Classic Strawberry Pie

by Donna Teague of Sweets and Savories

1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell, baked and cooled (See below.)
1 recipe Strawberry Pie Glaze (See below.)
2 quarts fresh strawberries
Fresh mint leaves
Whipped cream

Remove the tops from 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.

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, or until set.  Garnish the pie with mint and serve each piece with whipped cream. Enjoy!

*If the filling has become too thick to spoon or pour, microwave it for about five seconds and whisk it to achieve a uniform consistency.

Pastry Dough for a 9-inch Deep-Dish Pie Crust

11 ¾ ounces (2 1/2 cups) 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 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 (similar to margarine); pulse about ten times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the water, sprinkling around the top of the flour mixture.  Pulse ten 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.

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.

While the pie crust is chilling, roll out the pastry scraps, and cut them into miniature strawberry shapes.  Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, poke holes in each cut-out to resemble the bumps on strawberries.  Place the shapes on a wax 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 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.

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 the surface of the filling with plastic wrap.  Chill for 30 minutes to one hour.  If the mixture becomes too firm to pour, microwave it for a few seconds.