The Tale of the Two Strawberry Pies
Once upon a time, there was the tale of two strawberry pies. When summer comes, there’s nothing that says summer more than fresh strawberries and a trip to the farm for strawberry picking. We are very fortunate here in Louisville, KY to have many local farms within a short drive. One of our favorites is Joe Huber’s Farm in Indiana. A short 30-minute drive from our house, this little road trip gives the kids a view into something other than daily suburban life.
We recently went strawberry picking at Joe Huber’s, and thankfully the teenager agreed to come along. It’s a great family outing, although I think I was the only one really picking the strawberries as opposed to just goofing around.
We came home with tons of fresh strawberries and lots of ideas about delicious desserts to make. Really, there is nothing better than a fresh strawberry during peak season.
It ended up being very fortunate that we had so many fresh strawberries on hand. The day after strawberry picking I invited my parents over for dinner. It was very last minute and I needed a quick hands-off dessert that I could make in no time.
What to make with little notice and no time? Strawberry Pie. Easy, quick and oh so delicious.
Warm Strawberry Pie
Growing up my mother often made a warm strawberry blueberry pie so my first thought was a warm strawberry pie. Looking around for a recipe though I came upon many recipes for a cold strawberry pie incorporating jello or gelatin. Those looked good, but since my parents were coming for dinner, I decided to stick with a warm pie.
Enter Neely’s Strawberry Pie from Food Network. Generally, I tend to make up recipes from compiling various parts of many different recipes that I like, but when I use a recipe straight from a different source, I like to give credit where credit is due.
This recipe was so incredibly easy – comes together in no time and the rewards for making it are immense. I used a store-bought refrigerated roll out pie crust to save time. Other than the time it takes to clean and cut the strawberries, this is one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. Simply mix a few ingredients together in a bowl, pour into the pie crust and bake. Voila, juicy bursting with flavor warm strawberry pie in no time.
I served this pie warm with vanilla bean ice cream. The Neely’s recipe pairs it with Strawberry Whip Cream, but I prefer the contrast of the warm pie with the cold ice cream.
Warm Baked Strawberry Pie
2 sheets roll-our refrigerated pie crust
2 tablespoons butter, melted
5 cups of strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
pinch of salt.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out 1 sheet of pie crust and put in a 9 inch pie shell. Crimp the edges.
Cut lattice strips or cookie cutter shapes from the other sheet of pie dough and set aside to put on the top of the pie.
In a medium bowl, mix all filling ingredients and pour into the crust.
Arrange lattice strips or cut out pie shapes on top of filling. Brush crust with melted butter and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until crust is brown, approximately 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool. Serve warm.
I was feeling very full of myself when serving this for dessert until my tween promptly burst my bubble by proclaiming that warm strawberries were gross. She hated the pie. When I mentioned that I could have made a cold pie with a jello-like filling her eyes got wide, and like any tween, she exclaimed “Well, that would have been WAY better than this. You should have made that pie instead.”
And so, the Tale of Two Strawberry Pies was born. I was up to the challenge to see what pie the family would like best. The next day I promptly made cold version of strawberry pie.
Cold Strawberry Pie
For this recipe, I did as I generally do – looked around at different recipes and picked what I liked best. I also reduced slightly the amount of gelatin in the recipe. Almost all kids are crazy about jello, but personally I don’t like the texture. I would rather have a pie filled to the brim with strawberries and just enough gelatin to hold it together.
This pie was just as easy as the other pie to make, so to me, these are both exceptional summer dessert recipes. No one wants to be in the kitchen for hours slaving over a dessert during the summer. These recipes offer the best of both worlds: little time to prepare but refreshingly yummy dessert to devour.
Similar to the warm pie, this pie is fairly hands off. A little more preparation with baking the pie crust and heating the strawberry jam, but all in all easy to put together, especially if you are pressed for time. Just account for letting the pie set up at least 4 hours or overnight.
Cold Strawberry Pie
1 frozen or refrigerated pie crust
1 jar of jam, 10-12 ounces
2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 packets of unflavored gelatin
1 cup of water
Bake pie crust according to package directions. Remove from oven and let completely cool before using.
Add gelatin to water and let sit 5 minutes.
While gelatin is sitting, heat jam in saucepan over low heat. Add the jam to the gelatin.
Toss strawberries, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Add jam/gelatin mixture and combine.
Pour mixture into pie crust.
Refrigerate until mixture is set, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Top with Strawberry Whip Cream.
Strawberry Whip Cream
Like I said, I am not a fan of gelatin or jello, so this pie for the most part was not my favorite. Nonetheless, I would eat it alone for the Strawberry Whip Cream. The Strawberry Whip Cream was actually a part of the Neely’s Strawberry Pie recipe, but I thought it would be much better paired with the cold strawberry pie.
Let me just say this – I would eat bowls of this whip cream by itself. Bowls and bowls. This is one time the kids were fighting over who was going to lick the bowl.
Like the other recipes, the Strawberry Whip Cream recipe is easy and quick. I increased the original recipe in order to have plenty to fully cover the strawberry pie.
This recipe makes a little extra, but who’s going to complain about extra Strawberry Whip Cream?
Strawberry Whip Cream
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
3/4 cups strawberry jam
Beat the heavy cream in a large bowl until thick.
Add the vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar.
Add the jam, a little at a time until soft peaks form.
Refrigerate if not using immediately.
The tween LOVED the cold strawberry pie. In her words “This is how strawberries should be – cold. Making them warm was just gross.”
And so goes the tale of two strawberry pies – one warm, one cold, both delicious in their own right. Personally, I love the warm strawberry pie. And the strawberry whip cream. I’d eat that for dessert alone. The girls preferred the cold strawberry pie, and not surprisingly, the teen was completely non-committal and didn’t care. Although he was happy to eat the whipped cream.
Which one will be your favorite?