Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Small Slice of Summer

I have never been a pie eater. I was always the one at dessert who would pass up the apple pie amid incredulous exclamations such as, "You don't like pie? Who doesn't like pie?"

I don't like pie. I'll take just about anything over pie for dessert - even fruit, and that's saying a lot, people. But last summer I discovered that there is actually a pie that I cannot get enough of. Every time I take my first bite, I think the same thing: this tastes like summer on a plate.

The best part is that it's incredibly easy.

Aunt Grace's Pie Crust:
Mix 1/2 cup shortening, 3 T boiling water, and 1 t cold milk in mixer with whisk attachment on high. Once well mixed, add in 1/2 t salt and 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups of flour by hand with a fork until just mixed. Roll out crust between two sheets of wax paper. Do not overwork the crust! Gently place in a pie pan. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 8 minutes and let cool.

Meanwhile, wash a quart of fresh, ripe strawberries and dice. Place half of the diced strawberries into the cooled pie shell, and mash the rest.

Put the mashed berries into a pan with 3/4 c sugar and bring to a boil. Dissolve 3 T cornstarch into 3/4 c water and add to the boiling mixture. Return to a boil and then simmer on low for about ten minutes or until thickened. Pour over the diced berries in the piecrust and chill several hours.

When you're ready to serve, mix whipping cream on high in your mixer until soft peaks form, and serve each delightful slice with a big dollop of the whipped cream on top.

And there you have it... a small slice of summer, right in the middle of spring.

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