Monday, July 11, 2011
Welcome and Fresh Stawberry Pie
Remind me why I'm doing this? Oh, right. I can't (for the life of me) figure out the best, most awesome, most incredible, pie-crust recipe. In fact, I typically fail especially when I attempt to make pie. Looking through recipe books, websites, cooking blogs and my own mother's kitchen, I am haunted by images of "perfect" pies that I am incapable of achieving. It's about time someone made a real blog about what it's like to make pie. It's messy. Time-consuming. Sometimes disappointing.
The end result, however? Totally worth it.
For the next year, I am going to make a new pie recipe every week. My theory is this: after I make 52 different pies, I'll probably be pretty good at it.
To make things easiest, I started out with a fresh strawberry pie that doesn't require a lot of baking. (Plus, it's hot out and my air conditioner doesn't work so I didn't feel like turning on the oven.)
Graham Cracker Crust: from The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
11 regular graham crackers
2 Tablespoons sugar
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pie Filling: from my mother
(Beat first 3 ingredients together in separate bowl)
1 8oz block of cream cheese
1/4 powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup water
Place graham crackers into plastic bag that zips/closes securely. Use a rolling pin or pounding tool to crunch the crackers into crumbs.
Pour crumbs into bowl. Combine with melted butter and sugar.
Press into ungreased pie-plate. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.
Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Try not to lick the bowl as you pour this into the pie crust. Using a spatula, evenly spread the cream cheese mixture.
In a small bowl, crush enough strawberries to make 1 cup. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, crushed berries and water.
Stir constantly; bring to boil. Keep stirring until the mixture is thick. Remove from stove and let cool.
Find the rest of your berries and either slice them or keep whole. (Definitely remove all the stems.) Place the berries into the pie shell on top of the cream cheese. Keep in refrigerator until ready to eat. I am lucky enough to have parents that own and operate their own berry market... These gorgeous strawberries were literally picked in the morning and eaten by 7:00pm.
When serving, pour the cooked berry mixture over individual pie slices. According to my mother (which is where I received this recipe) if you pour the sauce onto the pie before you eat it, the crust gets soggy. Nobody likes a soggy crust.
Now bring your "perfect pie" to your friend's house for a barbecue. Everyone will love you.
So far... not such a disaster.
We'll see what happens next week.