Summer means strawberry, and yesterday that meant pie. My mom left yesterday afternoon, she was here visiting for the first time. I had a blast showing her what has now become my city and its surroundings. She was such a trooper biking around the city like a pro. Biking is not hard, but you have to keep an eye with all the tourists not paying attention to the road and, the taxis and scooters driving like crazy. I think I was the most stressed always looking back to see if she was OK, I felt like a mom. Three weeks flew by and all of the sudden we were heading to the airport to drop her off. It doesn’t get easier to say goodbye year after year.
What did I do to keep my mind busy instead of sad? I baked this pie.
It takes some time because the dough needs to chill for a while and you can make the lattice as simple or intricate as you want. Because I made braids, it took a bit longer.
This recipe has more than enough dough for you to play around with the lattice top design that you want. I used a 23cm pie mold and still had some dough left over. You can freeze the remaining dough. Just make sure to cover it properly with plastic wrap so it doesn’t get freezer burn.
If you like fruit flavored water, don’t throw away the strawberry tops. Add it to water, I used sparkling water, and let it sit in the fridge for one hour before drinking it. It’s simple, delicious and zero waste from the strawberries. This is a tip I read on Food52.
For the pie crust:
3 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon of salt
340gr of cold butter, chopped into pieces (I used salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter)
8 tablespoons of cold water
2 tablespoons of elderflower cordial
For the strawberry-elderflower filling:
700gr of strawberries, hulled and quartered
½ cup of granulated sugar
¼ cup of packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons of elderflower cordial
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
¼ cup of cornstarch (Maizena)
Pinch of salt
To finish the pie:
Granulated sugar for sprinkling on the lattice top
Start by making the pie crust, place the water and elderflower cordial in a cup and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, until it is very cold. Place the chopped butter, covered with plastic wrap also in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
You can make the pie crust in the food processor, by hand or in the stand mixer. I used my stand mixer fitted with the flat beater. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the cold butter pieces, mix it with a spatula. Then mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. Then add the cold water mixed with the elderflower cordial. Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until you have an even dough.
Divide the dough into 3 parts. Pat it down with your hands, forming a circle with each piece. Keep one piece on a floured working area. Wrap the 2 remaining pieces with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer for 1 hour.
Roll out the piece of dough that you left on your working area. Dust with enough flour so it doesn’t stick. Roll it big enough to cover the bottom of the pie mold. Place the dough on the bottom of the pie mold, press with your fingers so the sides stick and trim the edges. Refrigerate until the time for the other pieces of the dough that you placed in the freezer is up.
In the meanwhile, start making the filling. Place the hulled and quartered strawberries in a bowl (if you like fruit flavored water; don’t forget to keep the strawberry tops, add it to water and let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour before drinking). Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Set it aside, until ready to use.
Once the hour is up for the dough in the freezer, take the pie mold from the fridge. Spoon the strawberry filling into the pie crust.
Remove 1 piece of the dough from the freezer. Roll it out into a big rectangle of about 50x26cm. Cut the dough into 2cm strips. For the rim of the pie, I made 2 big braids. For the lattice top, I cut each 2cm strip into 3 thin strips (they don’t have to be perfectly cut). With each 3 thin strips, I made one thin braid. In total I used 9 thin braids to cover the pie. I kept 2 small pieces of the thin braids to cover the parts of the rim that showed the separation between the 2 big braids. In total, you will need 2 big braids and 9 thin braids to cover the pie with this design. If you need more dough, just take the remaining piece out of the freezer.
Arrange the small braids first on the pie. You can click here to see instructions with pictures from The Kitchn on how to arrange the lattice top.
Once the lattice top is arranged, place the big braids around the rim of the pie. Use 2 pieces of the thin braids to cover the parts where each big braid meets. Place the pie in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. This will make cleaning easier, since the strawberry filling oozes out and you don’t want sticky strawberry filling in the bottom of your oven.
Once the 20 minutes are up, remove the pie from the fridge. Brush the dough with some of the egg wash and sprinkle some granulated sugar. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the dough is golden.
Allow for the pie to cool down completely before slicing it with a bread knife.
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