Every once in a while, I fantasize about being a pie genius. Like Jenna in Waitress. I’d invent pies on the spot with witty names and they’d always work out when I tried to make them. Always.
Except I’m far from being an expert on pie. I think I’ve only made four of them ever, maybe five. Well, maybe more if you count the ones made with store-bought crust, but that’s really cheating, isn’t it? I’d like to make pie more often, but it seems like more of a commitment than cookies, muffins, quick breads, and cakes, which are so much easier to hand off to others and share. You can’t just throw a slice of pie into a baggie and bring it to work for your friends. You don’t distribute bites of pie to your children’s friends as they run in and out of your apartment repeatedly. So rather than be stuck eating it all myself–because you know if it’s in the house, I WILL eat it–I just don’t make it.
Yesterday, however, I felt very Jenna-esque. It wasn’t my own creation–Willow Bird Baking was the source of my inspiration–but I did put it together, and that counts. The crust may not have been expertly crimped but the taste was fantastic. Maybe there’s hope for me yet…?
Recipe adapted from Willow Bird Baking
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink or fine sea salt
- ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) cold bacon fat
- ½ cup cold (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, chopped
- 3-4 Tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 large cage-free egg + 1 teaspoon whole milk for egg wash
- 1 quart (4 cups) fresh strawberries
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups vanilla sugar, reserving 1 Tablespoon for the crust
- Dash Himalayan pink or fine sea salt
- 1 cup full fat sour cream
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the pie crust.
- Cut in the cold bacon fat and butter with a pastry blender.
- Stir in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough just barely comes together. Dump onto the counter and form a large disc.
- Wrap in plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare the filling.
- Wash strawberries, then hull and chop in half.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Stir in the sour cream.
- Once thoroughly combined, stir in the strawberries.
- Lightly flour your work surface and pie dough, then roll it out until it’s roughly 2 inches larger than your pie dish.
- Fold in half gently, then half again, and transfer to your pie plate, unfolding gently to cover the surface.
- Crimp the edges and trim the excess dough.
- Spread the filling into the crust, but don’t pack it down–there should be some space in the filling.
- Mix together the egg and milk for the eggwash and paint it on the exposed edges of the pie crust with a pastry brush.
- Sprinkle the reserved 1 Tbsp sugar on the filling and pop it in the oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then drop the temperature down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
- Broil for 2-3 more minutes to get a browned top, then remove from the oven to cool completely before serving.