Summertime Strawberry Pie Makes one 9 inch pie
Crust: 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup sugar ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking powder ¾ stick unsalted butter (very chilled) 1 large or extra large egg 1-2 tablespoons ice water, or as much as needed
Filling: 1/2 cup finely chopped, ripe strawberries 1/4 cup water 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon cornstarch 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 (10-ounce) jar apricot preserves (reserve 1-2 tablespoons for spreading on the baked crust) 3 pints of medium sized fresh strawberries (though you may need slightly more or less depending on the size of the berries)
Place rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Use a 9-inch pie plate (preferably glass) coated with cooking spray.
Making the crust with a processor: Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times until the dough becomes pebbly in texture. Add the egg and pulse repeatedly until the dough begins to stick together. Slowly add the ice water by the tablespoonful, while using a few long pulses. Add more drops of ice water, as necessary, until the dough holds together well and forms a ball. Invert the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough into a circle one inch larger than your pie plate.
Making the crust by hand: In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add chunks of chilled butter, and using a pastry blender or two forks, chop the butter until it resembles little pebbles. At this point, add the egg and ice water, and stir with a spoon until the dough begins to form. Using your hands and working the dough as little as possible, transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough holds together. Roll the dough into a circle one inch larger than your pie plate.
Fit the dough snugly inside the plate. Pinching the dough between your index finger and thumb, make a fluted edge around the crust. Prick the crust all over with the top of a fork since the crust will be blind-baked. Refrigerate the pie crust while preparing the filling (you can even refrigerate the crust overnight, which makes a super crispy crust that won't get soggy from the strawberry sauce).
To make the filling, place all filling ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.
Wash and pat dry 3 pints of fresh strawberries and cut off the tops. Cut into quarters and set aside.
For blind-baking the crust, use pie weights or cover the pie with parchment paper and fill with dried beans to prevent the crust from shrinking. Bake the crust for 20-25 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven, remove pie weights, and let cool.
Spread 1-2 tablespoons of apricot preserves on the bottom of the pie crust (this helps keeps it crispy). Pile the sliced strawberries inside the crust (3 pints is usually just right, but you may use more or less depending on the size of the berries). Pour the cooled strawberry-apricot sauce over the strawberries until well covered, leaving about 1/2 inch space between the sauce and the fluted edge.
If there is leftover sauce, then save it to spread on your morning toast or toss into a smoothie!