I think Spring is actually here…at least in the South anyway. Warmer temperatures, open windows, and fresh fruit! One of my favorite things about Spring, is fresh strawberries coming into season.
While my husband’s aunt and grandmother were visiting my in-laws, I was challenged to make a dairy-free dessert one night for dinner. Do you know how hard it is to think of a dessert that doesn’t have milk or butter in it? Go ahead, try it…What did you come up with? Strawberry Pie? That’s what I came up with anyway.
I did make mini pie crusts for this recipe from scratch (again to find a crust that didn’t have butter in it). I used the Classic Crisco Pie Crust recipe. You can find the recipe by going to
http://www.crisco.com/Recipes/Details.aspx?recipeID=1242. I used the deep dish version, since I was making about 10 mini pies. If making one regular size pie, just use the single crust version.
Here’s what is needed for the filling:
4lbs of strawberries
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-9 inch prepared pie shell or 10-3 inch mini pie shells
Cut the strawberries into quarters.
Rinse the strawberries to clean.
Put 2lbs (about ½) of the strawberries into the blender and puree until smooth. Set the remaining strawberries aside; you’ll need them later.
Strain the puree into saucepan to remove seeds.
Add sugar and vanilla extract, and stir to combine. Cook on medium heat and reduce to a light simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch to the ½ cup water, and stir to dissolve. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch mix to the cooking puree. Bring back up to a light simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. The mixture will be nice and thick.
Remove puree from heat, and allow to cool for a few moments. Next, strain the puree again into a bowl. This will help to remove any seeds that were missed and any clumps of cornstarch that didn’t dissolve.
Allow puree to cool on counter to about room temperature.
Fold in the remaining sliced strawberries. Cover and place in fridge for about 2 hours up to overnight. The filling will be nice and thick.
Fill each mini pie shell (or regular sized pie shell) with pie filling.
For those of us who can have dairy, place a dollop of fresh whipped topping on top. If you have any filling left over, it’s great on top of ice cream. If you can’t have dairy, omit the whipped topping.