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This is the blog for Monique M. McCullough - author of Color Me Georgi the "best new children's picture book to get your kids to learn, and love, their colors! No crayons or markers needed - just imagination and magic hands!" Now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and good bookstores everywhere! 

Easy Strawberry Pie - rope crust Meets a glorious mess

Strawberry picking in the spring, much like apple picking in the fall, is an annual tradition for us which began long before the munchkins arrived. I have great memories (and fun photos) of taking Matilda strawberry picking at just six-months old. She was in an infant carrier and it made bending down to pick the berries quite an ergonomic feat - but we managed! 

Sorry...you came for the pie...

 Rope crust...the secret is doubled-up dough on the rim and push your two index fingers together on an angle. 

Rope crust...the secret is doubled-up dough on the rim and push your two index fingers together on an angle. 

I never understand how magazines achieve that perfect pie picture. You know, the one in which the cuts are crisp and the filling stays firmly in its place. Mine are a much more goopy affair with probably too much liquid and crust that has crumbled. But that's okay...it all goes down the same way, right?

Expect liquid from this pie. Sure you could add gelatin or puddings but I try to make these as natural as possible and I personally would rather it taste like strawberries than thickened synthetic sugar, but that's just my opinion :)

Pie time! I made this as a deep-dish pie but you can just use fewer strawberries for a regular pie dish. 

Directions:

1. Make a double batch of Mark Bittman's Sweet Pie Crust (it's basic and brilliant) - or use STORE-BOUGHT crust :) 

2. Lay out your first layer of piecrust and double fold the rim. With your two index fingers, crimp the dough firmly at an angle to achieve the rope crust look. Put it back in the refrigerator to chill while you assemble the filling. The colder the dough, the less likely it is to sag or shrink in the oven. 

3. In a large bowl toss 2 lbs of sliced strawberries (enough for a deep-dish pie) with about 3 tablespoons of sifted cornstarch, 2/3 cup of sugar, and a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste it and see if it is too your liking.  You can add plums (we did), rhubarb, or other fresh berries. 

4. Assemble your lattice top with the remaining dough (roll it out, cut it in strips and let the kids go wild with "over, and under, over, and under, over and under...") 

5. Make an egg wash of one egg and a tablespoon of milk. Whisk well and brush all over the piecrust. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar (or whatever sugar you have on hand). 

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (keep an eye on it because all ovens are different). 

7. Let it rest and then dig in. Remember, this is a RUSTIC pie. It will be soupy and messy but it's GOOOOOD and so simple (especially if you use store-bought crust). Don't forget a  a scoop of ice-cream on top :) 

MMM 

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