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P is for Pie

Food by Letter – P is for Pie

“Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” – David Mamet

According to a national survey, 1 in 5 Americans has claimed to have eaten an entire pie by themselves. Do you belong to this dream team?

You could say we are big fans of pie around here. From custard pies and fruit-filled delicacies to savory meat pies that stick to your ribs, pies are one of our favorite foods. And we’re not alone…around $700 million in pies are sold in grocery stores every year, this doesn’t even include restaurants! If you lined up the number of pies sold in one year, they would circle the globe. 

Pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians, where it took on many shapes and forms over centuries of baking. Pie eventually made its way to America with the first English settlers. The term “as American as apple pie” traces all the way back to 14th-century England. Pilgrims brought their pie-making skills, along with apple seeds, to America. As the popularity of apple pie spread throughout the nation, the phrase grew to symbolize American prosperity.

What’s your favorite? According to a 2018 American Pie Council survey, 19% of Americans prefer apple pie, followed by pumpkin at 13%, pecan at 12%, banana cream at 10%, and cherry at 9%. 

There are so many recipes for amazing pies, but we wanted to keep it simple and seasonal with a Strawberry and Cream pie recipe from Wild Wild Whisk. Read on for this homemade summertime treat!

Ingredients

For the pie crust

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 rounded tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1/4 rounded tsp kosher salt
  • 5 oz unsalted butter, cold
  • 3 tbsp water, cold
  • Extra flour for rolling

For the cream filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract 

For the fruit filling

  • 2 lbs fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Prepare the fruit filling

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries. Quarter the big ones and halve the small ones. Toss strawberries with 1/4 cup of sugar in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Make the dough

  1. Add flour, sugar, and salt to a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Then transfer to a food processor fitted with the dough blade.
  2. Cube the cold butter and add to the flour mixture. Pulse several times until butter is about pea size, variation in size is okay but no smaller than a pea.
  3. Turn the food processor to the “on” position and drizzle cold water over the dough mixture through the water hole, as soon as the dough starts to pull together turn the food processor off. You may need to stop the food processor in between and get a spatula to get the flour at the bottom to mix up.
  4. Turn the dough out on the counter or cutting board and shape it into a disk. Wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator for an hour.

Prepare and bake the crust

  1. Take the pie dough out of the fridge and roll it into a circle about 2” larger than your pie dish. Use extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter and roller.
  2. Carefully place the dough over the pie dish, lightly press the dough into the bottom and side of the pie dish, let the excess dough hang over the side.
  3. Trim some of the excess dough if necessary to create an even edge, but leave enough to fold under and flute the edge.
  4. Cover the prepared pie dough with plastic wrap and freeze for 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Take the frozen pie crust out of the freezer and poke holes with a fork on the bottom and side.
  7. Line the frozen pie crust with parchment paper, large enough to cover the crust completely.
  8. Add pie weights or dry beans on top of the parchment paper, enough to fill to the top.
  9. Bake pie crust for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove pie weights or beans, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown.
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.

Prepare the cream filling

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream to a stiff peak, set aside.
  2. In another mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese with sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture, fold by hand using a spatula until thoroughly mixed. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Assemble the pie (the best part!)

  1. Spoon the cream mixture into the cool crust; level out the top. Then spoon the strawberries on top of the cream using a slotted spoon.
  2. Drizzle the strawberry juice over the top or reserve the juice to drizzle over the pie when served.
  3. Keep refrigerated.
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