Mom’s Strawberry Pie

strawberry pie with whipped cream

This pie recipe is the one my mom used to make when I was a girl. It is the definition of Strawberry Pie for me–refreshing, sweet, strawberry. It’s also super easy. I made it for a party last year and there wasn’t a crumb left.

The only changes I’ve made to Mom’s original is that I do not add food coloring to my ingredients. I also prefer homemade whipped cream to Cool Whip. Ina Garten’s delicious recipe is my go-to recipe for whipped cream and I include it in the directions below.

You’ll need a baked pie crust for this recipe. If you need some help knowing how to blind bake a pie crust, scroll down to the bottom of this article, where I have summarized The Kitchn’s guidelines.

Mom’s Strawberry Pie

Ingredients:

For pie:

  • 1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
  • 1 quart strawberries, chopped into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 water water
  • 3 tablespoons dry strawberry gelatin

Homemade whipped cream topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Make the pie: Mix sugar, cornstarch, and strawberries in saucepan. Add water. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in dry gelatin. Pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until congealed. Once the pie is firm, you can top it with homemade whipped cream and a few slices of fresh strawberry.

Make the Whipped Cream: Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don’t overbeat!


To Blind Bake a Pie Crust

These guidelines for how to blind bake a pie crust have been summarized from The Kitchn‘s excellent instruction post. For more information, follow the link to their site.

Check your oven and make sure the rack is in the lower-middle position. Preheat to 425°F.

Get your crust rolled out and placed in a pie plate. Stick it in the freezer while you wait for the oven to heat.

When the oven is ready, take the crust out of the freezer and line it with a square of aluminum foil. Go ahead and gently push the foil up against the edges and sides of the crust. Then add pie weights to keep the bottom of the crust from bubbling up during baking. You can use dry beans or rice if you don’t have pie weights. (Save the beans or rice in a separate container once you’ve used them for this purpose. Don’t cook with them, but you can use them again with another crust.)

Put the crust on a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Bake it for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are just starting to turn golden.

Remove the crust from the oven and carefully grab the corners of the foil. Lift the foil, along with the pie weights, from the crust and put them in a bowl or plate to cool.

Return the crust to the oven and bake for about 5 more minutes, until the bottom looks dry. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely before continuing with the Strawberry Pie recipe.

Homemade butter blends with fruit and opens the door to the world

I was a timid 16 year old in the summer of 1987. Up to that point, my life had been built around family, church, and school. Shy and sheltered as I was, though, I knew there was more world to experience and I longed to get my hands on it. I got my chance that summer when I became one of twenty-plus students to participate in a  mini-exchange program through the Rotary Club. For three weeks, my family hosted a girl from Germany and for three weeks I lived with her family in Germany.

During the three weeks that the German students were in Texas, the Rotary Club hosted a trip for all of us to Austin. We did all the things you do in a state’s capitol, but one of the things I remember most about that trip was the cafe that served us croissants with strawberries blended into soft butter.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? I mean, strawberries and butter mixed together, how mind-blowing can that really be? What a delight, though. So refreshing on a hot summer’s day. At the time it represented what could be–new possibilities, fresh ideas, future discoveries.

I went on to travel further from home for longer periods of time, each time tasting new flavors, trying new things, broadening my horizons, as my dad would say. I had all but forgotten that simple discovery of fresh fruit mixed with butter until last week when I mixed up my first batch of homemade butter. Something about it was so comfortingly familiar, but there was something more that would make it even better: fruit.

Below is how I turned homemade butter into homemade butter with fruit.

Blackberry butter and homemade butter.
Blackberry butter and homemade butter mixed together. Yum!

Mix up a batch of homemade butter in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Add two or three tablespoons of your favorite fruit. It can be fresh strawberries, peaches, blackberries, whatever is in season and to your liking. Make sure to chop or mash the fruit until it’s blendable. Alternatively, add two or three tablespoons of your favorite fruit butter or jam, like the one shown in the picture below.

Blackberry butter mixed with homemade butter.
Blackberry butter mixed with homemade butter.

Mix the butter and fruit until they are thoroughly blended.

Blackberry butter and homemade butter blended.
Blackberry butter and homemade butter blended to make a tasty treat!

Smear onto your favorite bread or pastry and prepare for your world to expand!