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Thursday, June 9,2011

Strawberry Walnut Pie

By Danette Randall

 

Easy as pie?

I always believed that wasn’t a completely accurate statement. I mean, easy as fruit salad, easy as brownies, maybe. But pies, well, they can be tricky sometimes, especially if you aren’t down with making your own pie crust.

My friends, I am here to give you a delicious, simple recipe that will have you shouting from the mountaintops, “This hike was easy as pie!” Strawberry Walnut Pie that is!

You see those red, juicy, plump berries looking at you in your favorite grocery aisle, or better yet, the farmers’ market? Good to eat on their own, absolutely, but make a pie out of them and kitchen magic happens.

Not that there isn’t always magic happening in my kitchen — a little (a lot of ) champagne when creating my recipes makes for a show I should be charging admission to. My lucky husband gets it for free, but as he says, “Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.” Perhaps it was Einstein that said that, but either way, looks like I should start charging him for my pie.

The walnuts combined with the strawberries leave a wonderful taste in your mouth. At times, walnuts can have a slightly bitter taste, but mixing with the flaky crust and strawberries really brings out the best of their flavor. I use them on the bottom of the pie to cover the crust. It makes for a nice bit of crunch. Strawberry pie sometimes can have a soggy bottom, so the walnuts help to keep it at a perfect texture.

I’m including an easy pie-crust recipe that I always use, but don’t feel bad if you just purchase the pie crust. No one will judge, and if they do, don’t share the pie or your kitchen-magic champagne with them.

As always, topping with some homemade whipping cream is just the finishing touch you need, not to mention making it look darn pretty. Now whipping cream, that’s as easy as pie. I’m off to charge admission for my kitchen show, tickets available at the door.

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.

Strawberry Walnut Pie

1 pre-baked 9-inch pie crust (recipe below)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1-pound container of strawberries (approx. 18-20) 3/4 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup water

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1/2 tsp. cinnamon Whipped cream

Cover bottom of baked pie crust with walnuts. In small bowl, combine water and cornstarch. Set aside for later use.

Cut strawberries into quarters.

Arrange half of cut-up strawberries over top of walnuts.

In medium saucepan, combine remaining berries and sugar. Mash up strawberries with fork. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in cornstarch/water mixture. Add cinnamon. Let boil for 2-3 minutes, until thickened.

Pour mixture over strawberries and walnuts. Let cool 30-40 minutes. Set in refrigerator at least two hours. Cut into slices, and serve with whipped cream. Enjoy!

Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 tbsp. ice water

Combine flour, salt and sugar in large bowl. Cut in butter with fingers or pastry blender until dough resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle cold water slowly over dough. Toss until mixture is moistened. Add a bit more water if necessary. Bring together and roll in ball. Cover with Saran Wrap, and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll out dough on floured surface with floured rolling pin. Gently pick up and place into 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edges. Prick sides and bottom of crust with fork (or place foil on inside of crust and fill with pie weights or beans). Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, until crust is turning golden brown. Let cool before filling.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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