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Three Many Cooks: Fresh Strawberry Pie
Three Many Cooks: Fresh Strawberry Pie: It's Memorial Day weekend, so feel free to try Three Many Cooks' strawberry pie if you're planning a dessert for your outdoor menu.
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From the cooks

Pam: If I had to name my top five pies, fresh strawberry would be among them. It's one of the simplest pies to make. Once you pre-bake the crust, you're done with the oven. Just make the glaze, slice the berries and you have one very fine-looking pie.

Sharon: I have always loved fresh strawberry pie. (I requested it instead of cake for my 8th birthday!) But I'm not a fan of the gelatinous red goo they sell at the grocery store to bind the fresh berries together. I can't tell you how excited I am to have a recipe where the filling is made from scratch!

Maggy: I don't think there's anything more wonderful than fresh strawberry pie. For me, the perfect summer day would include picking strawberries, making this pie and having a barbecue with my family and friends. And going for a swim!

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Fast and Fresh Strawberry Pie

3 quarts (about 3 pounds) fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs. powdered pectin (Sure Jell)
Pinch salt
3 Tbs. cornstarch, dissolved in ¼ cup of water
1 Tsp. finely grated lemon zest
½ Tsp. vanilla extract
1 pre-baked pie shell

Slice 1 heaping quart of the strawberries for the filling and halve 2 heaping cups of your best-looking ones for the pie top. Halve another 2 cups of strawberries, place in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Measure out 1¼ cups of the puree and transfer to a medium saucepan along with sugar, pectin and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to simmer so that mixture foams, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat; skim foam from surface. Return saucepan to medium heat, slowly whisking in cornstarch mixture. Continue to whisk until mixture is stiff. Stir in lemon zest and vanilla.

Transfer ¼ cup of the mixture to a small bowl. Whisk in up to 2 tablespoons of water for the glaze. Transfer remaining mixture to a medium bowl, placing a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. When mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in sliced strawberries and turn into baked pie shell. Arrange halved strawberries over top; brush with glaze and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The pie can be made several hours ahead.)

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 265 calories, 44g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 9g fat (3g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 6mg fiber, 142mg sodium

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