Friday, April 15, 2011

The Yearly Strawberry Pie

I make this once a year when the good strawberries start showing-up. I also made strawberry ice cream because I didn't think this pie had enough fat in the pastry cream. *shrugs*.

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
4-5 tablespoons ice water

Sift together flour and salt. Cut-in cold butter. Toss on ice water a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Roll out, place in a 9 inch pie plate, and prick all over the bottom and sides. Blind bake for 10-12 minutes in a 450 degree F. oven until golden. Cool on rack.

For the pastry cream:

1 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
2/3 cup AP flour
2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the eggs, slowly adding the sugar. Whisk until it is pale yellow, and thick.Whisk in the flour (it will be stiff). Meanwhile, heat the milk to steaming. Slowly, in a stream, whisk the milk into the eggs and sugar. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisking constantly over high heat, cook until it comes to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium and keep whisking another minute or two until it thickens. Do not let it scorch (keep whisking). Remove from heat, beat in butter and extract. Cool slightly before using.

For the strawberry glaze:

1 cup crushed, fresh strawberries
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
a few drops of red food colouring, if you like

Place crushed berries and water in a pan. Over high heat, cook 2 minutes. Force through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.

Return to pan and whisk in the sugar and cornstarch. Cook, over medium heat, whisking constantly until it becomes clear and thick. Remove from heat, add food colour, and let cool slightly before using.

Put it all together:

Pour the cooled pastry cream into the baked, and cooled pie shell. Arrange fresh berries on top. Gently brush the standing berries with the glaze, before pouring it on thicker-this ensures good coverage. Pour carefully, and gently tilt the pie to cover any bare spots. Chill several hours before serving.

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