Friday, March 11, 2011

Strawberry Pie with Almond Crust

This a wonderful recipe which I learnt from one of my neighbor whose name is Randi. She is a wonderful person with lots of talents like baking, sewing and making crafts. I got chance to learn few things from her. This Strawberry pie is one of them. She also used to baby sit Anush for some time, while I was away. I also learn few bead crafts, like making earrings and bracelets and also felt winter cap which I made myself for Anush. It's fun to be and spend time with her.
This Strawberry pie was the first thing I learnt from her. I also made a her 60th birth'day party cake and wrote more about her in that post in my blog.
Shoj got this big box of strawberries, I tried to eat them but could not finish it, so I thought of making this pie before it start to spoil and get wasted.

For the Almond Crust:
1 1/2 cups finely chopped Almonds (I chose the whole almonds with skin) (When she taught me she used the almonds without skin, you can use anything that you like)
3 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Butter at room temperature.

For the Strawberry Filling:
3 cups Strawberries chopped into small pieces and keep in fridge to keep it chill.

For the Strawberry Glaze:
1 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Cornstarch or 1 tsp Knox
1/2 cup Water
1 cup mashed Strawberries

For Cream Cheese Topping:
8 oz package Cream Cheese at room temperature
1 cup Whipping cream (cold)
3/4 cup powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

To make the Crust:
1. In a pan add the chopped almonds and roast them in medium low flame until they turn light brown. Allow to cool it and blend them in a mixer with the melted butter and sugar.
2. Preheat oven to 400F
3. Place this mixture in a 9" or 9 1/2" pie pan and press down with a fork in the center and work it through the sides up till you can take it. Make sure it is even.
4. Bake this crust for about 8-10 mins or until the crust turns light brown.
5. Remove it from oven and cool it to room temperature.
6. Now add the strawberries over the top of the crust or you can even place these strawberries over the glaze that we are going to make.

To make the Glaze:
1. In a sauce pan add all the ingredients and mix it well with a whisk.
2. Bring the flame up to a boil, and then reduce it to low and keep stirring and cook the glaze for about 5 mins or until it becomes thick.
3. Off the flame. Allow it to cool and keep in fridge so that it's is chilled.

To make the Cream Cheese Topping:
1. In a mixing bowl (make sure even the bowl is cold - to make it cold you can place the bowl in freezer too) add the the whipping cream with an electric hand mixer, beat it until stiff peaks form.
2. Add the powdered sugar and mix again.
3. In another bowl add the cream cheese and carefully add the whipped cream in batches and fold it in the cream cheese, so that you don't loose the air. (I did not use this topping this time, but I topped the pie with Vanilla Ice Cream while serving a piece of the pie - you can do anything of your choice or even you can use just a whipped cream topping and decorate the pie).
4. Keep this topping in fridge so that it remains cold.

Assembling the Pie:
1. Place the pie crust and pour the glaze over it and arrange the strawberries and top it with cream cheese topping or any topping of your choice or ice cream and allow it to set in the fridge for about 2-3 hrs or over night would be best to get a perfect slice of the pie.