As a baby, I was pretty spoiled. Not that I remember it, but my mom made all my baby food at home and introduced me to a bunch of different fresh and healthy foods. She tells one story about the amazing amount of fresh grouper I could eat in a single sitting, hardly leaving any for her to eat. But somewhere along the line I became a picky eater. As a kid, sandwiches from Subway where strictly turkey and cheese only, no mayo, mustard, lettuce or tomatoes. I gawked at friends who enjoyed salad (I’m looking at you, Sarah!) and I absolutely hated fruit pies and desserts. It wasn’t that I didn’t like healthy food, but I most certainly preferred my food to be plain.
I’m not sure when the shift occurred, but I eventually moved past my picky eating ways and discovered everything I had been missing. And as far as fruit desserts go, strawberry pie was my gateway drug to a whole world of desserts I had left undiscovered in years past. To this day, I don’t think there is any fruit dessert I enjoy more than a fresh slice of strawberry pie topped with lots of whipped cream.
The one thing I’ve always disliked about most strawberry pie recipes is the reliance on strawberry gelatin to give the pie it’s rich red color and bind the strawberries together. I’ve never really been a fan of Jell-O (just a personal preference) and call me crazy, but I also don’t really care for artificially-colored foods. Strawberries are already red. Why do we need to add red food coloring?
When I stumbled upon this recipe from Taste of Home, I was immediately drawn to the simplicity of the ingredient list. Just sugar, water, cornstarch and strawberries are all that go into the pie filling. And that great red color? It comes from strawberries. How novel! By mashing the 1 cup of the berries and stirring it into the sugar, cornstarch and water mixture, the base of the glaze gets a naturally-red color without a lot of extra stuff. And the taste just perfectly sweet, with plenty of ripe berry flavor bursting forth in each bite.
Strawberry Glaze Pie
Recipe from Taste of Home
*1 recipe of your favorite pie crust for a 9-inch pie, baked and cooled (I used this recipe and had extra crust left over)
*6 cups hulled and cut strawberries (in halves or quarters, depending on the size of your strawberries)
*1 cup sugar
*3 tablespoons cornstarch
*3/4 cup water
*Make sure your pie crust is re-baked before beginning on the filling. I always forget this, and then end up baking my crust in a hurry.
*With a fork or pastry blender, mash 1 cup of the strawberries until almost smooth. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir until well combined. Add the water to the pan and stir until combined. Stir in the mashed berries. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat. Pour mixture over the remaining strawberries and toss to coat.
*Spoon glazed strawberries into the pre-baked shell. Chill for at least 1 to 2 hours, until filling is set and cool. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.