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Strawberry-Basil Pie

Allison Kave knows a thing or two about making mouthwatering pies. The award-winning pie baker behind Butter & Scotch is known for a style that blends perfect piecrusts with uniquely flavored fillings. Take this strawberry-basil number, which pairs summer strawberries with complementary flavors such as basil, black pepper and balsamic vinegar to create a pie that’s satisfying and harmonious yet completely unexpected.

Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie


½ cup whole milk

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, chilled

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted European-style cultured butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled

¼ cup rendered leaf lard, or additional ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

Egg wash or milk, for glazing

Raw sugar, for sprinkling


Strawberry-Basil Filling

2 pounds (about 2 quarts) strawberries, hulled and halved

10 large basil leaves, thinly sliced

Zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Make the crust: In a liquid measuring cup, combine the milk with the apple cider vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. On a clean flat surface or in a large shallow bowl, whisk the flour with the granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt until combined. Using a pastry blender, butter knives or forks, cut the butter and lard, if using, into the flour mixture until the butter and lard are reduced to the size of peas.

3. Gently spread out the flour-butter mixture to expose as much surface area as possible. Drizzle about half of the reserved milk mixture over the flour-butter mixture, covering as wide an area as possible. Using bench scrapers or a large spoon, lightly toss the flour over the liquid. (Do not stir the mixture.) Spread out the mixture again and repeat the process with the second half of the milk mixture. (The dough should just hold together when pressed against the bowl and have visible little chunks of butter. Add additional cold milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, until you reach the desired consistency.) Form the dough into a rough disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.

4. When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 425°. Remove half the dough from the refrigerator. On a clean, well-floured surface, roll it into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1 inch and refrigerate the crust.

5. Make the filling: Look over the strawberries and cut any large halves into smaller pieces. In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the basil, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar until combined. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar with the cornstarch, black pepper and salt until combined. Toss the strawberry mixture with the sugar mixture and immediately pour it into the refrigerated piecrust. Brush the rim of the bottom piecrust with the milk or egg wash.

6. Roll the second half of the dough into a circle about 11 inches in diameter and cut it into six 2-inch-thick strips. Lay one strip across the center of the filling. Lay another strip across the middle, perpendicular to the first strip. Then lay two strips perpendicular to that strip on either side of the center. Peel back one side of the bottom strip, lay a strip down perpendicular to that one and cover it. Trim the edges and tuck the top crust over the rim of the bottom crust to form a tight seal. Crimp the edge and brush the crust with the milk or egg wash and sprinkle with the raw sugar.

7. Put the pie on a large baking sheet and bake, turning halfway through, for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake for 30 to 40 minutes longer or until the crust is golden and fully baked and the juices have thickened. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool at least 1 hour before serving.

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