Strawberry Heaven Pie
If you have been following my photo posts on Instagram, you’ll know that my strawberries are coming in right now. I’ve been growing strawberries for over thirty-five years. During the first year, I pinch off their flowers and runners so all the energy will go into the mother plant. It’s during the second and third years that their yield is heaviest, with big, luscious, sweet red fruits. This year’s harvest is from runners I put in two years ago. Going out to the garden each day is akin to being in strawberry heaven. It’s simply impossible for me to restrain myself from snacking on at least a few of them as I harvest. I try to pick as cleanly as possible so as not to have soil or compost coating them when I pop the beautiful jewels in my mouth, or on to the kitchen counter. Then the fun begins.
During the short two to three week window when they are ripe and ready, I put them on top of cereal, make smoothies, shortcakes, and, of course, pie. Strawberry chiffon pie is the kick I’ve been on this week. I’ve played around making at least seven different versions. I’m so grateful to the neighbors and good friends who are happy to take them off my hands as I create recipes and test them. Last night, friends gathered at Pie Cottage for a potluck on the Strawberry Full Moon, which I really didn’t realize it was until I was already deep into making the pie. Coincidence? Maybe. 😉
When I brought the finished pie out and set it on the table, it was finished off quickly. Always a good sign. One friend even said,
This is so good it makes me want to cry!
Hearing that, I thought I might just need to post the recipe in case you’d like to make it during strawberry season, too. I call it Strawberry Heaven Pie. I hope you like it.
- Really smoosh the berries, and then smoosh them more to make them as smoooooth as possible. Some solid pieces will remain, but do try to make those pieces as tiny as possible.
- Let the strawberry gelatin mixture chill in the fridge for about an hour and stir it lightly a few times so that the fruit pieces won’t sink down to the bottom.
- I’ve lightened chiffon pies with egg whites, whipped cream, and a combination of both. I made last night’s pie with whipped cream and I think of all the ones I make, I like this the best.
- As for the single baked pie shell that you’ll turn it into, you can pretty much use anything you like; a blind-baked crust, a cookie crumb crust, or one made of nutmeal. I made last night’s pre-baked crust with hazelnut and almond meal, and let cool. I used 2 cups of nutmeal (roughly 1.5 cups hazelnut meal and 1/2 cup almond meal), 1/4 cup sugar (more if you like), and 4 tablespoons melted butter. I mixed it all together with a fork, pressed it into a pie pan, and baked for 8 minutes at 350F, let it cool, and then filled the crust.
Just a note before you go on to the recipe. I mentioned recently that the recipe software application that I have been using has been giving me issues. Imagine if you will, getting a recipe all typed and formatted into it, only to have it disappear when making a slight correction. A real grrrrrr moment. Soooooo…I am returning to typing the recipes directly into the blog post. You can either print out the entire post, or just the pages you need. Until I figure out another recipe app and can transfer the recipes into it, I thank you for your understanding. Ok, here we go!
Strawberry Heaven Pie
For one 9″ deep dish pie
- 1 pre-baked pie shell of your choice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 egg yolks, fork beaten
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, orange liqueur, or some of each
- a tiny pinch of salt
- 1 quart of strawberries or enough to make a generous 2+ cups of finely smooshed strawberries
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
- Pre-bake the pie shell and set aside to cool.
- Smoosh the strawberries and set aside.
- Place sugar and gelatin in a medium saucepan and mix with a whisk or a fork.
- Stir in the water, egg yolks, lemon juice or orange liqueur, and salt.
- Turn the heat to medium, and stir until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Turn into a medium-large bowl and stir in the smooshed strawberries. (I do love that word “smoosh.”)
- Place in fridge and let chill for about an hour. Every 15-20 minutes, stir a bit so the fruit solids stay mixed through the filling and don’t sink all the way to the bottom.
- Pour whipping cream into a deep metal bowl that has been chilling in the freezer. Beat until the cream makes stiff peaks.
- Remove the strawberry gelatin mixture from the fridge and lightly fold in the whipped cream, taking care to not to over mix. You may see some streaks in it but try to get it as homogenous looking as possible.
- Return to fridge and let chill for about 30 minutes. (You can clean up the kitchen and have a cup of tea while you wait.)
- Turn the chilled mixture into the pre-baked pie shell. Return to fridge and let set for at least three hours. Four is even better.
- Pour whipping cream into a deep metal bowl that has been chilling in the freezer. Beat with an electric beater, adding sugar (in two additions), the cornstarch to stabilize the whipped cream, and optional orange extract.
- Pipe the whipping cream on top in a pleasing pattern, or spread it evenly all over the top of the chilled pie. Garnish with one or more strawberries.
P.S. If I’ve forgotten anything in the directions, like when to add something…please be sure to let me know. 🙂