When the weather starts to turn warmer and the late spring/early summer fruits and vegetables start sprouting up at the markets, I begin dreaming of my mom’s strawberry glazed pie. We made this pie almost every year for as far back as I can remember. Mom would take my sisters and myself to the grocery store to pick a couple baskets of berries. Once back home, we were allowed to assist in trimming and chopping the berries, and one lucky girl (on a rotating basis) would get to pull the piping hot crust from the oven. Our favorite sous-chef task, though, was smashing the strawberries for the syrup.
A couple of years ago, I emailed my mom for the recipe. As I followed the directions, my excitement kept rising as I got closer and closer to my childhood favorite step. Finally, the moment arrived: it was time to smash. I picked up the fork and pressed it firmly into the berries. The first few mashes were extremely satisfying. As I continued, though, my forearm grew tired. Time started to drag. While most of the berries complied, allowing themselves to be smushed to a juicy smithering, some stubborn ones refused to be smashed.
“Meh,” I thought to myself. “This is probably good enough.”
Good enough it was not. The pie was as scrumptious as I remembered, but it was lumpy in appearance. Actually, it was quite grotesque. I have since adapted to my personal recipe, adding a “put-in-the-blender” step. Now, if you happen to have children, you may want to keep the “smash” step. While they are reducing the bowl of chopped berries to a messy pulp, you’ll be able to do the dishes. Then go ahead, make yourself a warm cup of coffee and catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to finish. You’ll probably even have time to go for a long run. By the time you’ve taken a hot shower, the kids will be just about finished smashing the strawberries. I promise, they won’t even know you were gone, they’ll be enjoying it so much!
Regardless of your smashing process, this is a fantastic pie to make with your family or by yourself. I hope you enjoy it as much as my entire family does.
Strawberry Glazed Pie
- 1 thawed pie crust, either store bought or homemade (Note 1)
- 3 cups whole “pretty” strawberries, trimmed
- 1 cup chopped “ugly” strawberries
- 1 cup Mint Simple Syrup (recipe below)
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- Mint leaves, garnish (optional)
- Whipped cream (optional)
1. Heat oven to 350° F.
2. Place crust in pie tin. Trim excess crust. Using a fork, poke the bottom and sides of the pie a couple of times. (This will prevent the crust from “bubbling”.)
3. Put pie crust in the oven and bake according to the directions, or until it is a light golden color (typically 15-20 minutes).
4. Remove crust from the oven. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
5. Once crust is slightly cooled, place whole “pretty” strawberries in crust. (Note 2)
6. Warm mint syrup and “ugly” strawberries in a small saucepan at medium temperate (4-6 on a dial of 10) for 1 minute.
7. Blend syrup using either an emersion blender or a traditional upright blender. If you employed the “smashing” technique, skip this step.
- Warning: When pouring the mixture back and forth between the saucepan and an upright blender, remember the mixture is extremely hot. It may bubble and pop hot sprays of syrup.
8. Sift the cornstarch slowly into syrup, stirring constantly until all cornstarch is incorporated.
9. Let syrup simmer for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken slightly.
10. Turn off heat and pout hot syrup over the “pretty strawberries until you reach just below the brim of the crust.
11. Allow to cool to room temperature (20-30 minutes), then place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
12. Serve chilled. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with mint leaves if desired.
Note 1: If you are making your own crust, half or omit the sugar. The pie is very sweet and actually tastes better with a less sugary crust.
Note 2: Sometimes I have extra strawberries, or just want more filler. Slice extra berries lengthwise and insert into gaps as you desire.
Mint Simple Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat.
2. Once liquid reached a rolling boil, allow to simmer for 3 more minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature (20-30 minutes).
4. Strain out mint leaves. Refrigerate syrup in an air tight container.
5. Simple syrup will keep for 2 weeks.