If Spring came in pie form this would be it! After eating my weight in citrus this winter past I thought what better way to celebrate the dawn of a new season than with spring’s fruit darling, the strawberry. Now you may want to sit down for this but before we go any further I need to throw some potentially shocking fruit knowledge down on ya’ll. This delicious berry, my favorite berry, is in fact not actually a berry at all. So crazy pants, I know! Botanically a berry fruit must have internal seeds to be classified as a true berry and the strawberry unabashedly wears its nearly 200+ seeds per berry on average on its rosy exterior. SO what is it then? The strawberry is technically an accessory fruit and get this all those itty bitty seeds are each an individual true fruit. So wild! So complicated! Which is probably why in the food world we just call it a berry and move on to more important things like cooking with and eating the delicious thing! Now back to that pie, I am all for eating fresh, naturally delicious, nutritious, unadulterated fruits whenever possible, but sometimes you just gotta bake a pie. And when I do bake pie I don’t hold back. Butter, sugar, (gluten free) flour…this is no time for health food folks!
You can feel free to use whatever crust your heart desires. Mine of course was gluten free and I used a pre-bought frozen crust from Whole Foods for the bottom shell and made a topper from scratch. Since I am a super fan of themes and all things cute I gave my top crust polka dots so it would slightly resemble a strawberry but you can craft yours anyway you like! P.S. This pie essentially makes its own sauce and is super duper juicy! For less liquid omit the lemon juice and add an extra tablespoon of cornstarch.
Pie filling ingredients
- 5 cups strawberries, cut into fourths or halves depending on size
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Ingredients for crust preparation
- 1 prepared bottom crust and 1 prepared top crust (see below for gluten free crust recipe)
- 1 egg beaten slightly for an egg wash (optional)
- Sprinkling of granulated sugar (optional)
Combine all your filling ingredients in a large bowl and gently incorporate together. Carefully pour the filling into your prepared pie crust. Top the filled pie with your rolled out pie topper crust in the design pattern of your choice (I vote for a cute one!)
For a pie with a golden brown crust brush the top with an egg wash and then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes then lower heat and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Be sure to check your crust occasionally for signs of over browning or strawberry juice spillage and cover the crust edge or entire pie with foil as needed.
Allow pie to cool as long as you can humanly stand to resist eating it, serve with whipped cream or a dollop of vanilla bean yogurt, I used siggi’s brand
Hint: when you add yogurt it of course becomes an acceptable breakfast food!
BONUS! Gluten Free Pie Crust recipe
Makes one bottom crust
- 2 1/2 Cups Cup for Cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 10 tablespoons cold butter (I like Plugra)
- 1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)
In a bowl combine the flour with the salt and sugar. Use a spoon or whisk to slightly stir the dry ingredients until combined.
Cut in the butter using a mixer set to low or a pastry cutter until crumbly. Add to this the orange juice and egg and mix until combined.
Form the dough into a ball and place on a large sheet of wax or parchment paper, top with another large sheet of parchment. Using a rolling pin roll dough out into a round shape slightly bigger than your pie pan. Place your pie pan atop the dough, hold tight to the bottom sheet of wax paper and flip over the pie pan. Gently shape the dough into the pan, smoothing out any tears that might have occurred in the transfer. Trim and crimp edges of the crust. To roll out a top crust follow the same procedure but instead of placing the crust into the prepared pie pan pop the rolled out dough into the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes or until ready for use.