Dazee brought home at least eight pints of strawberries from the farmers' market last weekend, and they've been beckoning me all week to make pie. I'm gullible to their little voices, so I made another strawberry glace pie (the first one was featured in Herbivore last year) and you'd have to be a real sourpuss not to like it--for true, this is one of my best recipes. I think it might be my most favorite dessert ever, I like it more than anything I can think of at the moment, and that includes creme filled cookies and kake.
If you're gonna make a crust, I heartily recommend the "fool proof" pie crust recipe from Cook's Illustrated November '07. It's the flakiest, easiest crust ever, and you can make it half whole wheat if you want. The magic in this recipe is two-fold. First fat is blended with flour and then extra flour is cut in to create layers of crust and fat (these develop into a flaky crust in the oven once the fat melts). The second reason this recipe works so well, is that it uses vodka. The vodka yields a moist crust that's easy to work with and roll out, yet the alcohol evaporates out once it's baked so it's not gummy.
What You Need:
- A pre baked and cooled pie crust
- 1/4-1/3 tub Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
- Approximately 1 1/2 quarts of fresh strawberries (enough to fill an entire pie plate, plus an extra cup to mash), washed and with the hulls cut off. Cut the tops as straight as you can so the strawberries stand up easily in your pie plate.
- 1 cup unbleached granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- Mash up enough strawberries to make one cup. Mash them really well, or throw them in your food processor and pulse them a bit, go slow so you don't end up with soup. I used an immersion blender and went well.
- In a medium saucepan, blend together the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the water and mashed berries.
- Over medium high heat, cook stirring all the while until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce heat so you don't get splattered and keep stirring for one minute. Remove from heat and cool.
- While the jam you made cools, stir the cream cheeze until soft, and spread it onto the bottom of the cooled pie crust.
- Top the Tofutti with your strawberries, pointy side up. I started in the middle and worked my away around in circles. You will want to place them along the edges too. I found that putting the tallest in the center is best, because the jam is deepest there. You might have to rearrange them a bit to get it to look the way you want, but don't worry about making it look perfect since the jam covers up a lot and fills in any gaps (especially on the sides).
- Pour the cooled jam evenly over the whole thing and refrigerate several hours until set.