Whoever coined the phrase, “Easy as Pie” should be sent the Joy of Cooking’s Strawberry Chiffon Pie recipe. Last night I diligently corrected all my errors that led to the Mother’s Day Disaster, and my pie still liquefied. I am at a loss. While the Strawberry Chiffon Pie may have been a failure, the Almond Pie Crust from the American Woman’s Cookbook was delicious!
When I did yoga semi-regularly (shame on my current self!), during shavasana the teacher would instruct us to let our mind go and visualize a place that made us feel peaceful and relaxed. This may sound really odd coming from an almost 30 year old, but my place was my Mom’s lap. When I was a little girl my Mom would sit me in her lap to read or to rock me to sleep. Then I got a little (and then lot) older and she would let me perch on her lap if I had a bad day and needed to cry or be comforted. Sometimes, even though we’re the same size, she still lets me sit on her lap and she’ll hug me just like when I was little, and I feel a peace and comfort that cannot be duplicated. I can only hope that when I have a little girl, she’ll climb onto my lap and she’ll feel the same love, support and caring that I felt.
I mulled over the perfect dish to make for my Mother’s Day post for the past week. Nothing seemed right. It needed to be sweet, refined, beautiful, and anything but trite because it needed to be a reflection of her! I have never had a Strawberry Chiffon Pie nor have I made an Almond Pastry Crust, but the combination seemed perfect somehow (oh how wrong I was!). The strawberries are beautiful (and bountiful down here in Georgia); the custard seemed sweet and nostalgic yet refined; and the almond crust was a different twist.
This recipe for Strawberry Chiffon Pie comes from the 1st Edition of The Joy of Cooking and is truly old fashioned: there is no gelatin, no Jello, and no refrigeration. An extensive search on the Internet and in my vast Cookbook library turned up no other Strawberry Chiffon Pie recipes that omitted gelatin. Now we all know why.
Yesterday morning was the first time for a lot of culinary activities: I have never used whipped egg whites as a leavening agent; I have never made a custard; I have never pre-baked a pie crust; I have never made an almond crust. When the pie filling liquefied before my very eyes I persisted because my Mom has never given up, and how could I just throw in the towel on a pie? When it liquefied the second time, I rallied and scooped the filling from the crust and made my own “Strawberry Pie.” It was delicious. (I am sure there is a metaphor for life’s defeats in here somewhere!) So the thought of this light and sweet pie is for you Mom! I love you.
[Instructions for my makeshift dessert & Strawberry Chiffon Pie are at the bottom of the post]
This crust was delicious! I will be adding it to my regular repertoire. I have copied the Joy of Cooking Strawberry Chiffon Pie recipe verbatim below. Try it if you dare! Be sure to let me know how it goes if you do!
Chiffon Strawberry Pie
3 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup berries cut in pieces
1 baked pie shell, 1 inch deep, 6.5 inches wide
Place the yolks in the top of a double boiler. Beat them until they are light, add the sugar and cook the mixture over hot water until it thickens. Add the salt to the egg whites, beat them until they are stiff and pour the hot custard over them. Return the custard to the double boiler, beating it constantly until it is thick and stands up well. Add the strawberries, fill the pie shell and bake the pie in a hot oven 400° for 10 minutes.
What is in my makeshift dessert?
Cut yourself a slice of that poor almond pie crust, place it atop left over icing from my fiance’s birthday cupcakes, fill shell with sliced, fresh strawberries, and top it with the whipped cream that you made to go with the Chiffon Pie (sigh). It was amazing. Defeat never tasted so good!