They had cake but we had fruit… (fruit pie, that is)

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recipe: strawberry (or any berry) pie with cream; includes pastry recipe

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strawberry pie

…fruit pie, that is. Strawberry pie….

I think I mentioned that my father-in-law made a fabulous strawberry pie for us when we were visiting them recently. When we got home from that trip, we were very happy that local strawberries were still available so we could make some more strawberry pie. Ontario strawberries

And it tasted SO good that as soon as it was finished, we simply had to make another strawberry pie again. By then, there were no more of the beautiful Ontario berries anywhere.

Only California strawberries were available. But we HAD to have another strawberry pie!! Hoping the local food police wouldn’t come after us, we disguised ourselves and bought California strawberries (which, amazingly, smelled like strawberries) and we made a second pie. And yup, it was pretty much as good as the first.

In fact it is so good that it may just replace strawberry shortcake!

Now we can’t wait for local blueberries to be widely available. And we think this might be a great way to do peach pie as well…

click on image for photos of making strawberry pie
strawberry pie Here is our take on my father-in-law’s strawberry pie:

G’s Strawberry (or any other Berry) Pie
(based on a recipe for loganberry pie adapted from Mme Benoit, published in the Loganberry News Victoria, B.C.)


  • 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • c unsalted butter and vegetable shortening
  • ICE-COLD water (anywhere from 2 Tbsp to ½ c)

Berry filling

  • 4 c berries
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ c white sugar (give or take, depending on the sweetness of the berries)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice



  1. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut the butter and shortening (about 3Tbsp butter and 2Tbsp shortening, or you can use all butter or all vegetable shortening….) into the flour mixture until it is pea sized. Add ICE-COLD water a little at a time and mix quickly but lightly with a fork (or your hands, if they are cold like mine usually are) until it is pastry consistency. Please note that the amount of water changes drastically, depending on the humidity.
  2. Handling the pastry as little as possible, roll it out into a disc on a lightly floured board. Put the disc into the pie plate. Liberally prick it all over with a fork. REFRIGERATE AT LEAST ONE HOUR.
  3. Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes at 350F until golden. Set aside to cool.

Berry filling

  1. Sort through the berries and set aside 2 cups of the nicest ones.
  2. Wash (and hull if using strawberries) the remaining 2 cups of berries and put them into a saucepan. Mix with sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Cook over low heat stirring constantly til creamy and smooth. Set aside to cool.


  1. Pour some of the cooled cooked berry mixture into the bottom of the cooled pie shell. Then fill the shell with the nicest berries (uncooked ones) – pointy side up if using strawberries. Top with the remaining cooked berries.

When serving, garnish with sweetened whipped cream 1 or creme fraiche and a few mint or lemon balm leaves. It’s also fantastic with plain yoghurt if you’re having it for breakfast.

G’s recipe says to line the bottom of the crust with uncooked berries and pour ALL of the cooked berry mixture over top. We did that for the first pie and we both agreed that it didn’t look that great without being slathered with cream (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…)) So for the second pie – and subsequent pies – we have decided to sandwich the uncooked berries in between two layers of cooked berries.

A note about Whipped Cream:
1 It has come to my attention that there might be some poor mistaken soul out there who thinks that “cool whip” (or any similar travesty) would be a viable alternative as a topping. All I can say is what I said to the last convert: Bite your tongue!! Get heavy cream, whip it til there are soft peaks and add a little sugar so it holds its shape.


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