Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Strawberry Lemon Pie for Easter

Hi guys!  I don’t know if you all know this….but Easter is sneaking up on us….fast.  It is already is less than two weeks!  Yikes!  Today I will be showing you a recipe for a yummy Strawberry Lemon Pie.  And I am going to get right to it because I need to finish cleaning my house.  The local news is coming tomorrow morning to interview me about my “local business.”  I am super excited, but making my house look like I don’t belong on “Hoarders” is never fun.  Have you ever looked under your couch?  Did you throw up in your mouth a little bit or am I the only one?

Back to the pie…I love strawberries and lemon together, don’t you?  I think they are a perfect mix of sweet and sour.  And this pie screams “spring!” to me.  The best part about this pie….it’s easy.  And….I am going to give you an option to make it less fat/calories.  I, of course, did not choose that option, but I will show it to you anyway.

For this recipe, I chose to use a store bought pie crust.  You know, the one that comes in the freezer section already perfectly shaped?  Yep, that one.  You could totally make your own pie crust if you are extra ambitious.

I “blind-baked” this pie crust, which basically just means that I baked it first with nothing in it.

I don’t use dried beans or rice to weigh it down.  I actually just poke holes all over it with a fork to keep it from poofing up.  I baked this at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.  Your package should tell you how to blind bake your pie crust.

After it bakes, it is important that you let the crust cool all the way before you try to fill it.  This pie is served cold anyway, so go ahead and pop that bad boy in the fridge.

Like I said, this pie is super easy.  The “easy” filling consists of lemon curd, strawberries, lemon pudding mix, whole milk, heavy cream and powdered sugar.

I layer this pie.  The first layer is lemon curd.  You can make your own if you want.  It is actually pretty easy.  Here is a recipe: http://gourmetrooster.blogspot.com/2011/11/its-holidayseat-some-gingerbread.html.  The next layer is sliced strawberries, and the top layer is a lemon cream made with whipped cream and lemon pudding.  Yum!  It is light and delicious.  You have to make this pie.

Once my pie crust was cool, I spread some lemon curd down on the bottom.  I love lemon curd.  It is really easy to find in your grocery store.  I used a brand called “Sticky Fingers”.  It is my favorite, and I am quite the curd connoisseur.

Next, I laid down a layer of sliced strawberries.  I covered the whole bottom so that no curd showed at all.

Little tip: after you slice your strawberries, lay them out on a piece of paper towel to make sure they are super dry.  You don’t want any strawberry juice to leach out into the pie.

After I got the strawberries in place, I popped this pie in the fridge while I made the rest of the filling.

I started by whipping up some heavy cream with powdered sugar.

I whipped the cream to soft peaks.  Don’t take it too far.  It won’t get fluffier if that is what you are thinking.  It will turn into butter.

Here is the way to lighten this up……Use non-fat Whipped Topping (Cool Whip) instead of heavy whipping cream.  You can skip this step and just go straight to the puddin’ making.

Did you notice that my pictures are going from light to dark and then light again?  I swear I wasn’t cooking in a rave with a cool strobe light.  I don’t know what happened.  I am a bit slow in the photography department.

Anyhoo, I whisked up my box of pudding with only half of the amount of milk that the box called for.  This will make a thick, rich pudding.  Also, you could use low fat milk for this instead of whole milk.  Or even skim.  They make that kind of milk….so I’ve been told.

You can also use sugar free pudding mix;)

Dark again!  Oops.

I finished the filling by folding the pudding mixture into the whipped cream (or Whipped Topping if you are skinny).  Folding is actually very easy.  You draw your spatula down the center and turn half of the filling over the rest.  Then, you spin your bowl a quarter of the way around and do it again, gently.  You keep going like that until the pudding and whipped cream are mixed, but still fluffy.

The pudding/whipped cream combo makes a light, but still thick and rich filling.  It is genius.

I spread the filling over the strawberries.  It is a lot of filling!  Then, I popped the pie into the freezer to firm it up.  If you are planning on serving it that day, freeze it and let it sit out for 30 minutes before you serve it.  If you are serving it the next day, just pop it in the fridge.  It just needs to get cold to firm up.

Isn’t it pretty?  I topped mine with some extra strawberries just for color.

This pie is so yummy!  And refreshing.  The lemon curd is sour, but the sweetness of the strawberries balances it out.  Then, the filling is light and airy and just plain good.  This is a perfect Easter or spring pie.  I hope you try it!

Wish me luck on the interview tomorrow.  Here’s hoping I don’t reveal what a dork I actually am.

Strawberry and Lemon Pie

1 pie crust-bottom shell only

8 ounces lemon curd

½ pound strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 pack instant lemon pudding

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Prick pie crust all over with a fork to keep it from rising and bubbling.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Set aside to cool.

Once pie crust is cooled, spread lemon curd all over the bottom.  Top the curd with sliced strawberries.  Place pie in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Whip cream with powdered sugar, with a hand mixer until soft peaks are formed. In a separate bowl, whisk together pudding mix with milk until smooth.  Fold pudding into whipped cream with a rubber spatula.  Spread filling on top of strawberries.  Place pie in fridge for at least 6 hours.

Serves 8

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