Every time I visit the west coast, I’m completely enamored. The weather (especially the lack of humidity), the beaches, the year-round access to fabulous produce… I could go on, but I’m pretty sure I’ve rambled about this more than once before. Several years ago, California Strawberries sent me to visit some of their farms, and I think that’s when I began seriously incorporating strawberries into recipes on a regular basis. There are so many creative ways to use them in both sweet and savory dishes (not to mention that they’re extremely healthy, though that might be a bit of a contradictory statement in a pie post). May is National Strawberry Month, and this pie is a wonderful way to highlight strawberries without too much fuss. It’s also a lovely recipe for Mother’s Day, which is just around the corner.
While May is peak season, strawberries are luckily available year-round. I’m thinking this pie would be a nice option for Valentine’s Day. In addition to their health benefits (vitamins, antioxidants, dietary fiber, etc), strawberries are naturally very sweet, so this recipe doesn’t need nearly as much sugar as other pies.
When purchasing strawberries for recipes or to enjoy by themselves, you always want to look for plump, bright red berries that have no visible white shoulders or bruising, and that have a bright green calyx (top).
If you’ve never baked a pie before, I know it can seem intimidating. Here are a few tips for beginners:
- You want to work with pie dough while it’s cold, but not so cold that it cracks when you try to roll it out. Let the dough sit for a few minutes after removing it from the fridge. I’ve written some more in depth tips specifically about working with dough in this post. If you’d prefer, you can use store-bought pie dough.
- The filling will continue to thicken and set as it cools, so you don’t want to slice into the pie immediately after removing it from the oven.
- Homemade pie does not need to look perfect. Rustic food is comfort food.
To celebrate National #StrawberryMonth, California strawberries is giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer to one lucky winner. Just hop over to their Heart of Farmers blog & vote on your favorite strawberry recipes!
- 12 ounces (approximately 2½ cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 ounces (approximately ¼ cup) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- ⅓ cup cold water
- 4 pounds (approximately 2 cups) ripe California Strawberries (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (plus more as needed)
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (plus more as needed)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- Place the all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse several times to combine the ingredients. Add the butter and pulse several more times until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal (a few larger pieces here and there are fine).
- With the machine running, swiftly add the cold water until the dough has just barely formed. It will look crumbly, but should form dough when pressed together.
- Divide into ⅔ and ⅓ portions, wrap in plastic, press into discs, and chill for one hour or overnight.
- Wash and hull the strawberries. Slice the medium and smaller strawberries in half, while slicing the larger berries into quarters. Place in a large bowl, and add the lemon juice, orange juice, zest, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cornstarch, stirring to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Allow the strawberries to macerate for 40-45 minutes, stirring periodically. You can optionally taste the liquid, and add more sugar or lemon juice if desired. (Note: there will be a cornstarch aftertaste which will go away once the pie is baked).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. On a floured surface, roll out the larger portion of dough to approximately 12 inches in diameter. Carefully roll into a 9½ inch pie pan. The dough should hang over the edges of the pan by at least 1 inch. Add the strawberry filling.
- Re-flour the surface if necessary, and roll the second portion of dough to approximately 10 inches in diameter. Cut 8 even strips, and layer them in a lattice pattern over the filling. Trim off any excess overhang from the lattice, and then fold up the bottom overhang so it sits on top of the strips. Using a fork, crimp the edge of the dough all the way around the pan.
- Brush the cream on top of the lattice and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
- Set the pie pan on a baking sheet, and place into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden.
- Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing.
This post is sponsored by California Strawberries. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Savory Simple!