As you get to know me here at The S(low) Down, you’re going to start to realize that I’m a huge nerd at heart. Hence my excitement over a date that nicely aligns with π (3.1459….). And in less dorky news, I’m pretty excited about pie crust in general. Let’s be honest, we all are. It’s a fantastic vehicle for all sorts of delicious things.
I’m lucky to live less than 30 miles away from the Carlsbad Strawberry Company, a beautiful 80 coastal acres that grows the best strawberries I’ve EVER tasted. Even better, we start seeing them in December, and find them through July. Reason number 72364 that living in San Diego does not suck.
So in honor of that great geometrical constant, and Carlsbad strawberries, here’s the recipe for my favorite strawberry pie.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, kept VERY cold, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
6 to 8 Tbs ice water
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again.
Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. Gently shape the dough mixture into two disks. Work the dough just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
5 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
Little pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients together until strawberries are well coated. Dump them in the pie crust. Cover with second pie crust shell, paint with melted butter, dust with sugar, and cut four vents.
Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 350, and bake until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, and serve with whip cream!