Save the fork – there’s pie!

I’ve been seeing pictures of this strawberry pie from the most recent issue of Gourmet all over the place lately, and it calls to me like a siren. The deep ruby filling. The plump berries. The crisp crust. The billowy whipped cream.


I finally got around to giving it a go last night, albeit with some alterations. The whole process was quick, easy and painless, leaving me with very little fodder for a post other than pretty pictures of strawberries, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Thus, in the interest of amusement, I present you with the first ever Mad Libs Blog Post. Get out a pen and paper, call your co-workers ’round call your friends ’round during non-work hours only, and write this post! Maybe you’ll get the real answers at the end! Maybe not!


This pie isn’t baked, it’s [NOUN]-based, so I started by [ADVERB] chopping my berries, tossing them with lime juice, sugar and [TYPE OF LIQUID], and leaving them to [VERB] for about [TIME PERIOD]. The goal is to get some good liquid out of the berries to use as the base for the [NOUN]. The original recipe called simply for lemon and sugar, but I seem to be obsessed with fruit desserts modeled on [TYPE OF BEVERAGE] lately, so I went with lime and some [NON-LIME LIQUID].

I got roughly a [MEASUREMENT] of juice outta those bad boys; I probably could have gotten [MEASUREMENT], but I’m [ADJECTIVE].

If you look into the pot of berries and let your mind go, you can see a [NOUN].

The fortified berry juice gets [PAST TENSE VERB] with water to make [MEASUREMENT] of liquid, which goes into a pot with some [NOUN]. I brought the liquid just to a simmer to make sure the [SAME NOUN] was totally dissolved, mixed in the berries, and put the whole pot into an ice bath to [VERB] while I turned my attention to the [NOUN].

Two guys walk into a bar. The first guy orders a whiskey, neat. [REST OF JOKE]

The crust listed with the recipe is a [ADJECTIVE] affair of butter and ground shortbread cookies. As much as the idea of mixing shortbread with MORE BUTTER appeal to my baser instincts, I decided to go with something a little more [ADJECTIVE] and fragrant and improvised a [NOUN] crust instead. For cuteness’ sake, I tucked the [ADJECTIVE] dough into tart pans – one large and [NUMBER] small – and baked them off for about [TIME PERIOD].

Meanwhile, I gave the berries a good [VERB] whenever I remembered to do so, which was admittedly seldom. Even without too much attention from [PERSON], the mix started to set up [ADVERB].

Chocolate: It’ll cure what [VERB]s ya.

Because I don’t know when enough is enough, I sprinkled some chocolate on the [NUMBER] small tart crusts. The residual [NOUN] melted them in just a few [TIME PERIOD], and I spread the melted chocolate into a [ADJECTIVE] layer with a small offset spatula. Chocolate: it’s the new black. Also the old black.

I [PAST TENSE VERB] the shells into the fridge to cool a bit, and then poured in my now-semi-set strawberry [NOUN] before banishing them back to the fridge. Then I [PAST TENSE VERB] on my [BODY PART] to keep myself from eating the pie before it was fully set and slice-able.


The finished tart was kinda sorta [ADJECTIVE]. On one hand [BODY PART]: berries, booze and a [ADJECTIVE] easy tart. On the other, [NOUN]. I’m not a huge fan of [SAME NOUN], since it reminds me of being in the [TYPE OF BUILDING]. [SAME NOUN] notwithstanding, this did taste 1000x better than the [SAME BUILDING] version thanks to the fresh berry juice, and the lack of other [NOUNS] meant that there was very little to [VERB] with the pure strawberry flavor. I can imagine this being a real [NOUN] with truly [ADJECTIVE] berries, which I didn’t have.

Oh good, you did save the fork.

The tart crust was the real winner here. Crisp and [ADJECTIVE], the [NOUNS] added another layer of flavor and [PAST TENSE NOUN] the berries beautifully. It was simple to pull together, sliced [ADVERB], and will probably be my go-to crust for summer [NOUN] pies and tarts.


How’d you do? Did you write a madcap post full of wacky hijinks? Good job!

Here’s the story, Reader’s Digest-condensed version style. Berries. Chop and macerate in lime, sugar, rum (like a daquiri!). Strain berry liquid, add water to get 2 cups’ worth, dissolve gelatin. Mix in berries. Into an ice bath to set. Meanwhile, graham crackers, sugar, toasted hazelnuts, sugar: ground in the FoPo. Pat into tart pan. Bake. Cool. Berries in. Fridge to set. Whip the cream. Dollop. Done.

Strawberry Tart, adapted from Gourmet
makes 1 10-inch tart

For crust:
1/2 c. (heaping) crushed graham crackers
1 1/4 c. toasted hazelnuts
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
8 tbsp. (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 c. chopped chocolate (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350. Roughly chop the hazelnuts in a food processor. Add the sugar and grahams and grind until fine. Pour in the butter and blend to combine. Turn the mix out into an ungreased tart pan and pat down, being sure the bottom and sides are evenly covered. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until fragrant and starting to brown at the edges.

If you’d like, sprinkle the chocolate on the hot crust as soon as it comes out of the over and tent the crust with foil. Once the chocolate is softened, spread it evenly around the bottom of the tart shell.

Chill before using.

For the filling:
1 1/2 lbs. strawberries, fresh as you can get ’em, hulled and cut into quarters
3/4 c. sugar
Juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp. white rum
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2 1/4 tsp.)

Toss the berries with the sugar, limes and rum. Allow to sit for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, Drain berries in a sieve set into a large measuring cup. Add enough water make 2 cups of liquid. Transfer liquid to a medium saucepan and reserve berries.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid and let sit for 1 minute, then bring liquid to a simmer, stirring until all the gelatin is dissolved. Cut the heat, stir in the reserved berries, and set the pot into an ice bath to cool. Stir periodically until gelatin begins to clump and set, about half an hour.

To assemble:
Pour the berry/gelatin mixture into the cooled tart crust. Refrigerate until fully set.

Serve with slightly sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche.