May is only a few weeks away, the start of farmers market season, and I am very excited. Our new home is in an area with quite a few pick your own farms, farmers markets, and roadside stands, and we’re really looking forward to checking them out, especially with strawberry season looming. In the meantime, Wegmans has early strawberries on sale this week, and they were so nice that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a pie for Michael.
This recipe is inspired by his mom’s French Apple Pie, which has sliced apples piled high and a beautiful crumb topping. My oldest son saw how high the strawberries were piled in the crust and proclaimed it “The Great Pie” after the pie in the Backyardigans episode “Samurai Pie.”
I like to think of this as a lazy strawberry pie since the strawberries are hulled and put in whole and the crumb topping is so easy. The almond whipped cream is also very easy and adds a nice touch of flavor.
[Updated May 12, 2012.]
STRAWBERRY PIE WITH CRUMB TOPPING AND ALMOND WHIPPED CREAM
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie.
large mixing bowl
9-inch pie plate
stand mixer with wire whisk attachment
1 cup (120 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (55 g) packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick/113 g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 pounds (908 g) fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1/2 cup (88 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (43 g) cornstarch
ALMOND WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup (240 mil) heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1. Prepare the pie crust and put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
***While the pie crust chills***
2. Move the baking rack to the lower third part of the oven and preheat to 400° F/200° C..
3. Put all the ingredients for the crumb topping into the bowl of the food processor and pulse about 10 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Put in a bowl in the refrigerator to keep it cool.
4. Roll out the dough and place in 9-inch pie pan. Decorate the edges as you like, and chill in the pan for about 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Clean and hull the strawberries, then gently blot dry with a paper towel. In the medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, and cornstarch. Put the berries into the large bowl and using your hands, gently toss with the sugar, flour, and cornstarch. Be careful not to mash the berries. Mound the strawberries high in the middle of the pie pan and sprinkle the crumb topping all over. Cover the crust edges with tin foil to prevent burning.
6. Bake pie in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 375° F/190° C and bake for another 40 minutes. When there are just 10 minutes of baking time left, sprinkle a little extra sugar over crumb topping and then finish baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack.
7. ALMOND WHIPPED CREAM: Chill the bowl and wire whisk attachment in the frig before preparing. Add the whipping cream to the chilled bowl and whip until it starts to hold its shape. Add the sugar and almond extract and whip until you have soft peaks, not too stiff.
8. Slice the pie and serve with dollops of the whipped cream.