Saturday, June 23, 2012

strawberry pie

This week was the start of strawberry season here. The strawberries are late because of all the rain and not much sunshine or heat. The first small pint I purchased at the market. The berries were juicy but not very sweet. My husband brought a pile home from work and I picked up some from the fruit stand on the first day it was open this year. So we've eaten quite a few strawberries this week. But this morning I had a half basket of ones that were getting a bit past being eaten as is and I wanted to try making a strawberry pie.

It's true that I was using the pie as a procrastination and I could have spent the time getting prepped for the chair recovering project which might have been finished by now except for all my time wasting - pie baking, "the Sweet Life in Paris" reading for next month's book club over at Tea and Cookies and constant checking over at the Wednesday Chef to see if Luisa has had her baby yet. (For her sake, I hope she has and that she hasn't posted because she and Max and the baby are all in the early foggy, little sleep days and having too much fun as a new family to let us know. I feel a tiny bit stalkeresque for caring so much about the birth of a baby to someone I only know from reading her lovely blog).

So I made pastry and baked a pie. For the pastry I used some of my locally milled flour, which I am so excited about. As I type this, the pie is all gone. I had a tiny sliver to taste it and the rest has been eaten by my husband. Next time I need to add something to soak up the strawberry juice, because there was so much of it, I ended up draining some of it off before popping the pie back in the oven to brown.

Pastry (from Laura Calder)1/2 c + 2 tbsp unbleached flour
1/2 c organic red wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 c butter, diced
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp cold water

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flours, salt and sugar and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is distributed through the flour but still remains in crumb sized pieces. Add the vanilla and the water, 1 tbsp at a time until the dough starts to come together. Dump the dough into some plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll out onto a piece of parchment.

1 pint of strawberries, hulled and quartered
25 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(1 tsp tapioca - I should have added this to soak up the juices)

Preheat the over to 400 deg F. In a bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar, vanilla and tapioca and mix together. Dump the fruit onto the middle of the pie dough and spread out across the dough, leaving 1-2" border all the way around the dough. Fold the dough over the fruit, pleating as necessary. Sprinkle the dough edges with sanding sugar. Bake at 375 deg F for 50 minutes or until the crust is brown.

(I did get some of the chair recovered today so all is not lost. And the pie was definitely worth the time.)

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