Ok, here we go. I’ve got to get caught up on pies before summer hits and my free time disappears (yay for youth ministry!). This past Sunday was our annual Fifth Grade Blessing where we welcome in our new babies to the youth ministry. It’s neat experiencing my third FGB and knowing all of the families already… Sycamore View is family and we have the privilege of watching these pre-teens jump into the big world of the youth group. As a part of our magical evening of blessing, I had to line up enough desserts for 40 people. I made two pies and then roped in two of my favorite bakers to make a few desserts… the final line-up was beautiful to say the least. We ended up with banana pudding, chocolate chip pound cake, strawberry pie, oreo cake, Peanut Butter Thank You Pie, and apple pie. Not too shabby.
However, since you aren’t here to see pictures of dessert parades, I’ll cut to the chase… That beautiful dish of ruby-red goodness third from the top is so worth your time.
A few months ago when I began this journey, my mom and aunts scavenged through kitchens and boxes to find some good old family classics. At that point, my dad’s mom had passed away and my mom’s mom was deep into her battle with dementia and Alzheimer’s. For that reason, I am thankful for their daughters who have taken it upon themselves to make sure the Parker/Henderson/Durrington legacy lives on. I now have emails stashed away that contain some pretty serious baking traditions. One such tradition is my sweet Gram’s Strawberry Pie. Gram passed away in March and I haven’t been able to bring myself to her recipes until now.
I don’t have memories of Gram making pie, but I remember plenty of cakes, these incredible oatmeal bars, and lots and lots of cookies. Actually, a vast majority of my Gram memories take place in her kitchen so it seems a fitting way to remember her now. Her strawberry pie recipe was easy and SO SO good. The filling sort of turned to soup (incredibly sweet and beyond delicious soup) but one of our youth group dads kindly took my pie plate and scraped out any juicy remnants- you could say it was a hit. Next time, I may cook the filling a little longer and use a quart and a half of strawberries instead of just a quart- my pie pan was deep enough that it could have held even MORE awesome strawberry-ness. And before we start with the recipe, let the record show that THIS girl blind-baked a successful pie crust. WINNING. I’m planning a mini-post on the horrifically dangerous world of blind-baking next week.
So here it is, Gram’s Sweet Strawberry Pie:
-1 baked pie shell
-1 quart (4 cups) strawberries- if your pie dish is deep- go for 6 cups.
-3 tbsp cornstarch
-1 cup sugar
-3 tbsp lemon juice
-Whipping cream for garnish
Wash and trim strawberries, cut in half. Reserve 6-8 halves for garnish.
Take half remaining and place in saucepan with 1 cup sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch and 3 tbsp lemon juice.
Mash berries well and cook, stirring, until thickened and clear. Resist the urge to just eat it out of the pan… although if you do, it’s good. Chill filling.
Add remaining berry halves gently (cut larger ones so they are uniform in size) and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, spoon berry mixture into cooled pie shell, top with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with remaining berry halves.
Do the best you can cutting and serving… it may not be pretty but oh my goodness is it good!