Oh My My, Strawberry Pie!

20130723-143042.jpgBehold the strawberry & basil pie with a lemon zest pie crust! If that doesn’t sound like the most perfect summer treat you’ve ever experienced, then I can only imagine that you were born in a very cold, very dark place.
Originally, I wasn’t going to blog this. My mom had bought 2 lbs of strawberries, forgetting her upcoming vacation, so she asked me if I could save them from being wasted. One great way to use a lot of fruit in a recipe is to make a pie, and well, I think my readers know just how much I love making pies. Borrowing the lemony crust from this recipe, and inspired by the fruit & herb combinations at my favorite lemonade stand, this became a pie I had to share with the masses! Plus, it is so delicious and so easy. 20130723-155605.jpgLemon-Strawberry Basil Pie

For the crust:
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c. butter (1 stick cut into small cubes)
1 c. flour

For the filling:
1 qt strawberries (4 cups)
3/4 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. water
10 basil leaves (optional)

First, the crust. The original recipe calls for a food processor but a. mine is currently elsewhere and b. it’s so unnecessary! Use a fork–seriously! It might take a bit longer but it’s definitely simpler. Combine sugar, zest and salt in bowl. Add butter and mix in until evenly dispersed. Add flour and mix until just combined and its crumbly. Spray 9-inch pie pan with nonstick or cover with butter. Press dough into pan and flatten with fingers so it covers evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
And now, the filling!  Remove stem and quarter your washed strawberries.  Aim to keep pieces uniformly sized.  Throw 3/4 of your strawberries into the cooled down pie crust, and throw the other 1/4 into a pot with the sugar, water and cornstarch.  Turn heat to medium high and stir constantly.  When it starts to boil, your sauce will magically transform and become so jelly!  Cornstarch is awesome.  Don’t boil too long; as soon as its noticeably thicker, take the pot off the heat.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, roll up your basil leaves and chop into strips, like its a tiny sushi roll.  Separate the basil slivers and sprinkle into pot, mixing them in.  Pour pot contents into the pie crust over the strawberries, covering evenly.  Set in fridge for 2-3 hours.

When ready to serve, dollop slices with whipped cream. Best summer treat ever!!! Not sure the basil flavor really comes through, which is why it’s optional, but the pie does taste very cool and refreshing…so maybe it lends more than I realize. Basil or not, this pie makes me yearn for a summer barbecue to bring it to.
Seriously, it’s out of sight!


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