If you are lucky, you live in a part of the United States where you can actually go to a Big Boy restaurant. Many of us aren’t as fortunate to live in an area where you can enjoy a delightfully fresh Big Boy strawberry pie. But you can very easily make one at home.
A Favorite Big Boy Restaurant Dessert
No other dessert screams summer quite like a fresh strawberry pie. The sweet and tart filling perfectly complements the light, flaky crust in this strawberry pie inspired by the pies served up at Big Boy’s restaurants.
Big Boy restaurants have been around since 1936, and the franchise’s strawberry pie has always been a customer favorite. Today you can find most Big Boy restaurants in Michigan with a few in California, North Dakota, and Ohio.
You don’t have to live near a Big Boy restaurant to try this strawberry pie! Even if you don’t consider yourself a baker, it is easy to make, and that is a good thing because once you try it, you’ll want to enjoy it again and again.
Strawberry Pie Without Jello
Many strawberry pie recipes call for the filling to be made with strawberry Jello. This strawberry pie is made with a homemade glaze thickened with cornstarch. It’s the best way for the flavor of fresh strawberries to shine. Plus when you make something from scratch, you know there aren’t any mystery ingredients in it.
Choosing the Perfect Strawberries
The stars of this pie are most definitely the strawberries! If you are not lucky enough to grow your own or have access to a local farm where you can find freshly picked berries, you’ll have to settle for supermarket strawberries.
Although nothing beats the taste of berries straight from the field, you can still bake a gosh darn great pie if you know how to choose the best fruit. These four tips can help you become a strawberry-buying expert.
- Always choose organic strawberries! There are some ingredients where spending the extra money to buy organic may not be worth it, but that is not the case for berries. According to a recent study by the Environmental Working Group, 90 percent of tested strawberries had residue from two or more pesticides.
- You get what you buy. Unlike other types of fruit, strawberries don’t ripen after picking. Look for berries that are bright red without any signs of white or green patches. Avoid any berries with dry, shriveled leaves indicating they have been sitting around on store shelves for a while.
- Size doesn’t matter as much as you think. The old adage is that smaller berries are sweeter, but the truth is that the size of the berry depends on its variety and the growing conditions. Many of the strawberry varieties most common in supermarkets are bred to be bigger, while still remaining sweet.
- Don’t be afraid to browse your berries. Never judge a package of strawberries that are on top. Some stores hide the less than perfect strawberries on the bottom of the container, so have a look. Besides looking at the size and color, check for any dampness as this can quickly lead to rot.
Fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and buttery pie crust go so well together. These ingredients make the perfect springtime pie. Here is what you need:
- All-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar
- Cornstarch – to thicken the glaze filling
- Red food coloring
- Fresh strawberries
- Whipped cream for topping
If you are trying to go dye-free, you can omit the red food coloring.
If you want to go gluten-free, you could use a gluten-free crust.
How to Make Big Boy Strawberry Pie
- Make the crust by combining flour, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
- Mix well and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Prick all over.
- Bake the crust at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- While the crust is baking, mix water, granulated sugar, salt, cornstarch, and food coloring in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Set aside to cool.
- When the crust is cool, pile the berries in the crust and pour the thickened glaze over the top. Refrigerate until the glaze is set.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped dessert topping.
Tips for Making, Baking, and Storing a Fresh Strawberry Pie
- Are you scared of making pastry? It’s not a problem. You can still make this fresh strawberry pie using a premade crust. For something a bit different but delicious, try a simple Saltine cracker crust.
- Avoid a soggy bottom. Keeping the bottom crust from getting too wet can be frustrating. Try lightly coating the inside of the unbaked crust with a beaten egg and placing the pie tin on a preheated baking sheet.
- Store the pie in the fridge for up to five days. Keep the pie in the pie pan on the counter until it cools completely. Wrap it lightly with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.
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This recipe was submitted by Pat Collins.
Big Boy Strawberry Pie
Pie Crust ingredients
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces butter at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry pie filling ingredients
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring
- 1 quart strawberries rinsed, stemmed, and dried
- 1 pint whipped cream for garnish
Pie Crust Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the crust by combining the flour, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix well and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Prick all over.
- Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Strawberry Pie Filling Instructions
- While the crust is baking, mix the water, granulated sugar, salt, cornstarch, and food coloring in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Set aside to cool.
- When the crust is cool, pile the berries in the crust and pour the thickened glaze over the top. Refrigerate until the glaze is set. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped dessert topping.