As we all know, strawberries are one of the first signs that the harsh, insanely long winter has passed, the spring rhubarb and it’s semi-almost kind of warm weather are on their way out and summer might actually arrive.
When I finally saw strawberries at the farmer’s markets, I was relieved, but I was still pondering how this was going to usher in the sweet juicy pies of summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love using strawberries in pie (see Strawberry Ginger Pie), but unless there is something to counter the sweetness (again, see ginger), I find it can be a lot of one note sweetness for pie.
As I pondered this, I had also been thinking about how I rarely use bourbon in summer pies, even though it adds a delightful warmth and spice which can definitely transition out of fall apples and pears to summer fruit.
Strawberries and bourbon. Strawberry cocktail. Spiked strawberry lemonade. Strawberry bourbon lemonade pie. That is how this pie was born (but tested with a galette first – simply cut everything in half to do that).
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)
- 5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters
- 2 tbsp plus 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about a full lemon)
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- Pinch of cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp ground arrowroot
- Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water)
- Raw sugar, for sprinkling
To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.
Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand. Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms. If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along. Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together. Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).
Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan. Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the corners.
Roll out the other dough disk and cut into evenly sized strips with a paring knife or pizza cutter. This will be your lattice. Refrigerate strips and crust lined pan for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, toss strawberries with 2 tbsp sugar and allow to macerate for 15 minutes. Drain excess juices. Toss strawberries with lemon juice and bourbon, followed by remaining 1/4 cup sugar, spices, salt and arrowroot.
Remove pie shell from fridge and spoon in filling with a slotted spoon, leaving behind excess juices.
Arrange lattice as desired, then roll the crust overhang over top of the ends of the lattice strips, like a crust wall trimming any overhang if you feel you need to. Make sure the “wall” is sealed well so it doesn’t unroll while baking.
To crimp the edge of the crust, “pinch and push” using your thumb and pointer finger and other thumb, like below:
Place the pie in the fridge for 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.
Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking. The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.
Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown. Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie. Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!