Any day is pie day, because very few things are as comforting as pie. The homeyness, warmth and comfort of a good pie is almost always lurking in my mind. All kinds of pie: vegetable, tomato, squash, and fruit pies…any and ALL pie. Along with the comfort of making it, crust and all. Feeling the crust roll out from my french rolling pin, the jazz of Bill Evans playing on surround sound, the front of my vintage apron lightly dusted with flour, and the final glory of the baking pie wafting through my house, followed by Mac coming in the kitchen every ten minutes asking, “Is it ready, yet?” Then finally, the first taste. Pie heals everything. I have decided trees are not the answer…Pie is.
Strawberry Balsamic Pie
The Ingredients List
One recipe of your favorite pie crust dough for a 9-inch double pie crust.
1/4 cup (50 grams) plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed, remove stems, and quarter
1 small apple (cameo, gala, and golden delicious are all good for cooking) peel, and grate
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup (150 grams) packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground arrowroot
1 orange zested, (which is just over a tablespoon)
2 or 3 grinds fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Raw sugar, for finishing (optional)
The Preparation Method
Have ready, and refrigerated, one pastry-lined 9 inch pie plate and a pastry prepared for topping; such as a lattice or other design. To help the fruit juice evaporate, fruit pies require a lattice, or open style top crust.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons granulated sugar on the quartered strawberries, stir, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour.
Core, peel and grate the apple using the large holes on a box grater. Zest one orange. Drain the strawberries of excess liquid. Combine with the shredded apple and orange zest. Add the balsamic vinegar, and stir gently to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot, black pepper and salt. Fold the sugar mixture into the strawberries, and pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell. Arrange the lattice crust top, and crimp or style your edges. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
Position the oven racks at the bottom and center positions. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack (the pie will bubble over as it bakes). Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Brush the top pie crust with the egg wash, taking care not to smear the filling onto the crust as it will burn. Optional, sprinkle with raw sugar. I usually do not do this, because I am always looking for ways to cut calories.
Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the bottom oven rack. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set, and beginning to brown. With fruit pies, which tend to have a lot of juice, always begin baking on the lowest rack, with high heat, to bake and set the bottom crust. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Move the pie to the center rack. Continue baking, approximately 30 to 40 minutes more until the pastry is a deep golden brown, and the juices are bubbling throughout.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. This is important, because the pie will run if sliced while hot. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
For food safety, refrigerate after four hours.
This pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days.
A Special Note About Ingredient Pairings: As mustard is to a hot dog, as salt is to carmel, black pepper is to strawberries. Black pepper combined with strawberries, and a dash of balsamic vinegar is a culinary marriage made in heaven. Black pepper wakes up, warms and brings out the sweetness of strawberries. For a future post, I have a lovely, savory, strawberry raw soup recipe…stay tuned.
If strawberry pie is not your thing, here are a few other choices from past blog posts.
My Easy No Bake, Vegan Banana Pie
Of course what would a post about pie be without My Sweet Potato Pie, after all, I am a former East Texas Yam Queen.
When extra pie crust is on hand, make Pie Crust Cookies.
Phebe Phillips lives in Dallas where she worked for many years as a toy designer and manufacturer. In the photo is Piper the Puppy, created for the American Red Cross. Phebe’s Piper Project raised over $800,000. for the ARC.