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Fresh Strawberry Pie

Three day weekends are pretty great. Especially the Friday before they start. Always feels like an assembly day in high school. Things are different—a break from the routine. There is a nice energy in the air and the weekend feels like it will last forever. This particular holiday weekend is especially exciting because it marks the unofficial start of summer. People fire up their barbecues and spend time outdoors. I’m looking forward to an extra day off as much as anyone and am looking forwarding to some good food and friends. This strawberry pie was a good way to get started. It is like a fantasy of what we should all be eating on Memorial Day weekend.

It would be the perfect thing to bring to a friend’s bbq or take on a picnic. It is easy to prepare and very delicious. I would serve it with some lightly sweetened whipped cream and enjoy the start of summer. Because, like the three day weekend, the summer will go quickly and we need to start enjoying every minute of it.

I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy some time with the people you love. I’ll be in the kitchen and will return next week with some new recipes to share and a very special guest post. Until then, TGIF.

You should find really good strawberries for this. Big (1 1/2-inchish) juicy ones that are fully ripe (no white shoulders) and taste delicious. It will make a big difference in the finished product. Also look for best quality shortbread, no preservatives or weird ingredients. Since there are so few ingredients here, it is important they are all good.

Fresh Strawberry Pie (adapted from the June 2008 Gourmet)

Crust:

Filling:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pulse cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs, add sugar and butter and pulse until combined. Carefully press crumb mixture into 9-inch pie pan. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Select 15 large strawberries as close to same size as possible and set aside. Cut remaining strawberries into 1/4-inch dice and toss with sugar and lemon juice. Let stand, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Drain berries in a sieve set into a large glass measuring cup. Add enough water to make 2 cups. Transfer to a medium saucepan and set berries aside.

Sprinkle gelatin over strawberry liquid and let soften 1 minute. Bring to a bare simmer, stirring until gelatin has dissolved. Add diced berries and then transfer to a metal bowl set into an ice bath and stir frequently until mixture begins to mound, this could take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes. (I ended up putting bowl in fridge after 30 minutes in ice bath and waited like 50 minutes before it started to set up)

Spoon 1/2 cup of filling into pie crust and arranged reserved whole berries, stem side down, on top of filling. Spoon remaining filling over and between berries. Chill pie until filling is set, at least 4 hours.