Strawberry Pie From The Neely’s on the Food Network

I have a string of thoughts to cover in this post and it may seem as if I am “doe walking” – my father’s favorite term for having no focus or direction – and I am a bit. But the end result is Strawberry Pie so it can’t be that bad.

While watching the Pioneer Woman on TV the other day, she made some fried fruit hand pies. This reminded me that I had some pie dough I should use up (or more like, “hey…I could make pie!”). I made some baked hand pies last summer and they were oh so delicious.

I am a huge pie crust snob. If it isn’t homemade, it isn’t “worth the points”. I know people enjoy the store bought ones but I can tell the difference. When I was in my 20’s and started making pies on my own, the dough was so much work for me that I made two pies a year – for Thanksgiving and that was it. You just had to wait until next year for another homemade apple pie from me.

Then, a few years ago I discovered a recipe from Taste of Home magazine for Foolproof Pie Shells. I tried the recipe and it WAS foolproof. AND EASY. No nonsense of figuring out if you had the right pea size dough balls etc. The real wonder though was that it still tasted like true homemade pie dough. I have used that recipe ever since.

Then, in one of last year’s holiday magazine issues, (I cannot remember which one) someone discussed that Trader Joe’s made a pie crust that tasted like real pie crust. Skeptical I was, as I have heard that before. But being the flexible open-minded individual that I am, I made note of it and decided it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. Our Trader Joe’s is almost an hour away so this became an event to plan timely. Thinking of taking all of the kids on that adventure didn’t make me want pie. So, I hashed a new plan. It might work. It could work. But if I wasn’t careful, there would be two small children stranded at preschool because their mother didn’t show up on time to get them. And probably a pretty annoyed teacher too, who counts on all of us parents to pick OUR kids up on time so she can in turn pick up HER kids on time.

Visualizing the scars this would leave on my children if it didn’t work as planned could create insomnia. But Thanksgiving was fast approaching and we had company coming. We needed pie and I was determined it was going to be with Trader Joe’s pie crust. Let the games begin!

It was a bit like a grocery store game show but I raced through, found the crust, and while I was there grabbed anything else I could find that is fabulously Trader Joe Style (they have such fun stuff, especially if you are entertaining). I picked my kids up from preschool with plenty of time to spare. Oh the feelings of accomplishment I had that day!

I told you I would do some doe walking…

The final verdict is that the Trader Joe’s pie crust IS just like homemade! Unbelievable! We had delicious pie worth every “point” that Thanksgiving meal. Since then I have stocked up my freezer and have used that dough for my pies.

Although, I don’t make that many pies any more since the first couple of months following my second child’s birth. It was a January birth and our pediatrician did not want us to take our newborn out for a few months because of all the germs of the season. So, we were housebound with cooking shows and I had already discovered the Foolproof Pie Shells recipe. Thus, the Neely’s Strawberry Pie TV episode started the string of pie making and we had many wonderful pies in those few months.

It showed.

I couldn’t figure out why I had not dropped as much baby weight as I had with my first baby.

Pie.

I didn’t want to admit that it just might be the pie because I had a nice routine going on with a side of pie for every meal.

So, I have slowed down on the homemade pie making. Sniff sniff.

Ok, back to the present. With all of that back story laid out, which WAS necessary, the Pioneer Woman’s show gave me reason to dig up my Strawberry Pie recipe and bake hand pies. Mine were, let’s say, more rustic looking than hers because my fork kept sticking to the dough as I was crimping. So I gave up and folded it more in the rustic tart style. After all, my 19 month old would wake up from his nap soon. Pie was the goal, not pretty.

Drum roll…

So, without further ado, here is the Neely’s Strawberry Pie recipe from the Food Network that has quite a history in my house. I have also provided the link to the Foolproof Pie Shells recipe from the Taste of Home magazine in case you are so inclined.

Whether you follow tradition and make your own crust, try the recipe for Foolproof Pie Shells or give the Trader Joe pie shells a try, the end result will be a delicious Strawberry Pie gift. That’s not so bad…

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/neelys-strawberry-pie-recipe.html

Foolproof Pie Shells from Taste of Home Magazine
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/foolproof-pie-shells

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