This is a wonderful dessert for spring, when strawberries are at their peak. We tested this recipe as a Passover dessert, as a friend of mine said she makes two of these every year for her seder and everyone looks forward to them. All our tasters loved the flavor and texture of the filling, fresh and fruity, but not overly sweet. The recipe below is a variation of the one in New Kosher Cuisine for All Seasons, contributed by Sena Yamuder of Izzy's Kosher Catering in Rhode Island. Try different crusts to vary the taste, such as the butter crust in Judy Rosenberg's Raspberry Cream Cheese Tart or Apple Rustica, or the macaroon crust in Suzanne Weixel's Cheese Cake. This pie is delicious, but the glaze and the crust don't hold up well for more than a day. It's best to prepare the pie crust, glaze, and strawberries ahead of time and then assemble shortly before serving. For Passover, assemble the pie just before sitting down to the seder and pop it into the fridge to stay cool and firm. Make sure the whole strawberries used in the pie are of top quality for the best presentation and taste.
1/2 cup matzah meal
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine
2 tablespoons sugar
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pareve margarine, melted
5 pints fresh strawberries
1/2 plus 1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons potato starch
Blend matzah meal, walnuts, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add melted margarine. Mix well. Press into a 9-inch pie plate and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool.
Rinse, hull, and drain the berries and pat them dry.
To make the glaze, take1 cup of the smaller berries, cut them up in small pieces, and place in a medium pot. Add 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 3 minutes. Place 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, and the potato starch in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Add this to the berry mixture. Boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, until clear and thick. (The strawberries will have disintegrated into the glaze mixture, although any remaining small pieces are fine.). Cover and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Pat the remaining strawberries down and place them on a cookie sheet lined with a paper towel or clean dishcloth (cut side down) to continue to air-dry. If the strawberries are very large, cut them in half first. If you aren't assembling the pie within a few hours, put the strawberries in the refrigerator.
When ready to assemble, remove the glaze from the refrigerator and stir a little to loosen. Brush a generous layer of the glaze over the bottom and sides of the pie shell. Arrange a layer of fresh berries over it. Brush the berries with the glaze. Keep alternating berries and glaze, ending with a layer of glaze. The strawberries should be slightly mounded in the center and the entire surface should be shiny with the glaze. Refrigerate or serve immediately.
Fresh Strawberry Pie