Food

Cardamom Strawberry Country Slab Pie

Put all those fresh berries to use in this picnic-perfect pie.

Put all those fresh berries to use in this picnic-perfect pie

(Photography by Michael Gozum)

Not all strawberry pies need a rhubarb companion. Let sweet, in-season strawberries be the hero of your next dessert. The fragrant, bright-red centre is accented with cardamom, lime and vanilla for a slightly-spiced fruit filling. Serve with freshly-whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or enjoy it plain to savour the pure strawberry bliss. And no need for plates or utensils — portions are easily served on a napkin and eaten out of hand, making this the perfect picnic pie. 

Cardamom Strawberry Country Slab Pie

Making pie crust from scratch doesn’t need to be complicated. The trick is to roll it out on a well-floured surface and use the quarter turn method (described below) to ensure it doesn’t stick to the counter. Leave some strawberries whole and halve, or quarter the larger berries to give the filling a varied texture with chunks of strawberries suspended in a jammy sauce.

*You can substitute sliced frozen strawberries for fresh. Do not thaw before using.

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups very cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup ice water (approx.)

Filling:

  • 8 cups fresh strawberries, hulled (about 4 lb)*
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt

Topping:

  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp coarse sugar, such as turbinado

Preparation

Dough: 

In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pieces no larger than the size of a pea. With the motor running, slowly pour in the ice water (not the ice) until the dough begins to form a ball, adding more water, a little at a time, if necessary. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal portions. Shape into two 1-inch thick rectangles and wrap well with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour or up to two days. (This recipe makes enough dough for two, double crust, 9-inch pies.) 

Filling: 

Leave any small berries whole, cut medium strawberries in half and quarter any large berries. Toss strawberries with granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lime juice, cardamom, vanilla, ginger and salt. Let stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes or until a bit saucy. 

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Unwrap one portion of dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Lightly dust the top of the pastry and the rolling pin with flour. Roll from the centre, outwards, rotating and making quarter turns often. Be sure to re-dust the surface, pastry and pin, as needed to prevent sticking. Roll out into a rectangle large enough to cover the bottom, and come up over the sides of a 15x10-inch baking pan. Place in the fridge until needed.  

Roll out the second portion of dough to the same size as the first. Using a pastry cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into ½-inch thick diagonal strips. Stir the strawberry mixture and pour into the chilled crust. Spread filling evenly and brush egg wash over the edges of the crust. 

Place half the strips of dough diagonally over the filling. Weave the remaining strips, one at a time, in the opposite direction, under and over the first set of strips. Lightly press the ends of each strip into the edge of the crust to seal. Trim excess dough to just beyond the edge of the baking pan. Crimp edges with fingers or tines of a fork to create a decorative border. Brush the lattice topping and edges with egg wash; sprinkle with coarse sugar. 

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least one hour. Pie can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, for up to 3 days. 

Yield: Makes 16 to 20 servings 


Sabrina is owner and Chief Culinary Officer of SF Creative Culinary Services, an all-inclusive content marketing agency, based just outside Toronto serving food & beverage brands all over the world. Follow along on Instagram @sf_creativeculinaryservices.

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