Fresh Strawberry Pie
firm ripe strawberries
in. pastry pie crust
baked and cooled, 20 to 25 cm
plus 1 Tbs sugar
125 ml, 15 ml
45 ml, cornflour
Tbs cold water
Tbs fresh lemon juice
Pick over the berries carefully, removing the stems and hulls.
Wash in a sieve or colander under cold running water and place on paper towels to drain.
Pat the berries completely dry. Arrange half of them (the most perfect ones) in the pie shell and set aside.
Coarsely chop the remaining berries and combine them with 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar in a stainless steel saucepan.
Bring the berries to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl mix the cornstarch, water, and lemon juice together to form a smooth paste.
Pour the paste into the strawberry mixture, stirring constantly, and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
Puree the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down hard with a wooden spoon or spatula to extract as much of the berries as possible before discarding the seeds.
Taste the puree and add more lemon juice or sugar, as desired.
Pour the puree over the berries and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula.
Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil or wax paper and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Just before serving whip the cream and 1 Tbs (15 ml) sugar until it is stiff.
Spread on top of the pie, making decorative swirls with the spatula, and serve immediately.
Alternately, you may serve the whipped cream on the side and allow diners to help themselves.
Serves 6 to 8.