Saturday, 9 June 2018

Strawberries and Cream Pie

There is truly no fruit quite as wonderful and precarious as the strawberry.  Here in Northern Alberta, it's difficult to get good strawberries - even when they are in season. 

But when you can get GOOD strawberries?  How do you enjoy them?  Slightly macerated and with cream?  That was how my grandpa liked them (I think).  On angel food cake with whipped cream?  How about grilled?  (we'll talk about that one later!)  How about in a pie?

What if we combined the ubiquitous strawberries and cream and pie and topped it with a delicious brown sugar streusel?

I think that would be a lovely way to enjoy strawberries!

Start by making a single pie crust.

In a large bowl, combine the flour,

Add the sugar and salt,

Add the shortening (make sure it's very cold) and cut the shortening into the flour using a pastry blender or fork,

and finally, the egg and water (make sure both of these are very cold).

Normally, when you bake, everything is supposed to be at room temperature.  However, when you make pie crust, everything needs to be ICE COLD.  I believe it has something to do with the flour absorbing the fats or liquids?  Either way - it's a well established fact that lard, water, etc should be ice cold for the best pie dough.

Using a spatula, press and fold the flour/shortening into the water and egg.  Then turn out onto a lightly floured counter and press/fold until combined.

Shape into a disc and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Then go sit on the deck or watch a movie!

Next, make the filling.

Combine the sugar and flour.

Add the eggs and combine.

Add the sour cream and the vanilla and combine.

Make the streusel.

Combine the granulated sugar and brown sugar,

Add the cinnamon.  Combine.

Add the melted butter.

Then stir in the flour.

Now - it's time to put it all together.

Roll out the pie crust and fit it into a pie plate.  Trim and flute the edges.

Add the sliced strawberries.

Pour the sour cream mixture over the strawberries.

The strawberries will kind of swim in the mixture.

Then top with the cinnamon streusel mixture.  I kind of tore it into chunks and covered the pie with it.

Then bake.  It kind of puffs up.  It actually is very cool!

Then serve.  I suggest with whipped cream!

Truth be told - I'm not an "a la mode" person.  I don't put ice cream on pie or cake.  I WILL eat it at the same time - but separately.  Ice cream in a bowl, pie or cake on a plate.  It's a texture issue. 

But if you'd like this with ice cream - you go right ahead.

This was the perfect summertime pie.  Sweet, but not cloying.  Light and fresh.  It was everything you could want on a warm summer evening.

Enjoy! - Heather

Strawberries and Cream Pie

4 cups all purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cup cold shortening, diced
1/2 cup cold water
1 large egg (cold)
1 large egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)

2 pints strawberries, stems removed and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crumb Topping:
2 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  1. Make the pie dough:  Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Put the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  2. Ensure that the shortening is also cold.  If not, place in the freezer for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Once the flour and shortening have chilled in the freezer, add the shortening to the flour and cut into the flour using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles small peas. 
  4. Combine 1/2 ice cold water and 1 large cold egg.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and use a spatula to fold and press together to start forming a dough.
  5. Turn the flour mixture out onto a lightly floured counter and press together to form into a dough.  Shape into a circle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  6. After the dough has chilled for 2 hours, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Ensure that the strawberries are cleaned and sliced.  Set aside.
  8. Remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap.  Place the dough onto a lightly floured counter and roll out into a large circle.
  9. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate.  Arrange and press the dough into the bottom and sides of a pie plate.
  10. Trim the edges of the dough around the pie plate and crimp the edges of the dough as desired.
  11. Refrigerate the pie crust while the pie filling is prepared.
  12. Make the filling:  In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and flour on low speed.  Add in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract.  Mix on medium speed until combined - about 2 minutes.
  13. Make the streusel topping:  Combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
  14. Pour the melted butter into the sugar mixture and mix to combine.
  15. Stir in the flour and mix until the ingredients form a streusel.
  16. Make the pie: Place the sliced strawberries into the prepared crust.  Pour the sour cream filling over the strawberries.  Tear the sugar/cinnamon mixture and drop in clumps evenly over the top of the strawberries.
  17. Whisk the 1 large egg and a Tablespoon of water to make an egg wash.  Brush the egg wash over the edges of the crust using a pastry brush.
  18. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  19. Allow to cool completely.  Do not cut into the pie while it's warm (even if slightly warm on the bottom) - the pie must be completely cooled to set properly.
Source: Gingerbread Bagels

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