Monday, June 23, 2008

Strawberry Pie

I could never name a favorite fruit; I love way too many kinds, but I am partial to strawberries, especially this time of year when I can buy 3 baskets for $6 at the farmers market.   I grew up in Oregon, where I'm convinced the best strawberries in the world grow, and the season was painfully short.  I am now incredibly spoiled to live in a place where strawberries grow pretty much year-round.  True, they may be slightly inferior to Oregon berries, but they are still very good, and there is never a shortage around.

I was going to make a strawberry tart, but I decided I really wanted something with graham cracker crust.  So, I took the pastry cream, fruit, and glaze that would normally be found in a tart, and switch
ed it up into a pie.

Some people bake their graham cracker crust for a few minutes before they fill it...I just chill mine while I prep the pastry cream and fruit.


Crust:
12-14 graham crackers (put in the food processor to make 1 1/2 cups of crumbs)
6 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup sugar

Pastry cream: (from Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan)
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup corn starch, sifted 
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

2 pints strawberries

Glaze:
1/4 cup fruit preserves (I used raspberry because that's all I had)
1 tsp water


To make the crust:
Combine ingredients in the food processor, then press into a 9" pie dish.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill while you make the pastry cream.




To make the pastry cream:
Whisk together egg yolks, corn starch, and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan.  Boil the milk in a small sauce pan.
Gradually stir the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly.  Place the pan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils.  Stir for one minute while boiling, then remove from heat.
Let the mixture sit, off the heat, for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the vanilla.  Let sit five minutes more, then stir in the butter.  Place the pan in a large bowl of  ice water and stir occasionally until cool (about 20 minutes).

Meanwhile, wash, drain, stem, and cut in half about 2 pints of strawberries.

Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour the pastry cream in.  Smooth with a rubber spatula.  Arrange strawberries on the pastry cream, then make the glaze.

Heat the preserves in a small saucepan over low heat until runny.  Strain through a sieve into a bowl, and stir in 1 tsp water.  Use a pastry brush to evenly distribute the glaze over the berries.

And there you have a strawberry-vanilla custard pie!


1 comment:

Katie said...

I make something insanely similar to this every year. And this picture is making me CRAVE one. YUM!