Are you excited for strawberry season?
It’s right around the corner! The farm where I pick my strawberries estimates that the pickin’ will be good late May or early June. But I’ve been oogling so many great strawberry recipes around the web already, that I thought I would share one of my favorite strawberry desserts. This is one that I featured on my previous baking blog.
Here’s a rustic strawberry dessert that is so simple in it’s flavors and execution, that I had to share it one more time. And you get a double hit of strawberry flavor because underneath that luscious chocolate meringue is a layer of sweet strawberry jam!
A simple, casual pie crust is baked with a layer of sweet strawberry jam and light and nutty chocolate meringue. Then it’s strewn with toasted pine nuts, fresh strawberries and chocolate shavings.
Use the freshest strawberries that are in season and this pie will be amazing!
The chocolate in this rustic pie looks creamy, and it is! But the chocolate layer is basically a meringue, so it adds a light, chewy texture as well.
When I pick strawberries, I TOTALLY underestimate the weight of my cardboard box. Somehow, it doesn’t look like much, and so you can always put . . . . . just a few more . . . . into the mix. And then you go to pay and the couple of pounds of strawberries you intended to buy ends up being more like ten! But they never go to waste!
So as you pick your strawberries this year, keep this recipe in the back of your mind.
“Health food may be good for the conscience, but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.” Robert Redford
- For the Pie Crust:
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 7 Tablespoons of chilled butter
- 3 Tablespoons of ice water
- For the Filling:
- 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 egg whites at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
- 1 cup of sliced strawberries (use more or less to suit you)
- ¼ cup of strawberry jam
- handful of toasted pine nuts
- chocolate shavings and sea salt to garnish if desired
- Start by whisking the flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and sprinkle them over the flour.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs and the largest pieces are the size of peas.
- Add the ice water and blend with a fork until the dough is just moist enough to hold together when pressed.
- Gather the dough into a ball and knead it just enough to hold it together.
- Pat the dough into a small oval shape and cover it with some plastic wrap and refrigerate for about a half an hour.
- Place the rack in your oven to the lower third position in the oven and preheat it to 400°F.
- When you are ready to make the pie, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it measures roughly a 9 x 14 inch oval.
- Carefully fold it in half.
- You may have to use your bench scraper or palette knife to gently loosen the dough from your surface.
- Place the dough on a baking pan lined with a piece of parchment paper.
- Loosely fold and roll the edges to form a rimmed crust.
- Bake the crust for roughly 12 minutes, or until it is very lightly golden brown.
- Remove it from the oven and immediately spread ¼ of a cup of strawberry jam on top.
- Cover the entire crust to the edges with the jam.
- Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water until it is melted and smooth.
- Set aside to cool for a bit.
- Slip the whisk attachment onto your electric mixer.
- Whip the egg whites ,vanilla and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the granulated sugar and then the pinch of salt.
- Continue to whip until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
- Fold in the chocolate and pecans and spread this over the strawberry jam layer on your crust.
- Continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the chocolate seems dry and slightly cracked at the edges.
- NOTE: At the 10 minute point, you will not want to leave the oven. I actually made this twice. The first time, after 10 minutes I felt it could go for another minute or two. I didn’t check it after 1 minute. But after 2 minutes, the top was completely burnt! I slapped myself on the head and said…..of course it burnt quickly…..it’s meringue!
- You will want to let this set a good 45 minutes to 1 hour after you’ve removed it from the oven. Top it with sliced, fresh strawberries and a handful of pine nuts.
- Garnish it with shavings of chocolate.
- Cut this into rough slices.
- And by all means, serve this up with some freshly whipped cream.
Support your local farmers!