Strawberry Pie

I’ve been waxing nostalgic lately….first with my great-grandmother’s batter bread recipe and now this one. I love the book of recipes pictured below. My grandmother is my top cooking inspiration and this early seventies style recipe book is stuffed full of clippings and scribbled recipes, some that I remember and some that I don’t. One of my favorite things that my grandmother made was strawberry pie. This pie doesn’t contain that goopy glaze that you buy in a bag at the grocery store. It’s cool, refreshing, and delicious, and it tastes just as good now as it did when my grandmother made it when I was a child. Made with strawberries from Tidwell Farm, it fits perfectly into my local food project.

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Start by baking and cooling a pie shell. I, of course, used my favorite cream cheese pastry dough.

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Next, cap and wash three cups of strawberries then mix them with a cup of powdered sugar. Allow the strawberries to macerate for at least an hour.

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Next, crush the remaining cup of strawberries. I did this with my Pampered Chef Mix and Chop…you could use a potato masher or a couple of pulses in a food processor. Dissolve an envelope of plain gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water, then boil the strawberries with a cup of water for two minutes. Combine 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup sucanat; the amount of sweetener you will need depends on how sweet your berries are) with 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Stir the sugar mixture into the berries and cook until clear, stirring frequently. Add in the gelatin. At this point, my grandmother added a few drop of red food coloring, but food dyes aren’t my thing, and I love the deep burgundy color that the strawberries lend to this mixture, so I didn’t bother.

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Place the macerated strawberries into the cooled pie crust. You could just dump them in, but I decided to be obsessive and stand the strawberries up like this. So pretty!

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Pour the strawberry/gelatin mixture over the strawberries and chill until completely set. I cooled my pie for 24 hours. Talk about painful! I think next time I’ll make this pie in the morning so I can eat it the same evening!

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I love this pie plain or with whipped cream. I laughed that my grandmother’s recipe calls for whipped cream, but she always used Cool Whip. Isn’t it funny how our grandmothers saw convenience foods as a wonderful timesaver and here I am doing everything the old-fashioned way? Full circle! This pie was amazing. Is amazing….there’s still half of it in my fridge!

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