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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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Meet Pam Anderson and her daughters, Maggy and Sharon, together known as Three Many Cooks. Pam and the girls are contributing editors who write our CookSmart column. Check out their blog threemanycooks.com.