Summers growing up meant visiting Morro Bay, picking strawberries in my grandmother's garden, and watching her make strawberry pie.
In my first house the landlord let me transform a patch of dirt into an organic garden. Home meant fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, hosting friends on the patio and serving vegetables/fruit from the garden. Summers in the house meant, picking strawberries and making my grandmother's strawberry pie. Ten years later that house still has a vegetable garden and the beds are still edged with strawberry plants.
A couple of nights ago after picking up a flat of organic strawberries from the market, I made my version of my grandmother's strawberry pie. Hesitantly I tasted the pie, unsure it would live up to the expectations set by my memories--it did, and in a few minutes had been devoured. I knew I was "home" when a friend devoured her slice of pie as quickly as I had.
Grandma Nelson's Strawberry Pie
Makes 1 pie, 8 generous slices
- 3/4 cup fructose
- 3 Tablespoons corn starch
- 1 1/2 baskets of strawberries, pureed
- 8 oz Tofuti cream cheese substitute
- 2 Tablespoons Silk lowfat soy milk
- 1 Tablespoon fructose
- 1 pie crust
- 3 baskets of strawberries, sliced and sugared
- Combine first two ingredients in medium bowl and set aside.
- Cook pureed strawberries until boiling, stirring continuously let boil for 2 minutes.
- Slowly add boiled strawberries to the cornstarch and fructose mixture.
- Place mixture in refrigerator to cool.
- Whip Tofuti and Silk soy milk until fluffy.
- Add tablespoon of fructose and blend.
- Spread the mixture evenly along the bottom of the pie shell.
- Spread cooled strawberry mix evenly on top of the Tofuti and Silk mixture.
- Place the sliced and sugared strawberries face up on the top of the pie.
- Refrigerate pie for 3 hours.
Mom's Perfect Pie Crust
Makes 4 9" pie shells
- 4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon fructose
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 cups Crisco
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 large egg
- Combine first three ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
- Add Crisco and mix with fork until ingredients are crumbly. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat together water, vinegar and egg.
- Combine wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, mixing with pastry blender (or fork) until all ingredients are moistened.
- Divide dough into 4 portions.
- With hands shape each portion into a fat, round patty ready for rolling.
- Wrap each portion in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill at least 1/2 hour.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- When ready to roll pie crust, lightly flour both sides of the patty.
- If you don't have a marble pastry board and don't want the pastry to stick and want it to be easily transferrable to the pie plate, lay two sheets of plastic wrap side by side with 1/4 inch of overlap on the counter. Position the patty in the center. Place two sheets of plastic wrap on top of the patty.
- Keeping the pastry round, roll from center to 1/8" thickness and 2" larger than inverted pie plate.
- Remove top layer of plastic wrap.
- Loosely fit pie crust into pie plate. Remove remaining plastic wrap.
- Press with fingers to remove air pockets. Prick bottom and sides slightly with a fork.
- Line middle of pie crust with wax paper and fill with pie weights.
- Place pie crust in oven and turn down to 350 degrees.
- Bake for about 8 minutes and remove pie weights.
- Continue baking until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes longer.
- Cool and fill.