Monday, May 26, 2014

Strawberry Crumble Pie

I know pie is a dessert welcomed year round, but I love baking pies in the summer time. Fresh fruit is in abundance and let's face it, berries can make for some of the greatest pies ever. Strawberry crumble in particular is one that I've been thinking about for quite some time now. I remember Beth from The World Needs More Pie sharing this recipe last summer on her Facebook page. It's one of her best selling pies at her Pitchfork Pie Stand in Eldon, Iowa.

I love following Beth's story of living in the American Gothic House and of her successful pie stand. I recently purchased her new cookbook and have loved reading through its entirety. She shares so many wonderful looking recipes for pie, but this one in particular stuck out at me.

We had some friends over Saturday evening to grill and enjoy a fire around the fire pit. This pie seemed like the perfect ending to our meal, in fact, it was. Paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was simply divine.

While strawberries aren't quite in season in Iowa, I've been having some good luck with ones in the grocery store. The sweet strawberries are the star of this dessert, not requiring much for additional sugar. Taking the extra time to make your own pie crust is essential, too. It's really very easy and the taste is so much better than anything store bought.

Rhubarb is in season right now, take advantage and add some into this pie. Or how about another type of berry? Blueberries would be a great addition! I'm looking forward to finding some mini pie tins and making up some mini pies for our friends and neighbors. Something about rolling out the pie dough, crimping the edges of the crust and filling those pie shells with fruit or whatever filling, is therapeutic. It's a stress-reliever and like Beth says, pie really does heal and makes the world a better place. And I'm all for that.

Strawberry Crumble Pie

For the pie dough:
1/2 stick butter, cold, cubed
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
1-1/4 cups flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup ice cold water

For the filling:
2 lbs. (7 cups) strawberries, quartered
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup tapioca
pinch of salt

For the crumble topping:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, cold, cubed

To make the pie dough; add flour and salt to a large bowl, stir together. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender, until mixture is pea sized lumps. Slowly add in ice water and either using hands or pastry blender, mix all ingredients together until dough forms into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough, it only needs to be moistened.

Lightly flour your work surface; roll out dough until thin. Carefully press dough into pie plate. Trim and crimp edges, then set in fridge while you work on filling.

To make the filling: Add all strawberries, sugar, tapioca and salt to a large bowl. Mix together well and let set for 20 minutes to let tapioca activate. Then pour into prepared pie plate.

To make crumble topping: Combine flour, brown sugar and chilled, cubed butter. Cut in the butter using the pastry blender, just until mixture is marble sized. You don't want it to become too fine or you'll have a big melted mess on top of your pie.

Distribute the crumble topping over the pie, piling on high and not pressing down.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then turn oven temp down to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven to let cool. Serve with ice cream, if desired.

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