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Strawberry Pie with Killer Crust

Butter, sugar, flour, eggs and buttermilk
Butter, sugar, salt,flour, eggs and buttermilk

Strawberry Filling:

Serves 8-10

2 –one pound containers of whole fresh strawberries, top trimmed off

¾ cup water

¾ cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Chop enough berries to make I cup, leave the rest whole. In a sauce pan place chopped strawberries water and sugar and bring to a simmer. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir until cornstarch dissolves add to the simmering strawberries and continue to cook until the sauce thickens up.

Let cool 

Joanne Chang Killer Crust

For the crust

4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

4-1/2 oz. (9 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 9 pieces

1 large egg yolk

2 Tbs. cold whole or 2% milk 

Make and blind bake the crust

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the flour is no longer bright white, the dough holds together when you press a clump with your fingers, and there are still flakes of  butter the size of pecan halves throughout, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until there are pea-size pieces of butter throughout.)

In a small bowl, whisk the yolk and milk, then add it all at once to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed (or with a fork) until the dough barely comes together, 15 to 30 seconds in the mixer, longer by hand. The dough will look shaggy at this point.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and gather it into a mound. Starting at the top of the mound and using the heel of your hand, smear a section of the dough away from you, sliding it down the side and along the work surface until most of the butter pieces are smeared into the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough in sections.

With a bench knife, gather the dough together, flatten it into a disk about 1 inch thick, and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a well-floured work surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 12-inch-wide, 1/8-inch-thick circle. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over a 9- to 10-inch quiche dish, or a 9- to 9-1/2-inch pie plate. Without stretching it, press the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the dish. Use scissors or a paring knife to trim

the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Using a pie plate, fold the overhang under itself and flatten it slightly to completely cover the rim of the pie plate. Crimp decoratively.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the dough to relax before baking.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, put a large rimmed baking sheet on it, and heat the oven to 350°F.

Crumple a 12-inch square of parchment, flatten it, then line the crust with it. Fill the crust to the top with dried beans, gently pressing them against the sides. Bake on the hot baking sheet until the edge is a deep golden-brown and the bottom no longer looks raw (carefully pull back the parchment to check; if using a glass pie plate, you can see if the underside is golden), 40 to 45 minutes; protect the edge with a pie shield or ring of foil if it’s getting too dark. Remove the parchment and beans (and pie shield if necessary) and cool on a rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes. 

Pastry Cream

Makes 2 cup 

1 ½ cups of milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat until bubbles just start to form around the edges but milk is not yet boiling. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks until well combined; slowly whisk in flour mixture until thick and pasty.

Remove milk from heat and slowly add to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Transfer egg mixture to saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Boil, whisking, for 10 seconds, and immediately remove from heat.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve set over a small heatproof bowl; stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.


To assemble pie

Place the 2 cups of  the pastry cream in the bottom of the pie crust . Place the whole berries standing them up over the pastry cream and pour strawberry glaze over all.

Keep refrigerated.