Saturday, July 7, 2012

Strawberry Pie

Sorry for the lack of posts, kids, I have been very busy with research and writing this summer.  I had great success at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and am getting ready for a conference in Baltimore (do any SHEAR members read this blog?) and a stint at the Library of Congress.  I am glad that I was back home for the last week of strawberry season.  Of course, that meant strawberry pie!  Last year I made a Glazed Strawberry Pie with Shortbread Crust (which is fabulous), but this year I wanted to try my hand at a more traditional pie.  I would like to improve my pastry skills, so this was an experiment in ingredients and method to produce a flaky crust and a gooey but not runny filling.

Pie Dough (makes two crusts)
- 2.5 cups (400g) all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
- 6-8 tbsp ice cold water

- scant 5 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
- 2 tbsp instant tapioca
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar

1. Place shortening and margarine in the freezer for 30 mins.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.  Prepare the filling by whisking together tapioca, cornstarch, and sugar, and then gently tossing with the strawberries to coat.
3. Grate shortening and margarine into the flour.  Gently work into the flour with your fingers until it resembles coarse bread crumbs (it should not take long).
4. Mix in enough water with a fork to bring together into a dough.  Don't over mix.
5. Divide dough in half and shape into two discs.  Immediately roll one out on a floured surface into at least a 12 inch circle and transfer into a 9" pie pan, trimming it to leave 3/4" of overhang.  Add filling and shape into a dome.
6. Roll out top crust on a floured surface and lay over top, trimming to leave 1" overhang.   Fold top crust overhang under bottom crust overhang and press to seal.  Crimp or flute the edge as you see fit.  Cut designs into the top crust to allow steam to escape, refrigerate the pie for about 30 mins, or until the crust has firmed up.
7.  While pie is chilling, heat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the bottom third of the oven.  Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until crust is golden both top and bottom and the filling is bubbling.  Let cool before serving.