Today is National Pi Day and in honor of this mathematically significant holiday, I…made a pie. This is the first pie I have made in quite a while so it was A good refresher. I was not as prepared as I had hoped to be and may or may not have rolled out my pie crust with a bottle of wine. 🙂 The saying “easy as pie” is pretty true to life–pie is not hard to make and all you need are crust and filling. Pre-made crusts and fillings have made it a nearly brainless process. I use pre-made crust from time to time but, for me, canned filling is a no-go. Homemade filling is so simple and much tastier, in my opinion. Also, my inner control freak wants to know exactly what goes into what I eat as much as possible.
For the filling
Sliced strawberries (enough to fill your pie pan and come just over the brim)
1/8 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
For the crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
Dash of salt
Makes one 9.5 inch pie.
In a large bowl, mix together filling ingredients and set aside.
To make crust, add flour and salt to a bowl and whisk together. Transfer to a food processor and add half of the butter chunks.
Pulse food processor a few times to incorporate butter. Add the remaining butter and continue to pulse until dough forms into beads. Add water and pulse a few more times.
Your dough should meld together at this point. Remove dough, roll into a ball, and cover in plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove crust from fridge and roll out onto a floured surface.
There should be enough dough for a bottom crust and decorative top crust. Place dough into pie pan and press slightly to line pan. Remove any excess crust hanging over sides of pan. Add strawberry filling then top crust.
I made a very loose lattice for the top crust but you can do whatever you like. For a lattice crust, roll out the remaining dough and slice it. Place the strips on top of filling in a criss-cross manner and be sure to overlap the strips similar to a basket weave.
Place in oven on center rack. In a small bowl, mix together almond extract, melted butter, and sugar. After fifteen minutes, brush some of this mixture over the crust. Bake another twenty minutes then brush with remaining mixture. Cool pie completely (if you can) so that the filling will congeal.
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