued by the restaurateur’s strawberry pie. So off to the store we went to find some good strawberries.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need a pie pan, of course. We’ve fallen in love with our Professional Pie Pans. They are heavy duty, commercial quality pie pans. The nonstick surface is so slick that you can tip and slip the pie from the pan to serving plate and cut the pie there. It’s attractive and you’ll never scratch the pan.
Strawberry pies are assembled in pre-baked crusts. So you’ll need some pie weights to place in the bottom of the crust to keep it from rising and blistering. In the past, we have chosen pie weight chains but lately we’ve fallen in love with ceramic pie weights.
You’ll need a premade crust, our Just-Add-Water Pie Crust Mix, or your favorite recipe for making crusts. The mix will make a better crust than a premade one—just don’t over-mix the dough.
You’ll want a strawberry slicer. With one stroke you can cut each berry into nice, neat, uniform slices. And it’s quicker than using a knife.
The Restaurateur’s Strawberry Pie
The restaurateur’s strawberry pie was simple. My first guess was that he or she did nothing but toss the berries in sugar and allow escaping juices to create the slurry. Wrong. Without a thickener, it was a soggy mess. My second guess was that he or she cooked a slurry on the stovetop with which to toss the berries in.
We went a different route. By using Instant Clear Gel, we could avoid the cooking. Soon we had an excellent pie with no cooking. That became our Easier Strawberry Pie. But even though this requires no cooking, we have an even easier strawberry pie.
Easy Strawberry Pie
This is a great, easy, fresh strawberry pie to make. Since the strawberries are not cooked, the succulent goodness of the berries stands out.
There are three components to this pie plus optional whipped cream for garnish. They are the crust, the berries, and the glace.
Make the pie crust according to package directions. Prick the surface of the pie crust with the tines of fork to allow for steam to escape. Line the bottom of the crust with pie weights. Bake the crust for eight to twelve minutes or until it just starts to brown.
Wash and hull the strawberries. Do not allow the strawberries to sit in water since they will absorb water and make the pie runny. Mash enough strawberries to make about one cup of pulp. Use a strawberry slicer to cut the remaining strawberries into even, uniform slices.
You’ll need the following ingredients plus the one cup of mashed berries.
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup crushed strawberries
a few drops of red food coloring (optional)
Combine the sugar, cornstarch, crushed strawberries, and water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil, stirring often. Cook for two more minutes until the sauce becomes thick and translucent. Stir in the butter. Add the red food coloring if desired. Set it aside to cool.
To assemble your pie:
Spread the strawberry slices in the baked pie shell. Pour the cooled glaze over the berries. Refrigerate the pie until it is well-chilled. Garnish with whipped cream and serve.
Easier Strawberry Pie
Sometimes easy is better. This pie recipe showcases your fresh strawberries perfectly. Fill a pie shell with fresh strawberries and cover the berries with glaze. Garnish the pie with whipped cream and you’re done.
This pie is not too sweet and the fresh taste of the strawberries is really showcased.
1 baked nine-inch pie shell from Just-Add-Water Professional Pie Crust Mix
2 pounds quality strawberries (you’ll have some extra berries to snitch or use for garnish)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoon Instant Clear Gel
couple drops Red Red Americolor gel food coloring or equal
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. Make the pie crust according to package directions. Prick the surface of the pie crust with the tines of fork to allow for steam to escape. Line the bottom of the crust with pie weights. Bake the crust for eight to twelve minutes or until it just starts to brown.
2. Wash and hull the strawberries. Do not allow the strawberries to sit in water since they will absorb water and make the pie runny. Use a strawberry slicer to cut the strawberries into even, uniform slices.
3. Combine the sugar and Clear Gel. Add the water. Whisk until the crystals are dissolved. Add the red food coloring if desired.
4. Fill the cooled pie shell with strawberry slices. Pour the slurry over the berries. Let the pie chill for 2 to 3 hours.
5. Whip the cream until peaks form, adding the powdered sugar when the cream begins to stiffen. After the pie has chilled and just before serving, garnish the pie with whipped cream.
Easiest Strawberry Pie
This is the easiest and quickest way to make a strawberry pie. You pick up the components at the grocery store and assemble your pie at home. You’ll have a great pie without a lot of work. Everyone will be impressed and your pie should be done in about fifteen minutes.
Here’s what you will need:
- A pre-made pie crust from the refrigerator or freezer section.
- Strawberries. Pick up a two-pound basket. You won’t need that many but it’s nice to have enough to pick out the best for your pie.
- Glace. Most stores, especially in the spring, will have a pre-made glace for your pie.
- An aerosol can of whipped cream.
To assemble your pie at home:
Before you begin, thaw the pie crust and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Prick the crust with a fork to allow steam to escape and bake it for eight to ten minutes at 450 degrees or until it starts to brown.
- While the crust is baking, wash and slice the berries. Pick out the best berries. A strawberry slicer will make nice uniform slices and will be quicker. You will need two cups of sliced strawberries.
- Spread the slices evenly in the baked crust.
- Spread the pre-made glace over the berries to fill the pie. Refrigerate the pie so that it is well-chilled. Just before serving, garnish it with whipped cream from the can.
Luanne’s Secret Strawberry Pie
This is a very different strawberry pie. Most glaces are soft and when you cut your pie, the strawberries slip out and slices are not neat. (If you put enough whipped cream on it, no one will notice.) They taste great.
This pie uses strawberry Jello® so that it cuts into nicer slices.
1 baked pie shell
1 1/2 quarts of strawberries, cleaned, either sliced or whole
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 3 oz box of strawberry Jell-o®
1. In a sauce pan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add the water, stirring until the mixture is lump-free.
2. Cook on medium heat until thick and clear. Immediately add the strawberry jell-o. Let the glace cool and pour it over the berries in the shell.
3. Let set for about 4 hours and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Thanks to Luanne T. in Florida for sharing this recipe.
Strawberry Pie for Breakfast?
As much as I love strawberry pie, I’m not going for strawberry pie for breakfast. But load a warm pannekoeken with strawberries, a little vanilla cream syrup, and whipped cream and I’m all over that.
In my head, a warm pannekoeken is perfect for breakfast. With a pannekoeken mix, you only have to whisk three ingredients together. Bake time is about 10 minutes. By the time, it comes out of the oven, you can have the berries ready go.
How if you are feeling a little indulgent, try a chocolate pannekoeken mix.
And it’s pretty economical too. You can buy a pannekoeken pan for around $20. And a mix makes nine large pannekoeken.
Best of all, it’s pretty impressive. It tastes great and it rises up dramatically, well above the sides of the pan. “How did you do that?” your family and friends will exclaim.
Dennis Weaver is the president of Prepared Pantry at www.preparedpantry.com