Every year I have visions of going to a local farm, spending an afternoon picking strawberries, and then skipping into the kitchen to make jam. Then I remind myself that I made a pie for Easter and I haven’t had time to post it here until now so I probably don’t have time for berry picking. Reality is cruel that way sometimes. Whether you have time to visit a farm and pick your own berries or you’re more like me and will be picking your berries at the farmer’s market or supermarket this summer this is a fantastic way to make use of strawberries.
This is a great warm-weather dessert because once you’re done with the crust you’re done with the baking. So if you happen to have some extra berries and you’re not looking to heat up the kitchen too much this ideal. I will confess that the pie I made for Easter didn’t entirely set. More recent attempts have been perfect. The only variable I can think of is that I might not have heated up the cranberry juice enough to set the gelatin. Be sure to heat the cranberry juice until it is steaming and you should avoid having a runny pie. Confession number two- even if you scoop a runny mess out of the pie plate it is still delicious.
Strawberry Chiffon Pie
for the pie crust:
- 1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
- 9 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 3-4 Tbsp. ice water
for the pie filling:
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries, stems removed, 6 berries reserved for garnish if desired
- 3/4 C. plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 C. cranberry juice or water
- 1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin (about 2 packets)
- 2 C. whipping cream, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 medium-size strawberries, halved
Start by making the pie crust.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together until well-combined.
Sprinkle the butter over the flour mixture and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture. Do this by rubbing your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter between them. Do this until the mixture looks like cornmeal and only pea-sized pieces of butter remain.
Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. of the ice water on top of the mixture and stir with a fork until the dough comes together. Use another Tbsp. of ice water if needed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and kneed just enough to make a cohesive dough (about 3 times), do not over-mix.
Shape the dough into a ball and then flatten it slightly into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out the pie crust into an 11 inch surface.
Transfer the crust to a 9-inch deep dish pie plate, gently pressing the dough into the plate and fluting the edges (press your thumb around the edge of the crust).
Lay a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil over the pie crust and then fill the pie crust with dried beans or pie weights to keep the crust from puffing up.
Bake for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown.
Remove the pie weights and let the crust cool before filling.
While the pie crust bakes and cools start on the filling by stirring together the strawberries, 3/4 C. of sugar, and lemon juice. Use a potato masher, pastry cutter, or heavy spoon to mash up the berries as you mix the ingredients.
Chill the berry mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Warm the cranberry juice in the microwave for 15-25 seconds until just steaming (microwave it longer if you don’t see steam).
Stir into the gelatin and whisk the mixture until smooth.
Stir the gelatin mixture into the berry mixture and chill for 20 minutes, until partially set.
Using a stand or handheld mixer, whip 1 C. of the cream into medium peaks and stir into the berry mixture.
Pour the berry and cream mixture into the prepared pie crust and chill until firm (at least 1 hour).
Whip the remaining 1 C. of cream with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar and the vanilla until firm peaks form. Spread or pipe over top of pie.
Garnish the pie with reserved strawberries if desired (cut into halves or slices if desired).