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Strawberry Pie and High School Football

My husband is gone now, like he will be 75% of Fridays from now till mid-December.  He is attending a high school football game, like lots of proud fathers are beginning to this year.

Our son is only 2.

My husband is just going because he wants to go!  He knows who the players are in our area, in our state, and sometimes a few superstars from around the country.  This is not college (which I LOVE watching by the way and he does too, but we have soccer games are coming up on Saturdays) or professional (which I can tolerate but he doesn’t watch too much anymore).  This is high school.  He goes to certain games that he thinks will be good that week.  He learns what kind of offense and defense each team plays.  He hates the schools that move kids in from other areas…

Are you bored yet?

I am in awe of how much he knows and love that he has something he likes to do but I HATE being alone with the kids on Friday nights.  Every other night he is home, only Wednesday and Thursday because of his schedule, I could take him or leave him but on Fridays we all just hang out.  Usually, I am more mellow because I tend not to cook on Fridays.  Now, any time we might want to go out on a Friday night (just us or as a family), it depends on whose playing.  Just sub Red Sox baseball for high school football and I am Drew Barrymore in Fever Pitch.  At least, today, he was able to go with our oldest, usually she has dance and then he goes with his dad (who couldn’t go tonight).  I hope they are having a good time together.  I also hope he realizes that he will only get to go to two more games this month, because we have our anniversary coming up and he promised the kids we would go to the fair.  After that, we probably won’t see him on a Friday night till the week of Thanksgiving.  O well.  

Maybe if I can make this pie every Friday he will stay home?  Or at least some version of it, changing fruit as the seasons do?  This was the first thing that I had made in a long time, where he just shoved it in his mouth till it was gone.  If he doesn’t like something, he will just have a bite or two, say it was “alright” and not finish it.  This was gone in about two minutes.  He liked it.  He even had a great big piece the next night.  There would still be more if my two year old didn’t keep picking at it in the fridge during the day AND having slices for his dessert.

Please forgive me, the whipped cream on the pie is not entirely homemade.  I only had a 1/2 cup of whipping cream left so that didn’t make much.  It is just underneath the canned stuff.  I did make the crust though and it was my best effort so far, so I am thrilled!   Also, after going through all of my strawberries, I came up about a pint short so my mountain of strawberries wasn’t as high as I would have liked, but it still tasted awesome!

Also, your GeekyLinks for the day are actually science related, not sci-fi related, today.  I went to the open house at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California a few months ago with my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.  I warned her.  I warned her I was totally going to “Geek out”.  On our way home, she confirmed that is exactly what happened.  There was so much to see and do, but we had to leave early and there was so much we missed!  I cannot wait to go back next year!  Eyes on the Solar System is a new program where you can fly through space, check out the view from satellites, even go back in time.  It is really awesome.  Next, did you know You can see a supernova this weekend from your own back yard?  The video says all you need are good binoculars or a small telescope and it is located where almost anyone can find it, towards the tip of the handle of the Big Dipper!  I am totally gonna try it.  I know what I am borrowing from my dad tomorrow. 

Strawberry Pie

adapted from BrownEyedBaker

Crust
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons very chilled unsalted butter, cut into small bits
¼ cup very chilled vegetable shortening, cut into small bits
¼ cup ice water (you may not need all of this)

Filling
4 pints (about 3 pounds) fresh strawberries, rinsed and dried, hulled
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ teaspoons Sure-Jell for low-sugar recipes (the pink box)
Pinch of salt
seeds of ½ vanilla bean
1 tablespoon lemon juice

whipped cream (optional)

Crust 

Process ¾ cup flour, salt and sugar together in food processor (I used my mini chopper and it all pretty much fit!) until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrap down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add ½ cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into a medium bowl.

Sprinkle the water over the mixture a little at a time, while with a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into a 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll dough loosely around a rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with 1 hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave overhanging dough in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Flute dough or press tines of fork against dough to flatten against rim of pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove pie plate from refrigerator and use a fork to prick the bottom of the dough. Line the crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weight, rotate plate, and bake for 5 to 8 additional minutes, until crust is golden brown and crisp. Let cool to room temperature.

Filling 

Select 6 ounces misshapen, underripe, or otherwise unattractive berries, halving those that are large; you should have about 1½ cups. In a food processor, process the berries to a smooth puree, 20 to 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in the berry puree and vanilla beans (if substituting extract, do not add till after it is cooked and cooled), making sure to scrape the corners of the pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, and bring to a full boil. Boil, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to prevent scorching, for 2 minutes to ensure that the cornstarch is fully cooked (mixture will look frothy when it first reaches a boil, then will darken and thicken with further cooking). Transfer to a large bowl and stir in lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, pick over the remaining berries and measure out 2 pounds of the most attractive ones; halve only extra-large berries. Add the berries to the bowl with the glaze and fold gently with a rubber spatula until the berries are evenly coated. Scoop the berries into the pie shell, piling into a mound. If any cut sides face up on top, turn them face down. If necessary, rearrange the berries so that holes are filled and the mound looks attractive. Refrigerate pie until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve within 5 hours of chilling.

If you would like a great whipped cream recipe, check out Vanilla Peach Cupcakes with Whipped Cream.

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About NerdyBaker

My name is Celina. I am a wife and mother of three. I love to bake, go to the movies, read when I can and I am kind of a great big nerd. Just don't tell my husband.

One response »

  1. Your pie looks amazing, and your son loving football is pretty amazing. Reminds me of when my firstborn was 2 and he could name every single Thomas the Tank character and built elaborate train tracks. Miss those days…

    Reply

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