Fresh Strawberry Pie from Gramercy Tavern

by Hilary Gauntt on May 3, 2017

We are just back from a memorable trip to the east coast; visiting Casey’s childhood friends that he hasn’t seen since High School. Lots of laughs and tears, great meals and perhaps a few cocktails more than necessary. We left Connecticut to spend a few nights in NYC and see Hamilton (Worth it! Do It!) and the deeply moving World Trade Center Museum.

Before the trip, our Book Club had just finished reading “Setting the Table” by Danny Meyer, the famously successful New York restaurateur, so I made a reservation at his longtime landmark Union Square Cafe. As if I wasn’t already having enough fun, as we sat at the bar waiting for our table up walks the man himself to seat his friends next to us and we had a great conversation with him. Icing on the cake! (Food analogy required here.)

This recipe is from The Gramercy Tavern cookbook, Danny’s second restaurant. (We’re on a first name basis now – Ha!) It’s one of the few recipes in the book that aren’t intimidating on some level, and since strawberries are at their sweetest right now the perfect choice to get back on the job here at Heronearth.. I love a graham cracker crust, but I did find this one had too much butter and not enough crackers for my taste. (Who am I to question a pastry chef in New York?) I ended up adding another two crackers (11 instead of 9). Using the most flavorful strawberries makes all this difference in this no-bake dessert. Makes one 9-inch pie or six 4 1/2 inch individual pies.

3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/8 tsp. salt

3 cups hulled and quartered strawberries, plus 4 1/2 cups (cut very large berries into eighths and leave very small ones whole; about 3 pounds whole berries total)

1 1/8 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 9 crackers)

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped (optional I think)

In a medium saucepan, whisk together 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and the salt, then whisk in 1/3 cup cold water. Add 3 cups of the strawberries and roughly mash the fruit with the end of the whisk. (Depending on the firmness of the fruit, it may be easier to use an old-fashioned potato masher or a large fork.) Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly and further mashing the strawberries until they are broken down (some lumps of berries are okay.) Boil for a full minute, whisking constantly. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together the graham crumbs, the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Very lightly press the crumbs into your mold(s), starting with the sides and then covering the bottom.

When the strawberry mixture is at room temperature, gently stir in the remaining 4 1/2 cups strawberries, then spoon the filling into the graham cracker crust(s). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. Serve with the whipped cream.
Note: The recipe states you can make it a couple of days ahead. I made it one day ahead, and when I took it out of the refrigerator it definitely looked less appealing; kind of gooey actually! So I would suggest serving it the day you make it, even though it would taste fine if you didn’t.

strawberry pie

Print Friendly

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

*

Previous post:

Next post: