Strawberry Cream Pie

Strawberries, mmm. Don’t you just love ’em? They’re just so pretty. And not to mention tasty.

The past two weeks have been quite hectic; I worked non-stop at the The Players Championship last week and then proceeded to get my wisdom teeth out the very next Monday. Needless to say, I haven’t been cooking anything worthy of mentioning. Think soup. And lots of smoothies. Ouch.

But today I finally felt like my usual self and was itching to whip something tasty up in the kitchen. I really want to work on my photography skills and wanted to make something that was visually appealing as well as delicious. Strawberries cover both issues for me, and ever since Southern Living came out with this scrumptious-looking Strawberry Pie recipe, I knew I had to try my hand at it! Strawberries are a great spring and summer fruit that are really abundant during this time of year.

I learned how to make a version of a fruit tart while I was in Italy, and the cream that fills this pie is very similar to the pastry cream I was taught there. Lots of cream and eggs whisked with tons of vanilla and thickened with some flour and sugar. It’s creamy and subtle, the perfect accompaniment for the lush strawberries. The crust is made from chocolate wafers and chocolate. I can’t resist the combination of strawberries and chocolate!

The strawberries are brushed with a strawberry glaze that just consists of the some strawberry jelly reduced and mixed with some orange liqueur. It’s really a simple recipe. The only hard part is waiting for the pie to set! You really have to make this. It’s the perfect dessert.

Strawberry Cream Pie slightly adapted from Southern Living Magazine

3 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

3 cups half-and-half

6 egg yolks

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 sleeves Oreo cookies, cream removed

1/2 4 oz. package of semisweet chocolate baking bar, chopped

1 stick butter, melted

16 oz. strawberries

1/4 cup strawberry jam

1 tbsp. Triple Sec

In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch, flour, salt, and 2/3 cup sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, egg yolks, and vanilla. With the heat on medium, slowly pour in the cream mixture to the sauce pan, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk together and slowly bring to a boil. Be careful not to burn! Once the mixture is boiling it will thicken significantly. Cook for at least 1 minute at this temperature, whisking constantly, until the mixture is a thick cream. Take off heat and pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, pulse the chocolate and chocolate cookies in a food processer until finely crumbled. Pour into a large bowl and add 1/3 cup sugar and melted butter. Mix together and then press into a lightly greased 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Take out and let cool completely.

Once the pie shell has cooled and the cream is chilled, pour the cream over the pie shell and spread around. Slice the strawberries and decorate over the cream any way you’d like. In a small saucepan, melt the strawberry jelly until liquid, just a few minutes. Then add the liqueur. Brush over the top of the strawberries for a sweet glaze and a glossy finish. Chill at least for another 30 minutes until the pie is firmly set. Slice and enjoy!

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