Monday, June 16, 2008

good pie bad pie

Hard at work perusing my Google Reader news feed (procrastination: more efficient than ever!), I saw a recipe for strawberry pie. Deluded by promises of plump, fragrant berries in pie form I hit the market. Five pounds of strawberries richer, I was confident I was going to churn out a gorgeous scarlet red pie, nevermind my knack for misshapen pies.

Hasty, hasty, Jen. Had I taken the time to read the recipe carefully, I would have realized that I was setting myself up to make strawberry jello in a pie crust. As far as jello goes, this was a winner. I, however, am keen on my food having a little less wiggle to it.

With 3 lbs. of berries remaining, I felt the need for revenge of the strawberry pie. I settled on the recipe below, adapted from
Bon Appétit. This recipe was simple, fast, and gone soon after its conception. The orange zest provided a nice brightness, and the cookie crust was easy to make (no rolling out dough, yay!).

Strawberry Icebox Pie with Almond Crust

Adapted from Bon Appétit | April 2003

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 2 graham crackers)
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

5 cups quartered hulled strawberries (about 24 oz)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons orange zest

1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar

For crust:
Preheat to 350°F. Butter 9" pie dish. Coarsely chop almonds. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar; mash up together to mix. Add butter, mix. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Bake until crust looks toasty, about 12 minutes.

For filling:
Place 2 cups strawberries in medium saucepan.

Mash strawberries until chunky. Add sugar, cornstarch (slowly so you don't get clumps), and lemon juice. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils and thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in orange zest. Transfer mixture to bowl. Cool to room temperature.

Stir in remaining 3 cups strawberries and grated orange peel. Mound filling in crust. Chill pie until cold and set, at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.

Using electric mixer, beat cream in large bowl until peaks form.

Spread whipped cream decoratively over filling. Cut pie into wedges and serve.
Spread a few spoonfuls of mixture over bottom of crust. Organize remaining strawberries till pretty. Mound filling in crust. Chill pie until cold and set.

Beat cream and sugar in large bowl until soft peaks form. Serve together!

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