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First of all, let me say that this is not Pie As We Know It. Rather, it's a combination of fresh berries, butter and sugar, with just enough thickener, in the form of flour and tapioca, to kind of hold the whole thing together. It's a novelty food, really; I mean, microwave pie? "Impress your friends and co-workers by whipping up this pie right in the office! It's fast! It's easy! And only 20 minutes from start to finish!" Still... My friends and co-workers were impressed when I made this pie, using one dish, in our office mini-microwave. And, though not a good-looking, traditional pie in appearance, it did taste good. In fact, it disappeared in about 10 minutes. Our thanks go to Sue Sulzer, of Union, Maine, who devised the original inspiration for this recipe, and who reports that blueberries, blackberries and peaches work just as well as strawberries.
1 stick butter
1 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1 quart strawberries (cut the large ones into smaller pieces)
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons orange extract (optional, but very good)
The Crust: Melt butter in a 9-inch microwave-proof pie plate. Add flour and sugars to pie plate; mix with fork and, using your fingers, mold resulting dough around sides and bottom of plate. Prick with a fork, cover with waxed paper and microwave for 7 to 8 minutes, or until crust smells shortbread-y.
The Filling:Mix the strawberries, tapioca, sugar and orange extract in a bowl. Stir well, and let sit 15 minutes.
Spoon the filling into the baked pie crust. Dot generously with butter, re-cover with waxed paper, and microwave for 8 minutes, or until fruit bubbles. Leave pie in turned-off microwave a couple of minutes, then remove. Using a fork, smooth out the surface of the pie, pushing down any strawberries that aren't covered with liquid. Let pie cool somewhat before serving (although this will be difficult, if you've got a lot of hungry friends around).
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 6, May 1991 issue.