Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh strawberry pie is a once-a-year summer treat! Made with low-sugar pectin and cornstarch. Serve in slices when chilled - don't wait!

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Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Oh my, strawberry pie! Will someone please make this for me for my birthday?

Any June baby would be honored to feast on this pie on their special day. Personally, I’d take it above cake any day of the week, but especially on my birthday.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

I love strawberry rhubarb pie, don’t get me wrong, but for the sheer bliss of strawberries at their peak, you really cannot do better service to them than with this pie.

The filling is simple: sliced strawberries held together with a glaze made from pureed strawberries, low-sugar pectin, cornstarch and lemon juice. Pack those slices into a buttery baked crust, and then decorate the top halved strawberries. The whole thing is prettier than a picture!

Let the pie chill for as long as you can stand it (about an hour), and then dig in without delay.

The strawberries will cling to each other and you’ll be fine cutting the pie into slices, but just a heads up that this pie won’t be as firm and solid as versions made with Jello or gelatin. Expect something in the middle: jammy ripe strawberries loosely held together in a buttery crust. A few will likely tumbled out onto your plate!

Don’t try to make this the day before; it doesn’t do well overnight in the refrigerator. In any case, I doubt you’ll be able to wait that long to eat it!

Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe

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  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 9-inch pie (6 to 8 slices)

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 pounds (about 4 pints) strawberries, hulled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons low-sugar or no-sugar powdered pectin (like Sure-Jell)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

Special equipment:

Method

1 Blind bake the crust: Roll out the crust and ease it into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and crimp the edges, then refrigerate for at least a half hour.

Line the pie crust with parchment paper or foil, then fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Remove the pie weights and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is lightly golden. (For full blind-baking instructions, see this post. If using a store-bought pie crust, follow the directions on the package for blind baking.)

Cool the pie crust completely before assembling the pie.

2 Prepare the strawberries: Cut in half 15 of the largest strawberries (about 1 pound) and set aside for the top of the pie.

Cut the remaining strawberries into thin slices.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

3 Make the glaze: In a blender, puree 2 cups of the sliced berries with the sugar, pectin, cornstarch, and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and set over medium high heat.

Stir the glaze constantly until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute. The glaze should be easy to stir and slightly thickened. If it seems like the the glaze is thickening up too much (to more of a jelly-like consistency) remove it from heat immediately.

Transfer the glaze to a large bowl using a spatula and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Scoop out and set aside 1/4 cup of the glaze; you'll use this for the top of the pie.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

4 Fill the pie: Stir the remaining sliced strawberries into the bowl of glaze until evenly coated. Spoon the filling into the pie. Level it so that the slices are flat, and arrange the reserved, halved strawberries on top.

Thin the reserved glaze with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, and brush it over the pie.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

5 Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until the glaze is set. The pie is best served on the day it is made.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Showing 4 of 10 Comments

  • Todd Kalyniuk

    Tried making this but it did not really firm up the way I hoped. Suggestions? More pectin? More corn starch? Still delicious but not quite beautiful when I cut it up.

  • Cassie

    Can I substitute the pectin with pomona’s? Going picking today and that is the only pectin on hand… not sure the difference in pectins. Thank you.

  • Mary // Chattavore

    This is so similar to my strawberry pie recipe, based on my grandmother’s recipe. It’s so delicious and it takes me back to my childhood, when she would make it all the time. So pretty!

  • Miriam

    My father has a June birthday. He asks for cake with fresh strawberries every year!

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