From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Sweet Summer Endings
Because uncooked berries shed so much liquid, the filling for strawberry pie is usually firmed up with some sort of thickener, which produces results that range from stiff and bouncy to runny and gloppy. We wanted a recipe for our ideal strawberry pie, featuring fresh berries lightly held together by a sheer, glossy glaze that would make their flavor pop in the buttery shell. We knew that the success of our strawberry pie hinged on getting the thickener just right. When none of the thickeners we tried worked on their own, we decided to use a combination of two: pectin (in the form of a homemade strawberry jam) and cornstarch. By themselves, pectin produced a filling that was too firm and cornstarch one that was too loose. But together they created just the right supple, lightly clingy glaze.
The key to this dessert’s bright flavor—plump, uncooked berries—can also be its soupy downfall. But how do you firm up the filling without making it gluey and dull-tasting?Watch the Video
Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8 to 10
To account for any imperfect strawberries, the ingredient list calls for several more ounces of berries than will be used in the pie. If possible, seek out ripe, farmers’ market–quality berries. Make certain that you use Sure-Jell engineered for low- or no-sugar recipes (packaged in a pink box) and not regular Sure-Jell (in a yellow box); otherwise, the glaze will not set properly. The pie is at its best after two or three hours of chilling; as it continues to chill, the glaze becomes softer and wetter, though the pie will taste just as good.