Sunday, July 1, 2012

Kirsch Strawberry Pie

Kirsch Strawberry Pie Source: Maida Heatter's Pies & Tarts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1997 ed.), pg. 37.

I'm not sure what I did wrong on this recipe but the alcohol flavor was way too strong. I went back and checked the ingredients and the measurements were correct. I'm wondering if the kirsch was added during the boiling stage instead of toward the end, that make a difference. The mixture thickened nicely and faster than she implied it would. However, in the end, this recipe was a disappointment. Michael, who loves strawberry pies, says this one almost "knocked him down". You are warned!

1 9-inch baked pie shell or baked crumb crust
2 pint boxes (2 lbs.) fresh strawberries
1 envelope plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup granulated sugar
Red food coloring
1/4 cup kirsch
1 TBS. Grand Mariner, Cointreau, or brandy

Wash the berries quickly, remove the hulls, and let drain on paper towels.  Slice the berries, cutting each one into three or four lengthwise slices.  In a processor or a blender purée enough of the berries to make 1 cup.  (Or you can mash them to a pulp with a fork.)  Chill the remaining sliced berries in the refrigerator.

In a small cup sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let stand.

Place the 1 cup of berry pup in a 6- to 8- cup saucepan.  Add the 1/4 cup warm water.  Stir occasionally over moderate heat until the mixture comes to a boil.

Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.  Remove from the heat.

Add the softened gelatin and stir to dissolve.

Add enough red food coloring to give the mixture a nice rich color.  Strain through a large but rather fine-meshed strainer to remove the seeds.

Place the bowl of the gelatin mixture in a larger bowl partly filled with ice and water and stir occasionally until the mixture thickens and becomes syrupy (this might take longer than you expect).
When the mixture thickens, stir in the kirsch and Grand Marnier, and then the refrigerated berries. 

Mix well but gently and turn into the prepared pie shell or crumb crust.
Refrigerate from 4 to about 10 hours.

Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated or confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: a few toasted slivered almonds
The whipped cream may be put on the pie an hour or two before serving; it is best if it does not stand longer.

In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until the cream holds a definite shape.  Either spread it over the firm filling or, with a pastry bag fitted with a star-shaped tube, form a border of swirls around the outside edge; let eh red show in the middle.  Sprinkle the cream lightly with the optional almonds.  NOTE: If you wish, you can also add a few fresh blueberries when you fold in the refrigerated sliced strawberries.

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