Did you know that May is National Strawberry Month? It’s peak strawberry season in California, when the endless, beautiful fields of strawberries are at their finest. It’s the perfect time to use California Strawberries in your favorite recipes whether they’re sweet, savory, light or decadent.
Since Mother’s Day is almost upon us, I thought this would be a good time to go for a bit of decadence. There’s something about homemade pie that makes it a top level comfort food, you know? Some of my earliest memories involve baking with my mom. We both adore homemade pie. I think she’ll love this version. It’s a perfect dessert to share on Mother’s Day, or for any day during National Strawberry Month.
Some pie recipes involve a lot of prep work with the fruit, but strawberries are very easy because they simply need to be hulled and macerated. If you’ve never macerated berries before, this simply refers to letting them sit in sugar long enough for their natural juices to come to the surface. It’s incredibly easy. Since strawberries are at their peak sweetness during May, this pie doesn’t need much sugar. You can add more or less to taste.
- 12 ounces (approximately 2½ cups) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces (approximately ¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- ⅓ cup cold water
- 4 pounds (approximately 2 cups) fresh California Strawberries
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (see note)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- Place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and pulse several more times until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal (a few larger bits here and there are fine).
- With the machine running, add the cold water until the dough has just formed. It will still be crumbly but should form dough when pressed together.
- Divide the dough into ⅔ and ⅓ portions, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least one hour or overnight.
- Rinse and hull the strawberries. Slice medium and smaller strawberries in half, while quartering larger berries, and place in a large bowl. Add the orange and lemon juice, zest, corn starch, and both sugars. Stir to combine, cover and place in the refrigerator. Allow the strawberries to macerate for 40-45 minutes, stirring periodically.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the bigger portion of pie dough to about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place in a 9½ inch pie pan. There should be an overhang of at least 1 inch. Add the strawberry filling.
- Re-flouring the surface if necessary, roll out the second portion of dough to approximately 10 inches in diameter. Cut 8 even strips, and layer them in a decorative lattice pattern over the strawberries. Cut off any excess overhang from the lattice, and then fold up the bottom overhang so that it sits on top of the strips. Use a fork to crimp the edge of the dough all the way around the pan.
- Brush the cream on top of the lattice and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
- Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 375 degrees F, and cook for an additional 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing.