Friday, August 13, 2010

Raw Strawberry Pie

Remember my pie fixation yesterday? Well, I ended up hauling myself over to Superstore where I found absolutely no garlic ("We haven't received any for three days. We don't know what's wrong with them!" Oh. Ok. Good enough, then.), but a ton of clearance strawberries. I know, I know. I had already bought a whole clamshell of them the day before, but these were 50% off and, ok, sure they had a few questionable berries in them, but otherwise, they weren't that bad looking. Honest. So I bought another package, rifled through it for the good ones, and set out to make a strawberry pie that's been calling my name since...2005.

Whoa. 2005? I've been thinking about making this pie for five years?! Holy. I had no idea.

At least they had a nice adventure out of the cupboard today

Unfortunately, it doesn't hold up very well to slicing, so you won't find any presentable, sliced, money shots (I tried, you guys. I used my good china and everything), but what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in taste.

I found it really satisfying and fresh. It's not too sweet and it really showcases the strawberry's flavour. The crust is my absolute favourite part, but that's because of the dates. I'm so glad I finally had an excuse to buy a bunch of dates. I love them. I might just end up eating some straight out of the package later today. And yes, this is Idle Husband approved. After having to convince him it was a pie (he was snacking on the berries straight out of the pie plate in the fridge thinking they were just sugar covered berries for snacking purposes), he had two pieces and inhaled them like it was his job. I think that warrants a seal of approval.

Raw Strawberry Pie
adapted from Domino Magazine, premiere issue, spring/summer 2005

2 lbs fresh strawberries, tops removed, quartered
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups slivered almonds
1 3/4 cups pitted dates
1 tsp water

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Cover and let sit while working on the crust. Lightly grease a 9" pie plate. In a food processor, process almonds until they resemble coarse sand.

check out those little almond bits

Pour the almonds into the pie plate. Next, place the dates and the teaspoon of water in the food processor and process until the dates start to come together. They sort of form one mass and start swirling around the processor like that. Add the dates to your almonds. With your hands, mix the two together until they're completely incorporated and they hold together. Press the mixture into the pie plate as evenly as possible (this was probably the hardest part of the recipe).

At this point, I chilled my crust for an hour and let the berries sit a while longer in the sugar. At the time, I thought it would be better and would result in a less juicy crust, but now I don't think it's necessary (and it really doesn't matter in the long run).

Using a slotted spoon, remove the berries from the juice and place into your pie crust. Allow the pie to chill for 2 hours before serving.


FYI: I didn't discard any of that berry juice, either. I used it to make a quick strawberry syrup. I'm sure there's a better method, but after boiling it for a while, it wasn't thickening up like I'd have liked. I think I should have added more sugar, but I added cornstarch instead. So it has a mild chalky taste to it. It still tastes like delicious strawberries, but I'm not going to endorse it because of the chalkiness? chalkyness? Oh you know what I mean. Adding more sugar probably would have been smarter.

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