Last week we went strawberry picking at a local organic fruit farm not far from our house. My parents watched Joshua while the rest of us ventured to the farm. The last time we went strawberry picking I was 8 months pregnant with Joshua and had a 5 and 2 year old in tow. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect this time around with a 7 and 4 year old.
My expectations were easily surpassed. Matthew and Luke were such hearty workers. They were excited to find ripe strawberries and fill their buckets full. They even outpicked Allan, who spent quite a bit of time taste testing. When all of our baskets were filled, the boys were not ready to go home. So, we filled an extra basket full to surprise Grandma and Grandpa when we picked up Joshua.
The oldest boys were able to each pick a pint of strawberries of their very own to make anything that they wanted. Matthew chose to make mini pies filled with blended strawberries and cinnamon.
Over the weekend I canned 11 half-pints of Honey Sweetened Strawberry Vanilla Jam (I only added 1 1/2 cups of a lovely local raw honey, which added plenty of sweetness). If you follow me on Instagram, you caught the step by step process in my stories. This was my first time canning since I was very young and canned with Mom and Grandma. It was exhilarating and I can’t wait to do it again soon!
On Friday I cobbled together several pieces of inspiration into a killer Strawberry Vanilla Pie recipe that I am excited to share with you today.
The raw walnut and date crust is divine and does not need to be baked, although, I did brown it up a bit in the oven for a few minutes. The rest of the magic happens on the stovetop in one pot, making this an extremely easy recipe to whip together. Also, the pie freezes and thaws flawlessly, so go ahead and double (or triple the recipe like I did) and freeze a pie wrapped in plastic wrap and foil. Your future self will thank you come January when the overpriced organic strawberries at Costco taste more like dirt than a bite of summer.
Strawberry Vanilla Pie on a Raw Walnut Crust
Ingredients (1 pie)
Raw Walnut Crust
- 2 cups walnuts
- 2 cups dates, pitted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
Strawberry Vanilla Pie Filling
- 2 lbs strawberries, divided
- 1 tbsp – 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup water, divided
- 1 tbsp grass-fed gelatin
Raw Walnut Crust
Place walnut in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it turns into a fine powder. Be careful not to process too long or you will have walnut butter. You want the walnuts to have a slight texture to them.
Add the dates, vanilla and sea salt. Process until the mixture resembles dough.
Press the crust into your pie plate. Set aside or see Notes for a crispier crust.
Strawberry Vanilla Pie Filling
Place 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Set aside to bloom for at least 5 minutes.
Wash and hull the strawberries.
Slice 1 lb of the strawberries and set aside.
Place the 1 lb of unsliced strawberries into a medium saucepan with the remaining 6 tbsp of water, lemon juice, honey and sea salt. (See note about honey.)
Cut and scrape the contents of the vanilla bean into the saucepan with the strawberries. Throw in the vanilla bean pod, it will add amazing flavor and help to remove the rest of the vanilla beans that inevitably stick to the pod. Don’t worry, you will fish it out later when the filling is finished.
Bring the filling to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer until the berries begin to break down a bit.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and gently smash the berries with a fork or potato masher, be very careful not to burn yourself. I used an immersion blender for this step.
Remove the vanilla bean pod.
Add the bloomed gelatin to the saucepan and stir to combine. The gelatin should melt into the hot strawberry syrup and be completely combined.
Place half of the sliced strawberries into the crust. Pour half of the strawberry syrup over the top.
Layer the remaining sliced strawberries into the crust and pour in the remaining syrup. Making sure that you gently cover each strawberry.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until the pie is cooled and completely set.
If your dates are a bit dried out soak them in warm water for 15 minutes prior, drain them and continue making the crust.
If you plan to make multiple crusts, I find that my food processor can only handle 2 bursts at a time. Anymore and it gives up on processing and overworks itself.
If you would like a crispier crust place it a preheated 350* oven for 8-10 minutes to brown. Watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn.
The quality of the honey used in this recipe does matter tremendously, as it will impact the flavor of your pie. Make sure that you like the taste of your honey straight up before using it here. I only used 1 tbsp of honey, which made a tart pie. Although, combined with the very sweet raw crust, the tartness works well. I used freshly picked, local strawberries that were very sweet on their own. If you are using off-season, frozen or store bought strawberries I would definitely recommend using more honey.
This pie can be frozen for several months wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and two layers of foil. Make sure that you write what it is on the foil so that you don’t end up with a mystery pie in your freezer.