Shall I tell you about two of my favorite things? One is a good mystery. Two is to-die-for pie. That “to-die-for” part is where they come together: Diane Mott Davidson, who writes “culinary mysteries” set close by in Colorado, includes recipes in her books. Her sleuth, you see, is a caterer by day.
Anyway, Davidson’s books are reliably fun and fast reads, great for a weekend when there’s not much going on. But tucked inside are recipes. Now, I’ve only made one of them. I always wondered if they were any good (after all, the books aren’t really cookbooks.) But this one looked so delish…
Oh my goodness.
I make this pie every summer. It is seriously my favorite fruit pie of all time. Except possibly the blueberry pie at the Camden Deli in Maine, which is ridiculous. My sister-in-law requested it for a family get-together today, and I thought it worth sharing, so here you go. One last strawberry grand slam of summer, then on to pumpkins.
Strawberry Super Pie
3/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp confectioners sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 pounds strawberries, divided
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 tsp vanilla extract (I used clear to keep the filling pure white)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Directions for crust:
Preheat oven to 375°. Mix the butter, flour, confectioners sugar, and pecans. Press into a buttered 10-inch pie plate. Bake 25 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely.
Directions for Topping:
Mash enough strawberries to equal 1 cup. Cut the tops off the rest of the strawberries and set aside. Place the cup of mashed strawberries and water in a saucepan. Mix sugar and cornstarch together and add to the strawberry mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil until mixture turns clear and thickened, about a minute. Let cool completely.
Directions for Filling:
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Carefully fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spread filling into cooled crusts and refrigerate.
When berry mixture is cool, the pie(s) can be assembled. The recipe calls for whole or halved strawberries to be stood on top of the cream filling, cut side down. When the entire filling is covered with whole strawberries, spoon cooled berry mixture over filling. Refrigerate pie until ready to serve. Any leftover topping can be served on toast or English muffins.
Makes 8-10 large servings
From Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson. Bantam Books, 1992.