by Caroline

The New Englander in me is still shocked to see strawberries at the farmer’s market in March, but I get over that quickly, feel grateful for this early hit of summer, and buy quarts of them. This week, I knew I wanted to make a pie to celebrate Pi Day (March 14 = 3/14 = 3.14 for those of you not living with a very mathematically-minded eight year-old) but also knew, what with our preschool auction, the time change, and other events in our typically busy weekend, that I wouldn’t want to spend much time rolling out dough or babysitting a pie in the oven. So, I pulled the Joy of Cooking off the shelf and found this incredibly easy and delicious pie. It’s really only as good as the berries you use, so make sure they are fully ripe.

First, make a crust for a 9″ pie. I used a graham cracker crumb crust:

1 1/2 c crumbs
6 T melted butter
a dash of salt

Combine well and press into a pie pan. Freeze for 20 minutes before filling.

Now make the pie filling:
6 c berries: rinse, pat dry, hull, and slice in half or quarters, depending on their size (you want them bite sized)

set aside 4 cups of berries; puree the remaining 2 cups of berries in a blender

combine in medium sauce pan
1 c sugar
1/4 c corn starch
1/8 t salt

whisk in 1/2 c water
stir in the pureed berries
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T butter, cut into small chunks

Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook for one minute. Pour half the reserved berries into the crust, then spoon half of the hot berry mixture over them. Gently shake the pie pan or use a spatula to coat the berries evenly. Cover with the remaining berries, then spoon the rest of the berry mixture over them, shaking the pan again gently or using a spatula to evenly distribute the berries.

Refrigerate the pie at least 4 hours to set. It’s best served the day it’s made, with whipped cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt.