This is the first thing that I baked in my new oven and BOY was it was a show-stopper.
I hesitated writing “strawberry balsamic pie” as the title because really, this is just a regular strawberry pie without any frills. Think of the balsamic as lemon juice. All it does in this recipe is compliment the flavour of the strawberries, so if you’re feeling scared, don’t be! Strawberries and balsamic belong together!
I first came across this flavour combination while living in Sicily. Down the street from our flat, there was this neat little bakery that sold two baked treats showcasing strawberries and balsamic: (1) a tiny chocolate cake (never did get to try this!), and (2) a handheld pastry stuffed with whipped cream and balsamic strawberries (which was to DIE for btw)!
I didn’t get what I originally ordered at this shop half of the time because I didn’t speak Italian, and sometimes when I pointed and said questo it was a guessing game for the person working there to give me what I wanted. Anyway, I ended up trying a bunch of crazy things while I lived in Palermo and am so thankful to have had this strawberry balsamic flavour combination to bring back into my own kitchen.
The new house is pretty much set up. We haven’t hung many photos or artwork up yet and our patio is empty, but the bare bones are there, and from where we sit now, we can add/take away things little by little while we build our lives in this space. We’re excited!
One thing I’ve noticed about living on the West coast is how much easier it is to get fresh produce. In Montreal, I had to either walk 30 minutes down the hill or take the metro an hour away to go to one of the markets (where parking is an actual nightmare)! Here, or at least in the town that I live in, there are tiny huts selling fruits and vegetables at pretty much every traffic light. It’s mostly corn, but still! I love it.
If I were still in Montreal I wouldn’t be buying strawberries by the pound this time of year, but here they are very much still in season and absolutely delicious!
I’m happy a strawberry pie was the first thing I baked while living here. It sets the stage for many, many, pies to come and even more happy bellies.
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup ice
- 5-6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
- Turninado sugar, for sprinkling
- For the pie crust, stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a spatula.
- With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain (be careful not to overblend).
- Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix with a spatula until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the pastry blender or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining (you'll need about 10-12 tablespoons of the water-cider mixture by the end).
- Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
- Separate the dough into two halves and shape each dough half into a flat disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days).
- When ready to bake, position the oven racks at the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- To make the filling, in a medium bowl toss together strawberries (if they are wet at all from washing make sure to pat them dry), sugars, cornstarch, salt, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon. Toss until combined and set aside. The strawberries will begin to produce juice - this is ok.
- To assemble the pie, on a well-floured surface, roll the bottom crust to about 12-inches in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan and trim and crimp the edges with your fingers.
- Spoon filling into pie crust.
- Roll out the top crust like you did the top crust. Use a pizza slicer or a knife to slice the dough into 1-inch wide strips and weave the crust strips on top of the pie for a lattice crust.
- Brush the pastry with the egg wash being careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (or it will burn).
- Sprinkle with the desired amount of turbinado sugar. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake the pie for 30 minutes more, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve at room temperature (to allow the filling to thicken up).
- The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days. Serves 8 to 10.
*Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
Find my instructions for a lattice crust here