Strawberry Cream Pie with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Fresh Strawberry Pie Filling
Vanilla pastry cream and fresh strawberry pie filling are layered inside a flaky pie crust for a strawberries & cream pie that is the perfect summer treat.
It’s fresh berry season, a fact that makes me very, very happy. I am one of those people who purchases fresh berries year round, even though I live in Colorado, a place where berries are most definitely not in season year round. You can pretty much find at least one basket of strawberries inside of my refrigerator every single day of the year, even in January, when they are flown in from who knows where, cost as much as a new pair of shoes, and barely taste like strawberries.
This is mostly because of my strawberries and yogurt breakfast habit. Or, should we say addiction? For some reason, I feel I can’t get going in the morning without a mug (or 5) of hot coffee, and yogurt with berries.
Sometimes this means simply slicing berries over plain Greek yogurt that’s been sweetened with Stevia and honey. Other times it means blending it up and freezing it into Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. It’s really just a matter of what I’m in the mood for and whether I’m willing to wait for my yogurt to be frozen.
So, seeing as I’m going to eat them no matter what, I get really excited when my morning berries don’t cost as much as our mortgage payment and have that amazingly sweet intense flavor that only comes when they are in season.
Last week, I walked into my local grocery store last week and saw baskets of gorgeous, locally grown fresh strawberries for $1/lb. Naturally, I bought about 10 pounds of them. Not even joking.
Then, I made Strawberries and Cream Pie.
Two Strawberries and Cream Pies, actually. One for my Dad’s birthday, and the other just because I felt that we needed slices of strawberry pie in our life for a few days.
The pie is simple to make, but does require a teeny bit of planning to allow time for the pastry cream, strawberry pie filling, and the freshly baked pie to cool. Each component of Strawberries and Cream pie – the crust, pastry cream and strawberry pie filling – can be made in advance.
If you’re going to make the pie in one day:
- Make a batch of Fool Proof Pie Crust Dough and put it in the refrigerator to chill
- Make the pastry cream and put it in the refrigerator to cool
- Make the Strawberry Pie Filling and allow it to cool to room temperature, stirring it from time to time to release trapped heat
- Partially bake the bottom pie shell and set it aside to cool to room temperature
- When everything is at least cooled to room temperature, assemble and bake the pie according to the recipe instructions.
- Allow Strawberries and Cream pie to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving, at least 2 hours, and 3 or 4 is even better.
Used in this Recipe:
You’ll notice that the strawberry pie filling in this recipe calls for Strawberry Bakery Emulsion. I love this stuff – especially in Red Velvet Cake and Fresh Strawberry Cake. It intensifies the strawberry flavor, adding a more distinct contrast between the strawberry filling and the smooth vanilla pastry cream.
Having said that, using strawberry emulsion in your strawberries and cream pie is completely optional. The pie is delicious with and without it.
You Might Also Like:
- Berry Lemon Snack Cake
- Fresh Strawberry Cake with Pistachio Buttercream
- Strawberry Mojito Cupcakes
- Mixed Berry Muffins
Strawberries & Cream Pie
- 1½ tsp unflavored gelatin
- 3 tsp cold water
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5-6 heaping cups of fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp Strawberry Emulsion (optional)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- Using a 9-inch pie plate, partially pre-bake a bottom pie shell according to these instructions.
- MAKE THE PASTRY CREAM:
- In a small dish, stir the gelatin and water together to combine. There should be just enough water to moisten the gelatin, creating a thick paste. Set aside.
- Add milk, sugar, salt, egg yolks and cornstarch to a 4-quart or larger heavy bottomed saucepan and whisk vigorously to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, at which point the mixture will have thickened to the point that the whisk will leave tracks as you stir. Remove from the heat and whisk vigorously for 30 seconds longer. Pour into a bowl.
- Break the gelatin into small pieces, dropping them into the hot pastry cream. Whisk until the gelatin is completely incorporated, about 20 seconds. Whisk in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap over the surface of the pastry cream, and punch a few holes in the surface of the wrap with a sharp knife. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Hull and quarter the strawberries and put them into a medium size heavy bottom saucepan. Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until the strawberries release some of their juice, the sugar melts, and the resulting syrup is thickened, about 5-8 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon extract, vanilla extract and strawberry emulsion (if using). Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spoon the pastry cream into the partially baked bottom shell and smooth into an even layer.
- Pour the strawberry pie filling over the pastry cream and distribute into an even layer.
- Remove the remaining pie dough from the refrigerator and on a floured surface, roll out enough dough to make a 12-inch disc. Either, cover the pie with the whole disk of dough, or cut the disk into strips for a lattice top.
- Gently brush the egg wash over the top crust with a pastry brush and sprinkle evenly with one tablespoon of sugar. If baking your pie with a whole top crust (as opposed to lattice strips), carefully cut 5 two-inch slits in the top crust to vent.
- Put the pie on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or aluminum foil (to catch any drips) and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 30-40 minutes, until the top crust is golden brown and you can see the strawberry pie filling is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting and serving, at least 2 hours. The pie can be served chilled or at room temperature. Store any uneaten pie in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.