Nostalgic Fresh Strawberry Pie
Every Memorial Day weekend, I honor a cherished tradition by preparing my late mother's recipe for fresh strawberry pie. These delightful treats hold a special place in the hearts of those who grew up in the South or dined at a Shoney's restaurant. Despite living in Maine now, these pies provide me with a delicious link to my childhood and countless happy memories. I've decided to share this delightful recipe due to numerous requests, hoping to bring a taste of the past to a new audience.
- 1 (12-ounce) can of Sprite or 7-Up
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry jello
- 1 (16-ounce) container of strawberries. [Note: For a fuller pie or a more towering creation, consider using up to 32 oz of strawberries. However, 16 oz is sufficient for a standard pie shell.]
- 1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust (I personally opt for the frozen deep dish variety), blind-baked following the package instructions
- Creating the Glaze:
- In a medium-sized pot, bring the Sprite/7-UP and cornstarch to a gentle boil. Continue boiling until the liquid turns nearly clear, which usually takes around 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and incorporate the strawberry jello, ensuring thorough mixing.
- Cooling Period:
- Allow the glaze to cool down to room temperature, a process that typically takes 15-20 minutes. During this time, take the opportunity to clean, dry, and trim your strawberries. My personal preference is to assemble the pie akin to my mother's style—using similar-sized berries, pointed side up. However, many also create this pie with approximately 1/2 inch wide sliced strawberries. Both techniques yield excellent results.
- Assembly and Filling:
- As the glaze cools and thickens slightly, you'll notice it's ready for the next step. Gently drizzle the glaze over the strawberries you've arranged within the pie shell. Ensure that each berry is covered, as this will also serve to fill the pie shell.
- Handy Tips:
- If the glaze thickens excessively and becomes challenging to drizzle, gently warm it on the stovetop for a minute, stirring over heat. This will restore its desired consistency.
- It's crucial to indulge in this pie on the very day it's prepared. As tempting as it might be to save some for later, the berries have a tendency to release moisture overnight, potentially resulting in a soggy pie shell.
And there you have it, a slice of nostalgia and deliciousness in the form of Fresh Strawberry Pie. This recipe, passed down from my beloved mother, has the power to evoke cherished memories and provide a taste of the past. As I pay homage to my Southern roots, I also extend this delectable experience to my new community here in Maine. So, gather your ingredients and embark on a journey back in time as you relish this wonderful creation. Just remember, this pie is best enjoyed fresh, as its flavors and textures are meant to be savored on the very day they're brought to life.