Classic Strawberry Pie

This spring-like weather puts me in the mood for strawberry pie!  Although strawberry season here in South Carolina is still months away, the berries are ripe for picking in Florida. Thanks to my neighborhood Publix (which is headquartered just up the road from the Sunshine State’s strawberry capital), I have more berries than I can possibly eat.  So, I’m going to share with you!

When my family lived in Oviedo, Florida, I looked forward to this time of year.  My friends and I loved to meet up at my house to bake flaky, made-from-scratch crusts before heading out to Pappy’s Patch to pick our own red jewels.  With our berry baskets overflowing, we returned to my kitchen to assemble our delicious pies.

If you live north of Florida, you’ll have to visit the produce market before you make your pie today.  However, you’ll want to keep this recipe handy.  When strawberry season arrives in your area, round up some pals, pick some berries, and bake some pies—together!

Here’s the pie my friends and I made with those fresh berries from Pappy’s Patch!  This photo and the one above were taken by Patricia Cates.

Before you head to the patch or market for fresh berries, let’s make the pie crust so it will have lots of time to cool before you add the filling.  Here’s what you need to get started:

For the recipe only, click here.  Keep scrolling for the recipe + tips and step-by-step photos.
Pastry Dough for a 9-inch Pie Crust
11 ¾ ounces Pillsbury All Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter All Purpose Sticks*
4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ice water

*In a future post I’ll address the issue of margarine, baking sticks, and butter.  I have lots to write!  But for now, suffice it to say that it’s important for you to use a product which is 79% to 80% oil, containing 11 grams of fat per serving.  Oh, I can’t help myself:  I’ve just got to give you some advice right now!  Train yourself to read margarine/baking stick/spread labels.  Please promise me that you will do this each time you shop–forever.  If you’re buying a product for baking, 79% oil is the absolute minimum you should buy.  Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox and get back to the recipe—for now.

In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt; pulse once to mix. Add the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter All Purpose Sticks (margarine); pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Strain the water before measuring to remove ice.  Add the water, sprinkling around the top of the flour mixture.  Pulse 10 more times, or just until the pastry begins to form a ball on one side of the work bowl. Don’t over-process the pastry.  Turn the dough out and press it into a disk.  Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to three days.

Weigh the flour for best results.

Cut all purpose sticks (margarine) into pieces before adding to work bowl.

Pulse flour, salt, & all purpose sticks (margarine) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Strain ice water before measuring–ice in the pastry dough is not a good thing!

After adding water, pulse about 10 times, or until the dough pulls to one side and begins to form a ball.

Turn the dough out and press it into a disk.  Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to three days.

Turn the chilled disk out onto a lightly-floured surface.  For best results, keep the kitchen as cool as possible during this step so that the pastry doesn’t become too warm to hold its shape. Roll the disk into a 14-inch circle. Trim the uneven edges of the circle with a knife. Using a bench scraper, fold the pastry in half.  Gently transfer the pastry to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan and unfold it.  Press the pastry into the pan with your thumb.  Trim the overhang with a knife. Line the pastry with wax paper, and fill it with ceramic pie weights or dried beans.  Chill for 30 minutes to four hours.  Chilling the dough yields a flakier crust.

Dust the rolling surface lightly with flour; sprinkle a few teaspoons of flour on top of the pastry dough.

Roll pastry dough into a 14-inch circle; trim ragged edges with a knife to prevent tearing.

Ease the pastry into the pan.

Use your thumb to gently press the pastry into the pan.

Trim the pastry dough from the edges of the pie pan. I use a steak knife for this task.

Crease a large square of waxed paper and place it on top of the crust.

Fill the crust with ceramic pie weights or dried beans.  This step is important!

While the pie crust is chilling, roll out the pastry scraps and cut into miniature strawberry shapes.  Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, poke holes on each cut-out to resemble the bumps on strawberries.  Place the shapes on a waxed paper-covered pan, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. If you’re short on time, skip the cut-outs.  Your pie will be beautiful without them.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the weighted, chilled pie shell for 12 minutes; remove the pie shell from the oven.  Carefully remove the ceramic pie weights and the wax paper by gathering the corners of the wax paper and lifting up.  Moisten the back of each cut-out with a drop of water and press them around the edge of the pie shell. Bake the pie shell for an additional 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool completely.

All it needs now is the filling (and a fork)!


Strawberry Pie Glaze

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 (3-ounce box) strawberry-flavored Jello

Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a saucepan; add the water; mix with a wire whip until well combined.  Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it bubbles and becomes translucent–about 8 to 12 minutes.  Remove from the heat and  stir in the Jello; whisk for a full two minutes to completely dissolve the gelatin.  Pour the mixture into a tempered glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Chill for 30 minutes to an hour.  If the mixture becomes too firm to pour, microwave it for a few seconds.


Classic Strawberry Pie

1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
1 recipe Strawberry Pie Glaze
2 quarts fresh strawberries

Remove the tops of the strawberries and wash them under cold running water.  Drain the strawberries in a paper towel-lined pan.  Slice the berries, and blot them completely dry with a paper towel.  This important step prevents the pie from becoming too watery.

If you skip this step you’ll have strawberry soup!

Pile the berries into the pie shell.  Gently spoon or pour the cooled filling over the berries.  Refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes to one hour before serving.  Garnish with mint and enjoy!

Pile those babies in.

Here’s the pie I made today!

I think my husband had a taste!










1 Betsy { 03.02.12 at 8:09 am }

Can’t wait to try this once strawberry season arrives in North Carolina. I’m sure it will be delicious!

2 marcie { 03.03.12 at 12:13 pm }

Love this, Donna! I hope you have more like this.
I am a pie lover and have made them for years.. My family (particularly husband) is so used to my crisco pie crust, so i look forward to reading your philosopjy on the butter with oil %s
My frustration is refrigerating the ctust before rolling out. I know the reason, but it never rolls out as well for me to refrigerate it. And i find that frustrating so I never refrigerate it first: perhasp afterwards before baking, but not inbetween makign and rolling. Explain how i can mange the roll as easily as when it is first mixed. DO I LET IT COME BACK YO ROOMM TEMP?

3 Donna { 03.03.12 at 12:23 pm }


I find that if I don’t refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes, it’s so soft I can’t roll it out! If you use the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, definitely roll it out at the chilled temp. If you’re doing lots of pies, only take out the amount of dough from the fridge that you’ll be working with. I’m formulating in my head the article on baking fats. Off the top of my head, I think that Crisco has a much higher fat content, so that’s why it’s harder to roll out when it’s chilled. (Higher fat yields a flakier crust!!!) Hopefully I’ll post my thoughts soon.

Miss you all!

4 Deppie { 03.04.12 at 5:53 am }

I am confused. Do I put the pie I’n the oven with wax paper still on it and the pastry balls on top? Won’t it melt?

5 Donna { 03.04.12 at 8:40 am }


The wax paper will not melt. You do put the pie shell in the oven for the first twelve minutes with the wax paper and the ceramic pie weights in place. You might detect a faint smoking aroma, but don’t worry–that’s completely normal. Once of the intended uses of wax paper is baking. In fact, parchment paper is also used in baking, but it’s not as pliable as wax paper. If you’re uncomfortable with using smoking wax paper to hold your ceramic pie weights, use aluminum foil.


6 marcie { 03.06.12 at 5:10 pm }

Thanks Donna, I’ll try the refrigeration again with a margerine component. That makes sense about the Crisco being higher fat content and being harder to roll colder. No wonder I have struggled all these years. I’ll give the margerine a try. I so look forward to more of your blogs; so excited you are writing this. :)

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