One certain sign of spring is the appearance of good strawberries in the stores. Next to strawberry shortcake, glazed strawberry pie featuring uncooked berries is one of the most popular ways to serve these berries. Uncooked, glazed strawberry pie topped with whipped cream is the pie I grew up with and that’s a fine way to use these berries but in recent years I’ve been making this baked strawberry pie that is now my preference when it comes to strawberry pie. When baked, the strawberries become tender and luscious but still retain a fresh berry taste.
Rhubarb is often combined with strawberries in pies and it certainly can be added to this recipe, but when I find a bargain on beautiful, perfectly ripe, juicy, red strawberries I’m a purist. I use a variety of pastry crusts when making pies and tarts. For this pie I prefer the following butter based crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening or lard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ice water (may need more or less depending on your climate)
Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with rest in small (roughly pea-size) lumps.
Drizzle ice water 2 tablespoons at a time evenly over the flour and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.
Gently squeeze a small handful, it should hold together without crumbling apart. If it doesn’t, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition until incorporated, continuing to test. (Do not overwork dough or it will become tough.)
Turn dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 portions. Gather each portion of dough and form it, rotating on a work surface, into a disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 lbs perfectly ripe strawberries tops removed and sliced thickly
1 tablespoon milk (for glazing top)
2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling (for glazing top)
Place a baking sheet in middle of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.
Whisk together cornstarch, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining piece chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round and fit into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Chill shell while rolling out dough for top crust.
Roll out remaining piece of dough into an 11-inch round.
Toss the strawberries gently with the sugar mixture until combined and pour into the bottom crust, arranging the berries evenly.
Cover pie with pastry round and trim, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Crimp edge.
Brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle all over with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cut 3 steam vents in top crust with a sharp small knife.
Bake pie on hot baking sheet 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes more.
Cool pie on a rack at least 2 hours before serving for filling to set up.