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Somebody Say Strawberry?

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My completed strawberry pie.

This old croaker of a former mechanic thought he could cook… again.

Will I ever learn?  Would someone padlock the kitchen please?

Actually, I had a request… for a homemade strawberry pie.

Daryl Strawberry first came to mind.

Duh.  I must have been on drugs, too.  What did I get myself into?  What was I thinking?  A strawberry pie?

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The key ingredients including the freaking huge strawberries.

So I found a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated once again.  It looked easy enough.

And there weren’t too many ingredients: sugar, cornstarch, pectin, fresh lemon juice and salt…… and strawberries.

Lots of strawberries.

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Well, Cook’s Illustrated failed me this time.

They didn’t write down what SIZE of strawberries to get – just a weight.

Blasphemy.

I thought strawberries were all about the same size.  You know.  Size doesn’t matter.

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Well, the FRESH strawberries I ended up buying were too big.  Freaking too HUGE.

Geez.

And there were LOTS of them.  And they needed to be hulled.  Heck, I knew I would eventually slice my fingers trying to hull them all with a knife so I cheated.  Mechanics love tools, right?  I bought this fancy-schmancy huller for seven bucks.

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For size comparison purposes, I took a picture of the gizmo alongside one of the freaking huge strawberries I bought. It is all Cook’s Illustrated’s fault indeed for not explaining what size strawberries to get.
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This is what it looks life after you press that green button on this fancy-schmancy gizmo made by Chef’N Corporation. You push it into the strawberry, let go of the button and twist. It worked great! But I learned it is better if you remove the sepals first (I found out that’s what the little green leaves on the top of the strawberry are called.).

What a deal.  Hulling was now a piece of cake!  (Shhh…  Quiet.  My little Cake Boss may hear.)

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The recipe called for whole strawberries.  But because the strawberries I bought were so freaking huge, they looked like bowling balls in the pie crust.  While I didn’t know if it was taboo or not but I decided to cut the strawberries in half.  I was worried that all that juice would leak out and make the crust feel like you were biting into a sponge.

(I cheated again and got pre-made crusts; it really shrunk big time after baking as you can see in the picture.  I will endeavor to make the crust from scratch next time.  Oops.  Someone stop me from trying that, please.)

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Well, aside from the glaze not becoming transparent enough and the incredible shrinking crust, the pie turned out tasting great.

I will write a scathing letter of complaint to Cook’s Illustrated.  They did not consider that old berry-brained former mechanics like me would actually try to follow their recipes.

I will also write a letter to President Obama and have him execute another Executive Order to change the law – that Cook’s Illustrated must write their recipes so that old former mechanics will understand.

But why complain.

I will just go to Marie Callendar’s next time and buy a strawberry pie for $8.99.

33 thoughts on “Somebody Say Strawberry?”

  1. Your cooking posts always make me smile. I don’t know if I will ever get up the nerve to attempt a strawberry pie, but I might take up your recommendation and try one at the local cafe…it looks delicious.

  2. He he, we always have a run through with recipes before testing them on people we like in case they are lethal. Yours may not have looked as intended but as long as it tasted right, you’ll get there next time 😉

  3. What a traumatic event. All because you wanted pie. They should have told you that if the strawberries were too big, it was perfectly acceptable to cut said strawberries. Oh, and thanks for the education on the leaves being called sepals. Never knew that before. It’s good to learn something new each day.

  4. Omedeto! You tried and even got it to taste good! A common problem is the sauce doesn’t set right, but you did a good job. I use Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme’s pie recipe which also calls for whole strawberries. I hull by carving a V-shape slice out of the bottoms, no need to pull sepals off. You arrange nicely, hulled side down (split strawbs in half if too big), on the bottom of the pie pan. The sauce includes chopped strawbs. Beware, once you taste the freshness of homemade, storebought is a thick and preservative-laden pale comparison!

    1. Paul Prudhomme, eh? Gotta look it up… and you must be blessed with knife skills! I do agree, though, that the small slice I had did taste so much “nicer” than the purchased ones. The fruit was still firm and indeed, no preservatives. Maybe that’s why I look so young for my age…. (gag). Thank you for the visit!

  5. Well I’ve never seen one of those dillymajoogles before. Anything to make your life easier. And I never knew the leaves were called sepals. But the pie looks AMAZING!

  6. My mind also turned to Marie Callenders as I read the post. 🙂 Ours burned down just before Xmas and another restaurant offered to take over and sell their pies for the holidays. Peggy doesn’t bake strawberry pies but she does one, mean apple pie, 🙂 –Curt

  7. As I get caught up with my emails your pictures of those delicious strawberries keep popping up – making me hungry but strawberry season is still months away yet! You are indeed a man of many talents!

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