A strawberry pie recipe is really no different than a blueberry pie recipe, or a rhubarb pie recipe. Beside the obvious difference in ingredients, the methods behind making a fresh fruit pie are exactly the same.
Unlike canned fruit, fresh fruit does not come with extra liquid. However, we do need some liquid to use as a binder for our pie. If we just sliced strawberries, placed them on the right type of flaky pie crust, and baked them, this would be considered a tart.
But a true pie has a binding agent, something that brings all the fresh fruit ingredients together so you get an attractive triangle slice of pie without the filling spilling everywhere. Most internet recipe websites will tell you to mix some water with cornstarch as a thickener.
Water is the most flavorless item there is. Why would you water down the flavor of your beautiful pie with something that’s totally flavorless?
The key to a great strawberry pie recipe, or any other fresh fruit pie recipe, is to create some flavorful liquid to bind the filling. This is accomplished by pureeing about 20% of the fresh fruit until it is totally liquid.
Now, we can continue with a cornstarch slurry and a tablespoon of butter, confident that we’re keeping the flavor of our strawberry pie recipe and not adding flavorless water.
The puree of our fresh fruit, the butter and cornstarch are brought to a full boil on the stove to activate the gelatinization of starches necessary to thicken the liquid. Then, it’s poured over the fresh fruit filled in your pie crust and baked as normal.
When you have fresh strawberries, look for a strawberry pie recipe. When you have fresh blueberries, look for a fresh blueberry recipe. But no matter what recipe you choose, be sure you employ this pureed fruit pie procedure and you’ll have the most flavorful pies ever.
I love turning things to liquid in the food processor. Leave a comment below and tell me what type of fresh fruit pie you’d invent with this method.
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