Hello, it's me. Did you not recognize me? Did you have to do a double take just to make sure you were on the right page? This is not a cake, I know. What am I doing? I don't really know. What I do know though, is that since last year, I have been in love with making fruit pies in the summer. Cakes always feel like a commitment, especially if they have multiple layers. Pies on the other hand, still feel homey and rustic even when they are adorn with the most intricate braided lattice tops and the works. They are approachable and I am definitely not afraid to approach one or two...or more slices after dinner. A fruit pie is like a fruit salad encased in butter, but let's just omit the latter and focus on the salad portion.
I have made this pie filling many times. When they are in season, I love throw in some diced peaches in there along with the strawberries. This pie also lends itself as the perfect vehicle for a big scoop of ice cream. Pie à la mode might be the most perfect dessert. Actually, can my life just be made à la mode with all the scoops of pistachio ice cream?
The reason why you have not seen more pies on this blog is because pie crust still intimidates me. All butter? Half butter, half lard? And do not even get me started on coconut oil. So as an attempt to mitigate my pie crust-induced anxiety, I stuck with a classic recipe - the all butter pie crust from Four & Twenty Blackbirds. Thank you Food52 for being a generous god and sharing this recipe with me and other pie makers out there. Thank you for soothing my anxiety-ridden pie journey so that perhaps I can stop being a one trick cake pony and branch into other parts of the baking word. You can probably expect to see a few more pies before summer wraps up, even though I am in denial that it is already August and summer will be wrapping up soon.
My Favourite Strawberry Pie
Yields one double crust 9-inch pie
All-Butter Pie Crust
Recipe from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup cold butter, unsalted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold water
4 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup ice
Strawberry Pie Filling
5 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
Note: I adjust the amount of sugar of the pie depending on how sweet the strawberries naturally are. If it's peak strawberry season and the fruit are already really sweet, reduce 1/2 cup of brown sugar to 1/3 or 1/4 cup. Taste as you go along!
All-Butter Pie Crust
In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay!).
Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a small bowl.
Add two tablespoons of the liquid mixture over the flour mixture. Mix and cut it in with bench scraper or spatula until fully incorporated. Continue adding the liquid, one to two tablespoons at a time. Mix until the dough comes together in a ball.
Shape the dough into two flat discs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Once the dough has chilled, roll out the dough in between two sheets of parchment (yay nonstick!) and fit it on the pie plate.
Strawberry Pie Filling
In a bowl, combine flour, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine strawberries and the sugars. Add in the dry mixture and mix well. Let the filling rest for 10 minutes.
Spoon the filling into shaped pie crust, leaving the liquid behind.
Add little pieces of the butter on top of the filling before arranging the top crust.
Assembly and Baking
Coat top crust with a simple egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven, just in case any juices bubble over. Bake at 425F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
If the top crust is starting to get a little dark too quickly, throw on a pie shield and you are set!
Let pie set for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into it. Patience! After the pie has set, go to town and top a slice with three scoops of your favourite ice cream.