This pie comes from the beautiful cookbook Southern Pies written by the talented Nancie McDermott. I recently adapted her simple and rich Chocolate Chess Pie over at The Kitchn, and felt I had to share this recipe with you as well. It's perfect for the last of this year's lingering farmers' market strawberries, but it will work well with frozen berries, too. I can't think of a better (or easier) treat to make for your dad this Father's Day. I know he'll love it.
Source: Adapted from Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott
Serves 8 - 10
When I first made this pie, it made a little too much pie filling, so I've adapted it here to make a bit less. Also, my father has diabetes, so I try to be mindful when I cook for him. I've cut the sugar in my version so that he doesn't have to feel guilty about enjoying it (and neither do I!). Feel free to add another 1/4 cup if you'd like.
For the graham cracker crust:
1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15 squares)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
For the filling:
5 cups hulled, coarsely chopped strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup sugar (or up to 3/4 cup)
1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
Sliced strawberries, for garnish
For the graham cracker crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar and mix well. Pour in the melted butter and mix until crumbs are coated evenly. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into a 9- inch pie pan, while pushing and smoothing up the sides to create a good edge. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, until crust is just golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.
For the filling, add strawberries, sugar, and salt into a heavy sauce pan or dutch oven. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat until the berries create a thick syrup while some chunks remain intact, approximately 5 minutes.
Meanwhile add cornstarch to 1/3 cup cold water and whisk until smooth. Pour cornstarch mixture into the strawberry syrup and continue to cook until the sauce comes to a gentle boil again, about 3 - 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until it is very thick and holds medium peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled strawberry mixture until well combined and no cream remains visible. Pile the filling into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate until the pie is set and very cold, approximately 3 - 4 hours. Serve slices cold, garnished with sliced fresh berries.
Note: I still had a little bit of extra filling, which I stored in a Tupperware container in the fridge. The next day, I smoothed it over the remaining pie to make it look fresh and soft again.