Happy Canada Day, everyone! We are celebrating Canada Day as our tradition dictates: hot dog bar with a red-and-white dessert. In this case, I am making Strawn’s Strawberry Pie using a recipe that I found, first on Food.com (but without the crust recipe), and then the complete recipe in a cookbook I found at Sam’s when my in-laws’ were visiting, Southern Living Off the Eaten Path On the Road Again. I have been obsessed with Strawn’s pie crust at first bite. It’s almost a crackery crust, if that makes any since. Tender it is not, but it is still unique enough to be yummy…and obsession-causing.
I first made the pie during my in-laws’ visit, and I was disappointed that I didn’t have the crust recipe. The filling recipe is all over the Internet. The crust recipe that they use for all of their pies–strawberry, chocolate, coconut, and peach.
Strawn’s is a Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana, institution. And they are known for their pies, particularly their strawberry pies. The crackery crust, the deep red fresh strawberry filling made extra ruddy with a nip of red food coloring, topped by white billowy clouds of sweetened whipped cream molded into a low center peak. A big, whole juicy berry right in the center denotes that it is a strawberry pie.
Josh’s first introduction to Strawn’s pies was interesting. Josh first worked for Circle K, the convenience store, when we were first married. He met one of the employees at Strawn’s; in fact, she was a customer of his. She would sometimes bring him a leftover pie at the end of the night if she knew that he would be working. We ate well during those months.
I’ve been known to visit our local Strawn’s with Josh and Muffin for a late breakfast, putting off breakfast as long as possible, in fact, so that there are pies available to cut for a slice for breakfast. It has dairy, grain, and fruit…three of the four food groups. It counts as a breakfast, right?
The first attempt rested on a purchased shortbread crust. It was good…it just wasn’t the same. Wish me luck today as I use the following recipe in its entirety.
No changes or augmentations on this one, folks. You know it’s serious when I don’t change any component of a recipe, but this one will be made as stated.
Strawberry Pie (Strawn’s)
Source: Southern Living Off the Eaten Path On the Road Again
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup cold shortening, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. table salt
3 Tbsp. ice water
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Pinch of table salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. red liquid food coloring
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup heavy whipping cream (Bring it up to a pint is closer…oops…one change to be made)
1 Tbsp. sugar (Another change to be made…I would recommend closer to 3 Tbsp.)
1. Prepare Pastry: Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle ice water, one tablespoon at a time, over surface of mixture in bowl; stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Gather dough into a flat disk; cover and chill 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp.
3. Line pastry with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove weights and foil; bake 15-20 more minutes or until golden brown, shielding edges if necessary. Cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Prepare Strawberry Filling: Combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan; stir in 3 tablespoons water until a past forms. Slowly stir in 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in lemon juice and food coloring. Remove from heat. Fill a large bowl with ice; place pan in ice, and let stand, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until cool. Stir in strawberries.
5. Beat whipping cream until foamy; gradually add sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
6. Spread filling in piecrust. Top with whipped cream. Chill at least 2 hours. Makes: 8 servings.
By the way, this is an excellent cookbook. I plan on making the Gelato di Superior Pub Cookie from the Arkansas section of the cookbook, scooped out in 1/2 cup portions and containing such goodies as oats, coconut, chocolate chips, pretzel sticks, and Oreos. Muffin has been wanting to make cookies, so this looks like the cookie to make…next week when things aren’t so crazy.
Happy Patriotic Holidays, everyone!