This pie was born out of frustration, deception, and laziness. I was all set to try to recreate the famous Hess’s Patio Restaurant fresh strawberry pie (even if you don’t know Hess’s Department Store, you know the kind of pie I’m talking about—giant raw strawberries with candy-color glaze and whipped cream a mile high on top). When my oldest daughter saw what I was trying to do (this is the same daughter who requested the Hess’s Patio Pie for her birthday every year until Hess’s went out of business), she said she didn’t like the ingredients in the glaze and would rather I not make it…yes, this is the picky one. And yet there sat two giant containers of perfect organic giant strawberries, as well as two organic frozen pie shells I had purchased just for this occasion (the occasion was another daughter’s sleepover with five friends celebrating the end of school).
So, while the older daughter wasn’t looking, I filled the bottom half of the pie shells with cut and sugared strawberries (adding a little butter, too) and baked it like a regular pie. Then, after it was out of the oven, I put the fresh sugared strawberries on top (“no glaze”). Along with lots of fresh whipped cream, these two pies were gone by morning. I never did tell my picky one, who never eats cooked fruit. After all, the cooked fruit was on the bottom, where you couldn’t see it! The cooked-fruit-on-the-bottom approach has the added benefit of holding the bottom of the piecrust in place (crusts can sometimes puff up if you don’t weight them down, if, say, you’re making a fresh fruit pie and need to cook the crust separately).
I made it with strawberries, but I think you could make this with almost any fruit! These measurements are very flexible!
The Easiest Summer Fresh Fruit Pie
- 4–6 cups fresh fruit (berries, cherries, peaches, etc.)
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoons flour, cornstarch, or tapioca
- Juice of ½ fresh lemon
- Pinch of salt
- Piecrust of your choosing (bottom only)
1. Clean and cut the fruit. Sprinkle the sugar and lemon juice on top. Mix.
2. Take out half the fruit and set aside. Add the flour, cornstarch, or tapioca (to thicken) to the half of the fruit that’s to-be-cooked—and stir.
3. Put the to-be-cooked fruit mixture into the pie shell. Dot with butter and add a pinch of salt.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is bubbly and golden.
5. When the pie has cooled, top with the rest of the fresh fruit.
6. Serve with whipped cream and ice cream, and devour!!!!!
In my mind I’m holding a brief, personal memorial service for Hess’s Department Store and everything that made it so special.
My 92 year old grandmother STILL talks about the infamous Hess’s strawberry pie. I can’t wait to try to try this recipe!
This is the perfect recipe for this weekend!!! I can’t wait to try it!
I agree, cooked fruit is not my favorite. Do you think I can make this myself, wait a day to forget how I made it, and then eat it? 🙂
I know “I’m asking for it” here, but I remember the Hess’ strawberry pie looking much better than it tasted.
Of course it could be that I was “spoiled” from eating tons of wild strawberries growing up-much superior in flavor, albeit tiny.
I remember a 2 hour plane trip with a strawberry pie on my lap for my Dad’s birthday! It was worth all the trouble!
I agree, Hess’ strawberry pie was all about the presentation and atmosphere. I imagine it had it’s share of red food dye as well. I’m trying not to be disrespectfull of the iconic memory, but think of how we have changed our view of food and nutrion since those days.