Sweetheart Strawberry Pie was born out of necessity. I was joining girlfriends for a belated birthday celebration and told them I would bring dinner and dessert. When I asked my friend, Cathy, what kind of birthday cake she wanted she said “pie”! So, with Valentine’s Day approaching, I decided to make a Valentine’s Day pie, but I didn’t know what to do because:
- I didn’t want to go to the grocery (I get that way)
- and I only had apples in the frig, but didn’t want to make an apple pie!
I knew I had frozen strawberries in the freezer plus pie crust. So, over a period of days, I kept looking on online and on Pinterest for ideas, but nothing jumped out at me. Then, one day, while linking to a linky party, I found an adorable Strawberry Heart Pie made by Laura over at her Miss Buttercup site! Perfect!
But, only a small problem: hers is made with fresh strawberries and not frozen ones! What the heck, I thought; I’ll give it a try anyway!
So, I printed out her recipe, even the pictures because I didn’t want to miss a step! After allowing my frozen pie crust dough to defrost per the packages instructions, I lightly floured my large chopping board (the back side – I save the front side for actually chopping!), I carefully unrolled it and set about cutting out mini hearts using my 1 1/4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. I went ahead and cut out the entire package because her recipe doesn’t specify exactly how many hearts you need.
So I lined them up like little heart-shaped soldiers and took this photo.
I defrosted my frozen strawberries in a bowl overnight, so they were ready to go. I followed her instructions for the fresh strawberries, holding my breath that the frozen ones would work out fine. And they did! The photo above is the frozen berries mixed with sugar and cornstarch and cooked in a saucepan. Then, after letting the strawberries cool for awhile (while I cut out the hearts), I poured the strawberries into a frozen pre-made pie crust.
Then I went to work on arranging the hearts. They are “glued” onto the pie with a beaten egg, overlapping to form the adorable design. As you can see, I didn’t need all the hearts! In fact, I cut out 110 hearts (I counted them!) and only used 58 plus I had a pile of dough scraps left over (see top right of above photo). I’m sharing this tidbit with readers so that you know you only need one of the refrigerated pie crusts from a 2-pie crust package. So save that extra pie crust for another use!
What did I do with all those leftover mini pie crust hearts? Why I made Sweetheart Pie Crust Cookies, of course!
After applying the egg wash over the entire top of the Sweetheart Strawberry Pie, it was time to “dust” the top of the pie with super-fine sugar. Well, I tend to be a little heavy-handed when in comes to “dusting” anything, so I found a salt shaker that was almost empty, emptied it and washed it, added the sugar and dusted! As you can see, I was still heavy-handed, but it’s all good!
My oven doesn’t bake things evenly, so I always set my timer for less than the recipe calls for. In this case, I checked my pie after the first 20 minutes and could see that the edges were browning too quickly.
So, I covered it with a pie shield and stuck it back in the oven for another 20 to 25 minutes.
Perfectly browned and lovely, my pie was ready! But, now it was nighttime and not the right time for food photography! Plus, my pie oozed all over the baking sheet (be sure to put it on a baking sheet so you don’t mess up your oven) and instead of Sweetheart Strawberry Pie, it looked like Bleeding Heart Strawberry Pie (hey, an idea for Halloween!).
So, the next day I went about setting things up for the photo shoot and snapped away! Poor Charlie is a tortured soul because he has to continually wait for things when it comes to food. Doesn’t matter – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert – he has to wait! In this case, this pie wasn’t for him, so I offered to make him another.
He graciously said “no”, he’d do without. My get-together was a special event for just the girls and he would wait. If there were leftovers, he asked me to bring him a piece home.
Dinner was a huge hit with Cathy and our other friend, Sioux (don’t you like the spelling of her name?)! I made my Sweetheart Steak and Potato Pot Pie, which is so filling that we were bursting at the gills.
So, we only had a sliver of this beautiful pie and Cathy graciously said I could take the rest home to Charlie!
So, Charlie had leftover
Bleeding Heart Strawberry Pie; oops I mean Sweetheart Strawberry Pie!
Here’s the recipe:
- 3 cups frozen strawberries, defrosted overnight and cut in half (if whole) including the juice made by the defrosting strawberries
- 1 - 9" frozen pre-made pie crust (do not defrost)
- 1 roll of refrigerated pie crust from a 2 - 9" inch pie crust package, defrosted per package instructions (about 15 to 20 minutes)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (to roll out the dough)
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons ultra-fine Baker's sugar (super fine sugar)
- Pour strawberries and juice into a saucepan.
- Add sugar and cornstarch and bring to a boil over medium heat (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently (the cornstarch will turn the mixture a peachy-pink, but don't worry - it will turn red again and by stirring, you'll have no lumps!).
- Remove from heat and allow to cool while you cut out the hearts.
- Once cool, pour into frozen pie crust and place on a baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Lightly dust your board or surface with flour.
- Carefully unroll the pie crust and using a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter (1 and ¼ inch), cut out as many hearts as you can.
- Reroll the dough and cut out more hearts until you have 58 to 62 (just in case!) mini hearts.
- Save scraps just in case you need more.
- Brush one side of the hearts with egg wash (I found this hard to do with my pastry brush and used my fingers instead).
- Place the first row of hearts all around the outside edge of the pie and with finger, press to adhere to the edge of the frozen pie crust.
- For the next row and subsequent rows, alternate the hearts by placing them in the gaps left by the bottom of the hearts.
- Continue until pie is covered in mini hearts except for the center of the pie.
- Brush finished pie with egg wash and dust with sugar.
- Place pie in preheated 425 degrees F oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Check the pie and if the edges are browning too quickly, cover with a pie shield.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes until pie is golden brown and bubbly.
Be sure to visit Laura’s site for her original recipe; she has step-by-step photos. Plus, her site is amazing and her photography beautiful! Thanks, Laura, for the inspiration!
(other Valentine’s Day recipes)