Susie Csorsz Brown
Pi Day! I used to be intimidated by pies, but then I found a favorite crust recipe, and we've never looked back since. The great thing about pies is that they generally embrace what fruit is currently in season, and they are enormously flexible.
This is one of the neon-colored pies that is full of flavor, and (if you use frozen berries) possible year round, but especially fun when spring is coming and the berries pop into the market.
I wouldn't call this the most challenging of pies, but it does take several steps. Prebake the crust completely until golden brown and then cool before adding the strawberry layer. Be sure to chill the strawberry layer for at least an hour before even starting the lime layer or they will mix. It won't taste bad for sure, but it won't be as pretty.
Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8 to 10
Your favorite baked pie shell
6 oz strawberries (imperfect ones are fine) + 16 oz strawberries, sliced. All should be gently rinsed and dried, hulled
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tsp powdered gelatin
Generous pinch Table salt
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
Zest of 4 limes, plus 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 T unsalted butter
1 T cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
For the Strawberry filling: Put the 6 ounces berries (use the most misshapen or unattractive) in food processor, and process berries to a mostly smooth puree, 20 to 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. You should have about ¾ cup puree.
Stir together sugar, cornstarch, gelatin and salt in medium saucepan. Stir in berry puree, mixing well to ensure the gelatin is well combined and no cornstarch lumps remain. Allow to sit for a few minutes to soften the gelatin and then turn on heat to medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, and bring to full boil. Boil, scraping bottom and sides of pan to prevent scorching, for 2 minutes to ensure that cornstarch is fully cooked. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, put the sliced berries in a large bowl, and set aside. Once the glaze has cooled somewhat, pour over the sliced berries, and mix to coat well. Scoop berries into pie shell, smoothing into an even layer. Refrigerate for an hour; and then begin working on lime layer.
For the lime filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar, eggs and egg yolks, zest, plus the juice in a bowl until combined. Slowly whisk in flour until smooth. Heat over medium heat, 5 - 10 minutes whisking constantly, until thick and mounds slightly when dropped from spoon. Put a fine mesh colander over a large bowl, and pour lime pudding through the colander. Stir with the spatula to help move the pudding through the colander. Discard solids. Whisk butter and cream cheese into the pudding until melted. Add vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over the strawberry filling in the pie crust. Smooth to cover all of the berry layer.
Refrigerate pie until chilled, about 2 hours.