Food coloring was so ten years ago. That’s why this gorgeous strawberry pie with strawberry crust gets its vibrant pink hue from freeze-dried strawberries (which you can pick up at Trader Joe’s or online). Just whirl ’em up in the food processor with your flour and butter, and voilà: You have a pretty-in-pink dessert that’ll blow everyone away.
About that lattice crust: It might look tricky to accomplish, but it’s deceptively simple to make. But if you need more practice or are short on time, you can skip the decor and make a simple double-crust pie instead. Just make sure to cut a few slits in the top to vent the filling.
Prep: 2 hr
Cook: 45 min
Total: 2 hr 45 min
Strawberry Pie Crust
½ cup freeze-dried strawberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed for dusting
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch-cubes
¼ cup ice water, plus more as needed
Filling and Finishing
5 cups fresh strawberries, halved
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
⅓ cup cornstarch
1 large egg white
Sanding sugar, for finishing
1. Make the Pie Crust: In a food processor, pulse the strawberries and granulated sugar to a fine powder. Add the flour and salt, and continue to process until well combined.
2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas. Transfer to a medium bowl.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the ice water (leave the ice cubes behind). Mix by hand until the mixture uniformly comes together but isn’t sticky or tacky. If necessary, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time.
4. Divide the pie dough in half and form each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
5. Prepare the Filling: In a large bowl, toss together the strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla and salt.
6. In another small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Add the mixture to the strawberries and toss well to combine.
7. In another small bowl, make an egg wash by whisking together the egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Reserve.
8. Assemble the Pie: On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of the dough to ¼ inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and trim the excess crust around the edge with scissors so that only ½ inch hangs over the edge of the plate.
9. Pour the filling into the pie crust, then transfer to the refrigerator while you work on the lattice.
10. Roll out the second disk of dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut 1½-inch-wide strips from the dough. To make the lattice crust, lay 5 strips vertically and evenly spaced on top of the pie (use the longer strips in the center and the shorter strips toward the edges.) Fold every other strip back so the pie filling is exposed, then lay one of the remaining strips horizontally over the pie. Fold the vertical strips back over the pie, then fold the opposite vertical strips back so they lay over the horizontal strip. Put down another horizontal strip, then fold the vertical strips over the new horizontal strip once more. Repeat with the remaining strips, weaving over and under until you have a lattice. Roll up the bottom crust overhang and crimp the edge of the pie crust as desire.
11. Chill the pie for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425°F. When the oven is preheated, brush the surface of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sanding sugar. Bake until the crust begins to brown slightly and the filling is bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell