Summer Farm Staple
I lucked out the other day and found strawberries on sale at the grocery store. I brought them home and commenced to rolling out dough and stemming berries. Then my husband popped in the back door and took a look at the counter.
"I like what's going on here," he said, waving his hand over the counter. You could hear the anticipation in his voice. The man loves strawberry pie. Like, a lot. It might be his love language.
He's not alone. The strawberry pie is a staple on Illinois farms and once berries come in season, you can bet we'll be out picking at our favorite local U-pick patch. They're later this year, with the cold, wet spring we've had. But there is just nothing in the world like fresh, local strawberries. Amen.
And for as many people as there are who love strawberry pie, there are that many recipes floating around. I've tried a lot of them, and have settled on a combination: my mother-in-law's pie crust and my mother's filling. Here's the scoop. And speaking of, don't forget the vanilla ice cream. It's an actual crime on our farm to serve strawberry pie without ice cream.
Sharon's Single Pie Crust
(not to be confused with a double pie crust, which you can get by doubling this recipe)
1 ½ c. flour
¾ tsp. salt
½ c. plus 1 ½ tbsp. Crisco or other shortening (I like the Crisco sticks)
5-6 tbsp. cold water
Heat oven to 475 degrees.
Stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter. Stir in cold water with a fork, until dough clings together. Add a little extra water if it's a dry day; a little less if it's humid out.
Roll out dough and place in pie plate; trim overhanging edge of pastry one inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with the plate; flute the edges. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool on wire rack.
Susan's Strawberry Pie Filling
1 c. sugar
¾ c. water
3 tbsp cornstarch (or 6 tbsp flour) dissolved in another ¼ c. water
3 tbsp strawberry Jello (about half a package)
8 c. strawberries, washed and sliced
Bring sugar, water and cornstarch mixture to a boil. Add strawberry jello. Stir thoroughly. Cool (sometimes, I stick it in the freezer for a few minutes).
Stir in strawberries; pour into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate.
Serve with ice cream (please).
Holly Spangler, Marietta