Monday, April 22, 2013

Baked Strawberry Pie with Gluten Free Crust

So most birthdays we do cake... but it used to be that around spring we'd have strawberry pie... sometimes just because and sometimes for my mom's birthday since that's what she always had growing up for her birthday. 

So this year I decided I'd surprise mom and make her a strawberry pie for her birthday since she has been out of town on a church retreat. But our fridge was full to the brim with chicken stock and a million quart containers of Brunswick stew from the Spring Stew fundraiser my Dad and the men's group do at the church. Therefore the traditional gelatin based strawberry pie we always have wasn't going to have somewhere to set up in the fridge. 

Also gelatin kind of freaks me out because you never know if you've done the recipe right until its been 24 hours and you can see if the filling has set up and I didn't feel like possibly messing it up. (Yes, I know, I have perfectionist issues!) Plus the idea of a baked pie to go with the Homestead Creamery Vanilla Ice Cream I'd bought at our local farmer's market when I bought the strawberries just sounded better. 

So after doing a bit of recipe searching on the web I found what I felt would be the tastiest and semi easiest pie to bake (number of ingredients wise) and got to work!

While I am no longer following a strictly gluten free diet thanks to having my celiac tests come back negative... I used a gluten free pie crust because well... it is SERIOUSLY the best pie crust ever!

The recipe I took my cues from The Little Epicurean blog and I'm going to have to go back to visit because she had lovely photographs and lots of recipes I think I'd enjoy! 

I followed her recipe for the filling with a few adjustments along with her directions for pie construction but used my own gluten free pie crust.

Once you make this pie... you will find the idea of eating any store bought Strawberry Pie offensive! Why would you when you can have this goodness without a huge effort!?

So here it goes:
Gluten Free Baked Strawberry Pie:
(Modified Version of The Little Epicurians)
2 quarts washed hulled and sliced Strawberries (next time I'm going to use 3 quarts)
1/2 cup granulated sugar or more depending on strawberries sweetness (I used closer to 1 cup)
3 tbs cornstarch (next time I plan on doubling this to 6 tbs or testing out using tapioca powder)
1/2 tsp sea salt

For the crust:
I use Pamela's Bread Mix and follow the recipe on the back for Pie Crust.  I highly recommend it! It has the perfect balance of sweet and savory so it works for either kind of pie. It also comes out nice and flaky and holds up really well to juicy fillings. All you need to add is butter &/ or shortening ( I use both) and some ice cold water. Bonus... its Gluten Free but your friends and family will never know!
A few tbs milk
Large grain sugar- either turbino or decorative clear sugar sprinkles

To Make:
1. Follow recipe for pie crust. 
2. Once chilled roll out 1 ball of dough and carefully (extra careful because gluten free tends to break much easier than regular flour) place dough over greased pie dish and gently press into form. Trim off excess around edge using a knife. 
3. Place pie dish in fridge to chill while preparing strawberries. Also Preheat Oven to 450.
4. Wash, hull and drain strawberries. Slice- I sliced mine into 1/4 inch thick slices instead of quartering. 
5. Place stawberries in mixing bowl and add sugar (as much as you need according to how sweet your berries are) cornstarch and salt. Mix well with a spoon, the berries will naturally start giving off some juice which will help everything blend. 
6. Pull out pie dish and gently pour berries into the pie
7. Roll out your top crust between two sheets of parchement paper and gently lay over the top. Using thumbs firmly press crust around edges or use a fork
8. Cut 4 slits in pie around center to allow steam to escape
9. Brush a light coating of milk over crust and then sprinkle large grain sugar over
10. Bake in oven at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn down to 350 and bake another 45 turning pie every 15-20 so crust bakes evenly!

Let stand for at least an hour or two before serving. 

 If you don't have parchment paper you can use wax paper but seriously... there are so many uses for parchment paper.. you should have it in your kitchen as a staple!

The easiest/ best way to transfer your rolled out dough to place into or over pie dish without tearing dough... use your rolling pin and preferably 2 hands... but hey, I needed a photo! Also keep parchment paper along for the ride to keep dough from sticking to itself!

And VOILA! A beautifully baked Strawberry Pie! As you can see below... my pie had some leakage issues once we cut into it. All the same it tasted delicious! But I'm going to play around next time and make mini pies so I can figure out if adding more cornstarch or some tapioca and in what amount will do the trick!

We enjoyed the delectable sweet strawberry goodness and flaky gluten free crust with some Homestead Creamery Ice Cream all the same! The filling was delicious.. but seriously the crust... we all LOVE how good that Pamela's Gluten Free crust is!

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