When strawberries are in season, they are red, ripe and absolutely gorgeous. So gorgeous in fact, that they need to be displayed in a pie as beautiful as they are. This pie is the perfect vehicle to show off the star of the spring season. The contrast of black, white and red is artwork on a plate.
This pie looks impressive, so don’t tell anyone how easy it is to make. I start by making the vanilla cream filling. If you can stir, then you can make a custard. The addition of the vanilla bean adds a floral note, not to mention how pretty the little black flecks look throughout the cream. I like to slice my strawberries in half, and keep the green stem. I think that it looks nice this way, but you can arrange the berries however you like.
Strawberry Cream Pie
For the vanilla cream filling:
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups half-and-half
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, seeded and scraped
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 quart strawberries
1/4 cup strawberry jelly
Begin by making the filling. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, flour, salt and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together half-and-half, egg yolks and vanilla bean. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the cornstarch mixing, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. When it thickens, remove from heat, and push through a fine sieve. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours. This can be made 24 hours ahead of time.
To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the cookie crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes, cool completely on a rack.
Pour the vanilla filling into the cooled crust. Cut strawberries in half, and arrange over the top of the pie. Melt the jelly in a small saucepan over low heat. Brush the jelly over the strawberries.
Keep the pie in the fridge until ready to serve.
chocolate, dessert, pie, strawberry, summer
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