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3 quarts (about 3 pounds) fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled 1 cup sugar 1 Tbs. powdered pectin (Sure Jell) Pinch salt 3 Tbs. cornstarch, dissolved in ¼ cup of water 1 Tsp. finely grated lemon zest ½ Tsp. vanilla extract 1 pre-baked pie shell
Slice 1 heaping quart of the strawberries for the filling and halve 2 heaping cups of your best-looking ones for the pie top. Halve another 2 cups of strawberries, place in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Measure out 1¼ cups of the puree and transfer to a medium saucepan along with sugar, pectin and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to simmer so that mixture foams, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat; skim foam from surface. Return saucepan to medium heat, slowly whisking in cornstarch mixture. Continue to whisk until mixture is stiff. Stir in lemon zest and vanilla.
Transfer ¼ cup of the mixture to a small bowl. Whisk in up to 2 tablespoons of water for the glaze. Transfer remaining mixture to a medium bowl, placing a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. When mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in sliced strawberries and turn into baked pie shell. Arrange halved strawberries over top; brush with glaze and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The pie can be made several hours ahead.)