we went to a strawberry festival last weekend (it’s strawberry season in tennessee) + seeing pint after pint of local fresh strawberries, there was no way i could resist making a new strawberry recipe. this pie did not disappoint! the shortbread crust is rich without being heavy, while the filling is fresh + springy. the recipe called to make this into one 9” pie, but i opted to use mulitple mini cast iron skillets that i knew would give the pies a charming + quintessentially southern feel.
this pie is great by itself, with fresh lightly sweetened whipped cream, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. while dessert is traditionally a post-dinner activity, because this is so light + pretty, i think it would be wonderful as a sweet at a champagne brunch or bridal/baby shower. light, springy desserts are just so versatile, + this delicious pie is no exception!
and the adorable vintage tea towel with strawberries on it? a gift from the lovely heather over at life by the spoonful. thanks, heather – we love ‘em!
fresh strawberry pie with shortbread crust
makes about 8 servings, adapted from gourmet
for crust: (amy’s note: this crust is delicious. when i make this again, i may double the crust ingredients to make a thicker, more prominent crust. it’s just to good not to!)
1 (5-ounce) package shortbread cookies
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 pounds (1 1/2”) strawberries, hulled (see cooks’ note, below)
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 1/4 teaspoons)
lightly sweetened whipped cream
preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
pulse cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs, then pulse in sugar + butter until combined. press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom + up the sides of a 9” pie plate (* i used 2 mini cast iron skillets instead, which worked out wonderfully). bake until golden, about 15 minutes. transfer to a rack to cool.
prepare filling + assemble pie:
select 20 large strawberries as close to same size as possible + set aside. cut remaining berries into 1/4” dice + toss with sugar + lemon juice. let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. drain berries in a sieve set into a large glass measuring cup. add enough water to measure 2 cups. transfer liquid to a medium saucepan + reserve berries.
sprinkle gelatin over strawberry liquid + let soften 1 minute. bring to a bare simmer, stirring until gelatin has dissolved. add diced berries, then transfer to a metal bowl set into an ice bath + stir frequently until mixture begins to mound, 20 – 30 minutes.
spoon 1/2 cup filling into pie crust + arrange reserved whole berries, stem ends down, on filling. spoon remaining filling over + between berries. chill pie until filling is set, at least 4 hours.
cooks’ notes:print this recipe
-pie crust can be made 2 days ahead + kept (covered once cool) at room temperature.
-filled pie can be chilled, loosely covered, up to 1 day.
-while not as dramatic as whole large berries, if you find juicy small berries, cut them into quarters or halves. it may take longer for mixture to set, but pie will taste just as good.