The first time I had fresh Strawberry Pie was at Le Petit Café in West Richland, WA. Le Petit Café was the only French restaurant for miles around. Saving for years to move to America, Didi and Pierre bought the place sight unseen from their home in France. Since this was long before one could search out property on the internet, they were quite shocked when they arrived in Eastern Washington and found their selves in the middle of nowhere! They quickly got to work and created a successful restaurant. Over the years , their fabulous food and charming personalities led to a large roster of regular customers, as well as customers who drove from far away, specifically for Didi’s Strawberry Pie. Due to the popularity of the pie, you actually needed to reserve your serving right along with your table!
While this is not Didi’s pie (she would never “give up” the recipe) it is the version my Mom and I have been making since the early 70’s.
One pie crust, of any size you choose, baked according to directions
2-3 quarts of ripe strawberries – Reserve 12-15 of the best berries for the top of the pie
approx. 8 oz whipped cream cheese
Strawberry Glaze – about 2 cups – prepared according to directions and cooled slightly
I have made the glaze from scratch. However, I more often use Junket Strawberry Danish Dessert. You can usually find it in larger supermarkets near the jello or pudding mixes.
I did get a small crack in my crust – no worries – the next step will take care of that!
Gently cover the bottom of the baked crust with the whipped cream cheese. Not only does this keep the crust from getting soggy, it adds another dimension of flavor.
Next, slice clean hulled strawberries in half and cover the bottom of the pie.
Drizzle a small amount of the prepared strawberry glaze over the first layer of strawberries. Keep in mind, this is just to “set” the berries in place.
Continue to fill the pie with slices of strawberries, alternating with drizzles of glaze between layers, to ensure stability of the pie.
Once you have filled the pie with sliced berries, top the pie with the reserved “best berries”, in a decorative fashion, stem side down. Drizzle the upright berries with a small amount of glaze to ensure they are “glued” in place. Chill the pie for a minimum of 6 hours, or overnight. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Bon apetite!
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