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Monday, July 18, 2011

Mom's Blue Ribbon French Glaze Strawberry Pie

This strawberry pie is special. It's not your average grocery store or bakery pie.  It's refreshing, vibrant, and delicious.  It's my favorite desert, which says a lot growing up with a baker who makes 8 pies for Thanksgiving, never mind her cakes or cherry cream cheesecake.

For years my mother, Jeanine Bass, submitted her strawberry pie into the Orange County Fair.  Every year she won a blue ribbon and usually the best in category.   At the fair, most pies would be on display missing a small sliver that was tasted for judging.  That wasn't true of my mom's strawberry pie. They were half eaten, the judges just couldn't stop with a little taste! One year, our lives got more complicated with kids and activities so she wasn't able to submit a pie to the fair. That year no blue ribbons were awarded to the fruit pies... everyone missed her amazing strawberry pie.

One of my childhood favorite memories of my mother baking her pies was hoping that she didn't use all of the glaze. If we were good and helped her in the kitchen making the crust or stacking the berries she would give us a bowl of fresh strawberries and the left over glaze to dip them into.

Grammy's Pie Crust
Makes 1 covered pie or two single pies.

3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup warm water

Sift flour and salt together.
Cut in shortening until crumbled.
Add water and mix until dough is consistent.
Divide dough in half.
Flour board and rolling pin then roll out dough to your desired size.
Place dough in pie plate.
Crimp edges of pie with thumb and forefingers.
Poke fork into bottom of pie crust for ventilation.
Bake pie crust for 25-30 minutes at 350 or until lightly golden and flaky.
Cool crust for an hour.

Mom's Blue Ribbon French Glaze Strawberry Pie

1/2 flat of strawberries (6 small green baskets)
8 ounce cream cheese (You can reduce to 4oz if you want but it tastes the best with all 8)
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Wash, drain and hull strawberries.
Spread cream cheese over bottom of cooled pie shell.
On top of cream cheese, place strawberries upside down, piling two layers till half of the strawberries are used.
Mash and strain remaining berries until 1.5 cups of juice is extracted. If you can't make enough juice, add water to make 1.5 cups. (It tastes better with all berry juice and no water)
Add juice to a pot.
Mix sugar and cornstarch together then stir into to the juice.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until boiling.
Boil for 1 minute. Set pot aside to cool slightly but still liquid.
Pour glaze over stacked berries in the pie shell.
Chill pie about 2 hours.

Best served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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