Strawberry Pie

by Daisy

After a trip to a Pick-Your-Own strawberry patch this past weekend, I had some berries begging for something more than smoothies or cereal.  Here’s what I came up with.  It’s a no-sugar (just honey) added, flourless pie with a combination cooked puree filling and fresh berries.

As we dived in, we had the same discussion we have for many of my creations, the one where I wonder if “normal” people would like this, considering that it isn’t loaded with sugar and the crust has a different texture and taste compared to typical pastry.

We came to the conclusion we usually do–it probably wouldn’t fly with those used to the sugar glaze version piled high with sweetened whipped cream, but that it was perfect in the way we like.  That is, it tastes like real fruit, it has just enough sweetness, and it leaves you feeling good, not kind of ugh like most traditional desserts.

When I do unsweetened desserts, it always makes me smile when I think of the occasion, eons ago, when my mother served her famous unsweetened cheesecake to her mother, known for her ability to sidestep hardball questions with consummate Southern gentlewoman tact.  It went something like this:

“So how do you like it, mother?”

Grandmother, with a sweet smile: “Honey, you. are. the. BEST. cook!”

Here’s the recipe:

Fresh Strawberry Pie

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

1 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

2 T softened butter

pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

In a food processor, add the almonds and oats and pulse until ground.  Add in the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is combined.  You should have a soft dough.  Butter a pie dish.  Fill a bowl with water to use to keep your fingers damp while you press the dough out into the pan.  Plop the dough into the pie dish and, using your wet fingers, press the dough into the pan, up the sides, etc., until it is evenly distributed in the dish.  Take a fork and prick the bottom and sides and make a decorative edge if you like.  Don’t press the edge too thin with the fork or it will be easier to scorch.

Like this:

Bake the pastry in a 325 deg. F oven for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown, keeping a better eye on yours than I did with mine so it doesn’t scorch.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the filling:

2 generously packed cups of sliced strawberries

1/3 cup honey

3 T cornstarch

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

pinch salt

1 T butter

In a blender or food processor, puree the berries.  Remove about a half a cup to a small dish and add the cornstarch.  Blend. Pour the puree into a medium saucepan, blend in the cornstarch mixture and honey and place over med-low heat.  With a wire wisk, stir the mixture until it has thickened and begun to boil.  Add in the pinch of salt, vanilla, and butter.  Stir to melt the butter and combine and remove from heat.

Allow filling to cool.

Meanwhile wash and cap the remaining strawberries.  It will take about a pint more.

Once the pastry and filling are cool, spread the filling into the crust.

You can top it with sliced berries, or you can arrange them like I did, stem down in concentric circles.  Go wild.

For a little extra shine and sweetness, you can brush the berries with a little warmed honey.  Or not.

If you like, serve with whipped cream.  Unsweetened, sweetened, honey-sweetened with a touch of vanilla, pick your poison.

Good stuff.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee April 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

I don’t know about normal people but the gluten free pie crust you made sounds good. Thanks for the idea and the pie recipe. Will be trying this once I secure some beautiful berries.

Amy April 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

I’m always excited about sugar-free, gluten-free dessert options. Looks lovely and yummy! Thanks for sharing.

NanGreen April 14, 2012 at 10:06 am

Not sure about doing a puree on nice fresh berries but I will certainly keep the crust recipe. Thank you

jocelyne marchand April 15, 2012 at 7:19 am

1\3 cup on honey in crust and 1\3 cup of honey in strawberries
is hardly sugar-free – honey is a form of sugar

if you take strawberries and cut in half or quarters depending
on size and sprinkle them lightly with sugar (1\4 cup at the most) and then cover
the bowl with a plate and let it rest for a couple of hours, the strawberries create
their own juice – strawberries prepared in such a way would be lovely in the
pie crust you prepared . . . served with a spoonful of natural yogurt of course

thanks for sharing you recipe

Tomato Lady April 15, 2012 at 8:36 am

Jocelyne Marchand–Yes, you are absolutely right. I was referring to a lack of refined sugar.

Glimmering Girl April 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Sounds yummy! I will definitely be trying this.

cathy April 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I’m sensitive to all grains. Is there anything else I could use? The pie looks very tasty!!

Tomato Lady April 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm

cathy–Leave out the oats and add a little bit more almonds. Beat the egg separately and add it in a little at a time until the mix just holds together. You may not need the whole egg.

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