Strawberries from Florida are finally in the grocery stores here and I am in Heaven! First strawberries are a distraction from cold temperatures and a reminder that spring is on the way. I’ve already made Strawberry Vanilla Jam and Strawberry Sugar and was craving a fresh sweet that could be enjoyed for dessert or breakfast.
I made some strawberry cream biscuits that were good, but didn’t quite have the fresh tart strawberry flavor I was after. I also wanted something easy and uncomplicated. That could only come from pie or cobbler. This Easy Strawberry Pie with an equally easy press-in pie crust checked off all the boxes!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
For the Strawberry Pie Filling:
- Rinse, stem and quarter 5 cups of fresh strawberries and place in a medium bowl
- Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- Add pinch of salt
- Add 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Add 3 tablespoons potato starch (or 5 tablespoons cornstarch)
- Stir and let the strawberry mixture macerate while you
toil overmake the easy press in pie crust
For the Easy Press-In Pie Crust:
- Place 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour in a medium bowl
- Add 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
- Mix until the flour is coated
- Add 2-3 tablespoons water, milk or buttermilk one tablespoon at a time until the mixture clumps
- Press the crust into your 8 to 9 inch pie plate, using a straight sided measuring cup to push the crust mixture up the sides and even out the bottom. Keep pressing until you have an even crust with a little dough on the rim to press and crimp.
To Finish your Easy Strawberry Pie:
- Pour the strawberry filling into the press-in pie crust
- Even the filling out with the back of a large spoon
- Place filled pie on a baking sheet
- Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 35 to 45 minutes longer
- Remove pie from oven and let cool completely
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before
Tips and Tricks:
For a dairy free crust, stick to using a mild flavored vegetable oil (like soy or canola) and water for the liquids.
If you don’t need a dairy free crust, try lifting up the flavor by using browned butter for the fat and buttermilk for the liquid. You’ll get a faint shortbread flavor that compliments the strawberries nicely.
If you want to vary the flours in the crust try subbing in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of whole wheat, oat or coconut flour for the flour called for in the recipe. Nut flours would also be a great addition, simply replace up to 1/2 cup of the flour with finely ground nuts or nut flour.
I always have potato starch in the pantry for jam making and gluten free baking. You can pretty much find it in any stores and online these days. If you don’t have it, use cornstarch. You’ll have a prettier pie with potato starch as it results in a more transparent mixture.
After pulling the pie out of the oven, push the top layer of berries down gently with a spoon or pastry brush. This will make sure all the berries are coated with sugary gooeyness and they won’t look dry.
The chill time in the refrigerator helps ensure a “set” pie. If you skip the chill time, you’ll run the risk of a runny pie!
Serve plain, with ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream. I prefer it plain (it makes a great breakfast!) with a cold glass of milk.
Going to the U-Pick Berry Farm?!? Pick extra berries and make this filling to freeze. You can freeze the filling in plastic zip top bags so you can make this pie year round! Simply thaw the filling in the bag in the refrigerator ahead of pie baking time.