In Italy, strawberries are often served for dessert with balsamic vinegar. Some of the most expensive, aged balsamics are served this way, with a few precious droplets bringing more excitement between the two ingredients (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts).
Fine balsamic is also served with aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, so sophisticated foodies should consider some crumbles as a plate garnish (crumble your own from a wedge-don’t buy crumbled parmesan).
One of our favorite bakers, Audra, The Baker Chick, sent us this recipe for If you like to bake, or simply look at beautiful cakes and pies, sign up for her emails.
“The original recipe for this beauty comes from Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a wonderful pie shop in Brooklyn that I used to get to enjoy back in the day. I didn’t follow it exactly, partly because of what I had on hand and partly because of my own pie-making experience; but it was pretty darn amazing either way.
“When it comes to thickening berry pies, I’m an instant tapioca girl. I really believe nothing works better. I love a juicy pie, but not a soupy one and tapioca really is the best. Happy Spring—now go make this lovely pie!”
It’s lovely for Mother’s Day, and all through the summer.
1. MAKE the crust with your favorite recipe. Audra added ¼ cup cider vinegar to the ice water and thinks it made the crust extra flaky. While the crust is chilling, prepare the filling.
2. PLACE the strawberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and toss gently. Let sit for about 20 minutes; then stir in the apple, balsamic, brown sugar, tapioca, pepper and salt. Toss to combine and allow flavors to sit and get juicy.
3. ROLL out one of the chilled pie crusts and drape it over the bottom of the pie pan. Pop it into the freezer for a few minutes while you roll out the second crust. If you want to try a lattice crust, use a straight edge to cut the strips.
4. POUR the filling into the chilled crust and add the top crust. Trim and crimp the edges of the crust and pop it into the fridge or freezer while you preheat the oven to 425°F, with a rack positioned in the middle. When oven is ready…
5. BRUSH the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle it with sugar. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place the pie on top. Place the cookie sheet on the middle rack.
6. BAKE for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is beginning to turn golden. Then, reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the pie is juicy and bubbly.
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