Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Strawberries Are In Season Somewhere

There are a lot of things to say about soup. Last night we made another winner: Giada De Laurentiis' Hearty Tomato Soup with Lemon and Rosemary. But on this cold and dreary day, I'm lacking in adjectives and enthusiasm and my commentary is as interesting as a letter home from summer camp: "The soup was good. It was really fun to make. You should try it. The rosemary was great. The lemon was great too."

To save us both from more uninspiring remarks, I will change the subject and give you words of hope. Strawberries are in season somewhere. (Thank you sister for the tip.) Even though this third day in March could be mistaken for the third day in any of the past three months, somewhere there is green. Somewhere in Plant City, Florida people are strawberry picking. And, these strawberries have made it all the way to my grocery store, Giant. They are even on sale.

Here is proof:

Right now they are in the oven being turned into a strawberry pie. When I told my husband I was making a strawberry pie he looked at me as if he was waiting for me to add the word rhubarb. But no, it is going to be a straight-up strawberry pie. I'm hoping it is like a strawberry tart, but in a pie pan. I'm really hoping it tastes like this amazing brown-sugared strawberry fruit square I had at The Biscuit in Somverville, MA. I added a brown sugar and butter crumble topping at the last minute upon remembering the experience.

I used Mark Bittman's recipe for berry pies in How To Cook Everything, but I ended up simplifying it a good deal.

Update: The pie turned out really well. Sweet and tart. I almost missed the rhubarb, but after a couple more bites enjoyed the simplicity of the berry on its own.

Strawberry Pie:

For the filling:
5 cups or 2 pound (by weight) container of strawberries hulled and halved.
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of cornstarch

1 1/8 all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick of butter, cold, unsalted and cut into about 8 pieces.
3 tablespoons of ice water

Combine dry ingredients in food processor. Pulse for a moment. Add butter slices and process until flour and butter are blended (about 10 seconds). It will look like cornmeal.

Place the mixture in a bowl and then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water. Add another 1/2 tablespoon if it looks dry. I ended up using that extra 1/2 tablespoon. Flatten dough into a small disc. Wrap in plastic and chill. Just roll out when you are ready to make your crust.

Once crust is rolled out. Place filling into pie dish. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and cook for another 45 minutes. Definitely let it sit out a while, and it will firm up nicely.

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