The warmth of sunshine on my pale white skin, the smell of freshly blooming flowers, gentle wind blowing through my hair as I lounge by the pool...and the juicy goodness of fresh picked strawberries.
Growing up, we used to pack up our stationwagon and head north to the strawberry fields where we'd pick pint after pint of this luscious summertime fruit.
It's a tradition (minus the stationwagon) that I'm continuing with my daughter today.
Picking at our favorite strawberry farm
This weekend, after successfully picking nearly 24 pounds of strawberries (yikes, what was I thinking?!?!?) we made a beeline to the kitchen to whip up one of my most favorite summertime desserts.
It's so good, and super easy to make that my own 9 year old daughter made it herself (with only minor assistance with the oven).
Here's what you need for Perfect Pie Crust:
Crisco (vegetable shortening), Flour, Salt, Water, Vinegar, and an Egg.
Mix together 3 cups flour with 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Then work in 1 1/2 cups Crisco with a pastry cutter until it looks like little crumbles (this will take you a few minutes).
Add in 1 egg, 5 tablespoons cold water and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Mix until it forms a doughy ball.
Then separate your dough in half (you can divide it in thirds if you like a thinner crust). To roll out your pie crust, place the dough in a ziploc bag and roll flat with a rolling pin. Once the crust is rolled out, simply cut the edges of the bag and then flip the crust into your pie pan. EZPZ, no doughy mess on your countertop.
After trimming you crust (just run a butter knife along the edge of your pie pan) you can crimp the edges however you'd like...no need to be super fancy here. I'm still trying to perfect this, but they're getting closer and closer to what my mom makes.
Then take a fork and punch a few holes in the bottom so your crust doesn't puff up while baking (350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden brown).
While your crusts are baking, rinse and stem your strawberries (you can cut them into bitesize pieces if you'd like or leave them whole). Then it's on to the pie glaze...
Forget the store-bought bag of pie gell...this version is SO much better. You'll need: 1 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons corn starch and 2/3 cup sugar.
Heat in a saucepan over low heat until it develops into a thick consistency (stir regularly)...about 15-20 minutes. You can add a few drops of red food coloring if you'd like, but it's not necessary.
Cool and then pour over your fresh strawberries (about 4 cups worth)
Mix and pour into your baked pie crust.
If you're like me you can double the pie glaze and make two pies (since you already have two pie crusts baked). But don't put the berries into the 2nd pie crust until you're ready to eat it (unless of course you like a soggier crust).
Happy summer my friends. Bon apetit.