Happy late Easter everyone! The Easter bunny came yesterday and left the babies too much candy, as usual. On Friday we all dyed Easter eggs together, after attending an Easter party held by a friend in the neighborhood. Everyone had fun! The weather is beautiful now and we can enjoy walks outdoors when the wind doesn't want to blow us away to oblivion. (You could argue that we are already in oblivion, but that's another post.)
For Easter dinner, we had Lemon-Thyme Cornish Game Hens, this Roasted Asparagus, potatoes, and a baguette (the par-baked ones from the grocery store that you take home and bake for a few minutes- we all love those!). We also had a strawberry pie. I love strawberry pies, especially the first of the season strawberry pies. I hate rolling traditional pie crusts, so I started making an easy, pat-in-the-pan shortbread crust for my strawberry pies. This crust is extremely crumbly, and does not present very well because of that. It's hard to get a peice on your plate without the crust cracking and crumbling. But it tastes so delicious that it is worth it! The photo I'm including shows how messy-looking (um, rustic) the pie is. Sometimes I'll do what my mom does, and put a layer of cream cheese between the crust and berries, but I forgot that yesterday. If you don't use salted butter, add a little salt (less than 1/4 tsp) to the dough. This recipe would probably work as a tart also. Here is my recipe:
Strawberry Pie with Shortbread Crust
1/2 cup salted butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 cup crushed or pureed strawberries
1-1 1/2 quarts strawberries, hulled and sliced
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the crust, blend butter, flour and sugar until crumbs form (using a food processor or a pastry blender). Stir in nuts. Press mixture into a greased 9-inch pie plate. Prick all over with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
2. For the filling, combine the crushed strawberries, water, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens; cool slightly. Arrange remaining strawberries in baked pastry shell; pour cooled strawberry glaze over fresh fruit. Chill until serving time. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.