I was going to post something far less exciting today, but I really couldn’t help myself. This pie(without the whipped chocolate ganache on top) is the recipe for my monthly column in our local newspaper which comes out on Thursday, which is also when I would usually post this, but I really couldn’t wait until then.
I’m so proud of this pie. It took me two attempts, and thank goodness for in-laws to share pie with or we would all be really sick of strawberries. Despite having way too many strawberries and strawberry pie last week, I’m already dreaming of this pie. Maybe it’s because I’m slowly cutting out added sugar because I’ve been eating way too much of it lately, but I’m pretty sure it was because this pie was awesome 🙂
So, I made what I call a “cheaters” whipped ganache for the top. It was an afterthought and I didn’t have time to make actual ganache with chocolate and cream and refrigerating overnight before whipping it. Sure this still has chocolate and cream, and it may not be the “right” way to make it, but it turned out pretty amazing. In fact it may have turned out even better than a real whipped ganache topping would have because it was still fairly liquid when it was drizzled over top and then it firmed up in the fridge later. In any case, look at the picture above. You really don’t need the fancy chocolate to make a delicious pie.
As for the pie itself, the crust is baked for under 20 minutes and can be made ahead of time. You could even use a premade crust or maybe even a graham cracker crust or if you make the dough for this crust ahead of time and keep it in the freezer it’ll be ready to go for when you want it. The best part? The rest is done on the stove top.
As you can imagine, I had a hard time breaking my camera away from this pie.
Looking at the pictures now, they don’t look nearly as good as this pie tasted. By the time I added the ganache the slices had lost their shape a little especially since I chose to have my filling a little on the gooey side. I put an option for a slightly thicker pie in the recipe, but if you let it set properly in the fridge and keep it refrigerated until ready to serve it will be perfect without the extra cornstarch. You’ll just have to trust me, this pie is incredible!
Fresh Strawberry Pie
makes 1 9″ pie
recipe slightly adapted from 101 cookbooks
makes 2 9″ crusts(one can be kept in the freezer for later use)
- 1/2 C butter
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour from soft wheat
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the salt and egg and blend until smooth. Add the flour and blend together just until everything is combined(the dough will still be crumbly, but no loose flour should remain). Divide into two pieces and press into 2 – 1/2″ thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour, or place in the freezer for 20 minutes. When ready, remove one disk, unwrap, sprinkle generously with flour and roll out to between 1/4″ and 1/8″ and big enough to come up only 1″ – 1 1/2″ on the sides of a 9″ pie place. Sprinkle with flour frequently to prevent sticking. Gently lift the dough up and place in the pie plate(if it rips, it can easily be pressed back together). Press into the pie plate, poke all over the dough with a fork and place in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes or until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the pie plate and unbaked crust from the fridge or freezer, place a sheet of parchment paper over the dough and fill to the top of the dough with pie weights or dry beans. Place in the oven an bake for 10 minutes. Take the pie plate out of the oven, remove the pie weights and paper and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden around the edges and dry in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- 6 C fresh strawberries, divided
- 1/2 C honey
- 1/4 C cold water
- 3 tbsp cornstarch(add 1 tsp extra cornstarch for a slightly firmer pie)
Measure out 2 cups of whole berries and mash with the back of a fork. Place in a small pot with the honey. Heat over medium heat until boiling. Mix together the water and cornstarch in a small cup until the cornstarch is completely combined. Pour into the hot strawberry mixture and stir immediately and continue to stir until completely thickened and returned to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the berries. Remove the stems from the remaining 4 cups of strawberries and cut berries in half. Once the cooked filling has cooled slightly, pour about 1/2 cup in the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Spread out and start placing halved strawberries as tightly as possible in 1 flat layer. Press berries into the filling. Once the first layer is completely filled, pour half(or a little more than half) of the remaining cooked filling over top of the berries and spread out with the back of a spoon. Add the rest of the halved berries to the top of the pie, starting at the middle and placing them as closely as possible together. Once all the strawberries are used(they may not reach the edge of the pie), pour the rest of the cooked filling over the berries and spread with the back of a spoon. Add the chocolate ganache if desired and place the pie in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving with whipped cream. This pie is best served within a day or two of making it.
“Cheater” Whipped Ganache Topping
- 2 oz(55g) dark chocolate, melted and cooled(I used 72%)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4C sweetened whipped cream, chilled
Melt the chocolate with the butter until completely smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. Making sure the chocolate is no more than barely warm, add the whipped cream and stir together until completely combined. To neatly drizzle the “ganache” over the pie pour into a plastic bag, cut the corner and pipe the “ganache” over the pie. Or simply use a spoon to drizzle it over top.