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Friday, June 26, 2009

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry pie is my favorite dessert. That may be because it has such a limited season each year. I look forward to it every spring and savor it while it lasts.

This is the best strawberry pie recipe I've ever tried. I've sampled others with cream cheese on the bottom of the crust and they are tasty, but the mashed up fruit in the glaze is what really makes this pie for me. I first acquired the recipe my freshman year in college from my roommate Dana, who I believe got it from Betty Crocker.

The same formula also works well with raspberries or peaches. My order of preference probably goes raspberries, strawberries, then peaches. But strawberries are a lot cheaper than raspberries, so that's what we usually make.

Strawberry Pie
1 9-inch baked pie shell (I am not skilled at crust making, so I usually use store bought. Store brands seem better to me than national brands as a general rule, and I can particularly recommend the Great Values brand from Wal Mart. And I'm not a Wal Mart fan)
4 cups fresh berries (about 1 1/2 quarts)
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 cup water
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Mash enough berries to measure one cup. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch.

Gradually stir in water and mashed berries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir one minute. Cool for a few minutes.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Carefully spread on the bottom of the baked pie shell; the shell can break easily if you get aggressive with your spreading.

Fill shell with remaining berries. Pour the cooked glaze mixture over the top of the berries. Chill for three hours or until set. You can see that we ate it this particular night with ice cream; it's a wonderful complement to the tartness of the fruit.

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