One Word Photo Challenge: Strawberry Pie!

February 4, 2015 Strawberry pie 017

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What tastes more like spring than strawberries?

We love strawberries sliced and drizzled with a bit of honey almost as much as we love them whole and warm, freshly picked and fragrant.

Coastal Virginia is known for our abundant harvest of sweet strawberries, but the harvest is still months away.

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Our produce guy hinted these may have come from “south of the border.”  No matter.  We are thrilled to have them!

We will enjoy them this evening on top of chocolate coconut pie.  The filling is made from a pudding recipe I found several weeks ago in Vegetarian Times magazine.  Yes, I’ve tweaked it a little bit…. but it is still vegan and gluten free, if that is important to you.  We often eat this as a pudding, but tonight it is made into a pie.

Here are the “step by steps” should you want to try it for yourself.

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Crust:

Preheat an oven to 350 F.  Melt 6 TB of butter or margarine in a pie pan with a handful of thinly sliced almonds, about five minutes.  Meanwhile, mix together a cup of almond flour, 1/2 c. of wheat or rice flour, a little salt and 2 TB of sugar (coconut sugar here).  Stir into the melted butter with 1/2 tsp. of almond extract, and press into the pie pan to form a shallow crust.  Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned.

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Filling:

Combine 2/3 C. of powdered icing sugar, 4 heaping TB of cornstarch, 1 C. of unsweetened coconut, and a little salt in a dry pan.  Combine well until no clumps of cornstarch are left.  Slowly add 3 cups of coconut milk, stirring to dissolve all of the cornstarch and sugar in the first cup.  Add 1 cup of water, and stir over medium heat.  Allow the mixture to heat gradually, stirring from time to time as the mixture thickens.  Take care that a layer is never allowed to form on the bottom of the pan.  Stir constantly as the mixture approaches boiling,  letting it bubble gently for only a minute or two before removing it from the heat.  Stir in 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.

Now this coconut pudding is delicious just as it is.  Use it at this stage if you prefer vanilla or coconut pudding.  But we go a step further….

Pour a half of a bag of chocolate bits into the hot coconut pudding.  Here we’ve used Hershey’s Special Dark bits.  Stir with a rubber spatula as the bits melt until the pudding is a uniform deep chocolate.  Pour the pudding into the pie shell, leaving 3/4 inch head space in the top of the pan.  We had enough filling left over for two little pudding cups…

Cover the pudding filled crust and chill for an hour.

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Strawberries:

Wash a quart of fresh strawberries, cap, and slice.  I cut the two best looking sides off for layering, and dice the middle of the berry into the pan for sauce.

Drizzle honey over the sliced berries and allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes.

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Strawberry Sauce:

Mash the diced berries or process in a food processor.  Add 1 tsp. lemon juice, a dash of salt, and 1/3 C. cherry juice for color.  Mix together 2 TB  sugar and 1 heaping TB of cornstarch in a small bowl, then whisk this mixture into the mashed berries as they heat.  Drain any juice off of the sliced berries into the pan as it heats, along with 1/3 C. of cold water.   Stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens and turns almost clear.  (The milkiness of the cornstarch will disappear when the sauce is done.)

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Finishing:

Layer the sliced berries over the chilled chocolate pie, and top, if you wish, with the strawberry sauce.  Chill for at least an hour.

Garnish with whipped cream and additional chocolate curls just before serving.

Enjoy!

With appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Well’s

One Word Photo Challenge:  Strawberry

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Woodland Gnome 2015

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February 4, 2015 Strawberry pie 008

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