I’m sharing a recipe with y’all today, but you have to suffer through a story first. The recipe is a great one, but don’t just take my word for it. Presenting my very technical and foolproof method of how to gauge the goodness of a recipe:
#1: It’s good if Gram made it. I was blessed to live 21 years of my life knowing my great-grandmother. Gram was a true character, especially in my memories of her in her 80s and 90s. One defining part of her character was her love of cooking and feeding people. You did not leave Gram and Grandad’s house without eating something – the salted peanuts they kept by their recliners in the den, a tomato sandwich or vinegar cucumbers from their garden, a slice of Gram’s famous pound cake, homemade biscuits and chicken gravy (my favorite), some Breyer’s ice cream from the deep freezer in the ‘old house’ across the yard (literally an old crumbling house that the kids were forbidden to go in), or if you were really lucky, something from her deep fryer. The recipe I’m sharing with you was one I remember eating at Gram’s house. Needless to say, any recipe of Gram’s can only be a winner.
#2: It’s good if the recipe survives generations. My mom, another amazing cook, frequently made Shoney’s strawberry pie when I was growing up (and still does), although she says hers was never as good as Gram’s.
#3: It’s good if it hooks a farmer. For some reason, I felt compelled to brag to Matt about my baking prowess when we were first dating, which happened to be April of 2011, right as strawberry season was starting (ironically, this pie takes little to no skill to make. HA -fooled him). I made a humble and modest statement like, “I make the best strawberry pie ever.” No big deal. Then Matt gave (not sold) me my first basket of Rudd Farm berries on the premise that I would return them…in the so-called best strawberry pie ever. So on my return trip to the farm the next week… I brought this man a freaking pie. I know, how embarrassingly Laura Ingalls Wilder of me. But here we are 7 years, one child, and many pies later…so it must be good.
There you have it, folks. Hopefully you have a Gram in your life to help with #1, someone else to make sure the recipe stands the test of time, and a farmer in your life to supply good berries in return for the occasional baked good.
Best Ever Strawberry Pie
1 baked pie crust or 1 graham cracker pie crust; deep dish works best
1.5 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
3 TBSP cornstarch
3 TBSP strawberry gelatin
1 quart washed, sliced strawberries
If using baked pie crust, bake according to directions and allow to cool to room temperature. In a saucepan, mix water, sugar, and cornstarch. Heat to a boil, whisking frequently; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add gelatin, whisking until dissolved. Allow to cool. Pour strawberries into prepared pie crust and top with gelatin mixture, making sure to push the glaze in between the nooks and crannies. Refrigerate until set, usually at least 2-3 hours. Serve with whipped cream (Cool Whip from the tub is the only acceptable option here, IMO).