Pi Day not to be confused with National Pie Day, which is celebrated on January 23. Yes, I'm totally math geeking out today because I'm celebrating a Greek symbol “π” which is used in mathematics to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter which is approximately 3.14159. My inner math nerd finally remembered to celebrate this day with a sweet piece of homemade pie and it's like an episode of Lost, where I corresponded the numbers to something meaningful...i.e. Pi day!
I'm no stranger in making homemade pies, and one of my absolute favorite pie to bake is apple pie. However, I wanted something simple enough to prepare and wanted to use two of my favorite seasonal ingredients - strawberries and Meyer lemons. With this second pregnancy, I have been eating bowls of mixed berries- strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries like it's my job. Plus, we have an abundant amount of Meyer Lemons that are fully ripe to use (if any of my local friends want any - please come over and take a basket). With a quick search on Pinterest, I found this gorgeous Strawberry Meyer Lemon Creme Pie and knew it was the one I had to make because I had most of the ingredients at hand.
Coincidentally, the one ingredient that I didn't have was vodka on hand to use for the listed pie crust maybe because I used all of it to make some homemade vanilla extract. So I searched for the best pie crust that I know - good ole Martha Stewart's recipe and it's practically foolproof. (Yet, if you have vodka on hand, try the original recipe and let me know how it works - the vodka is supposed to help with the moisture and give a flakier crust.) Rolling pie dough can be a little tricky - it is important to be patient and not speed through rolling out the crust, but you can always substitute store bought pie crust to save you some time, too. The creme filling is what originally caught my eye because it's a combination of strawberries and homemade whipped cream with a hint of lemon citrus to freshen the palate. This is one sinfully sweet pie to celebrate Pi day!
Pie adapted from Eat the Love, Pie Crust adapted from Martha Stewart
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For Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling dough
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons ice water, plus 2 more, if needed
For the Strawberry Meyer Lemon Creme Filling:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
1/4 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pints strawberries, divided (about 3 to 4 cups)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
Prepare the pie crust by adding the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse a couple times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse again until mixture is crumbly but holds together, add additional water if needed (up to 2 tablespoons). Avoid over-processing the dough.
Place the dough onto a work surface with a sheet of saran wrap placed on top. Form dough into a 3/4-inch thick disk. Wrap tight in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or until firm.
Unwrap dough, place on a floured work surface. Roll dough to at least a 14-inch round. Lift and place dough in pie plate. Carefully fit into the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Pinch the overhang to about 1 inch and crimp together around the edge, and discard any excess. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is lightly browned, about 40 to 45 minutes. Carefully lift and remove the paper and let crust cool completely.
While the pie crust is cooling, prepare the cream filling. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk, add the heavy cream, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Mix on medium high speed until peaks form, being careful not to over whip the cream. Add 1 1/2 cups of chopped strawberries and fold into the whipped cream.
Spoon the filling into the cooled pie crust. Add the remaining strawberries and place them on top all over the filling, making sure to cover the surface of the pie. Drizzle the lemon juice over the strawberries and filling. Heat the strawberry jam for about 30 seconds or until it melts. Brush the jam over the strawberries to give them a shiny glaze. Serve immediately.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Review: Simply scrumptious. This pie should last 3 to 4 days in the fridge if kept in a covered container.