Haussner's was a fabled Baltimore restaurant known for their massive German menu and massive oil painting collection. They were also known for what is arguably the best strawberry pie. My Dad would always order one when he had dinner parties and I would reap the leftover benefits for breakfast the following morning. The pie was so good I couldn't even get it on a plate; I'd eat it straight from the box while sitting on the counter. Haussner's closed years ago taking the pie with it, that pie was a piece of Baltimore and it should have been preserved. There are a couple recipes for it on line, however, they do not recreate the pie I remember, bland imitations loaded down in food coloring. So a couple years ago I attempted my own version. I was hesitant to taste it since I had so many childhood memories wrapped up in this pie but it didn't let me down. —Summer of Eggplant
Pie Crust - Adapted from the Bouchon Cookbook
2 1/4 cups
unsalted butter (also know as 2 sticks or 16 tablespoons)
almond slivers, toasted and ground in food processor
Make the dough a day ahead. Place 1 cup flour and salt in standing mixer with dough hook attachment, turn on low and add the butter a handful at a time, in about 4 batches, increase to medium speed and when butter is incorporated, stop machine, scrape down sides or dislodge dough from mixing arm, turn on low again and slowly add in remaining flour, followed by the water, mix until just incorporated. Remove and divide in to two, wrap one disk in plastic wrap and freeze for later use. Return the other half to the mixer and add in the ground almonds, turn on low until incorporated. Shape in to a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Roll it out on floured surface to about 12” in diameter. Place in a pie pan, top with parchment or aluminum foil and place pie weights or dried beans on top. Bake at 350 in the center of the oven for 45 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.
Make the Pastry Cream. This can also be done a day ahead. Scald the milk in a sauce pan, set aside. Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Temper the egg yolk mixture by slowly adding the milk, whisking until incorporated. Return the mixture to the sauce pan and working over a medium heat continue to whisk. The mixture will begin to thicken, it may look lumpy, keep whisking. I found my mixture to be done when it had a pudding like consistency and appeared to ‘breathe’ when I stopped whisking it for a moment. Remove from heat. Add in 2 tbs. vanilla and butter and stir to incorporate. Cover the surface with buttered wax paper. Allow to cool to room temperature before putting in the fridge.
Using a hand mixer make the whipped cream by combining the cream and 1 tbs. vanilla.
Once the pastry cream and pie shell have cooled spread the pastry cream in to the bottom of the pie shell with a spatula. Top the pastry cream with the strawberries. Microwave the preserves for about 30 seconds. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the preserves on to the strawberries. Let cool in the fridge for a couple hours. When ready to serve, pipe the whipped cream around the outer edge of the pie and sprinkle with the almond slivers.