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Strawberry Cream Pie Recipe

A down-home pie with uptown flair. Nestled in a chocolate cookie-crumb crust, French pastry cream and jewel-bright berries update the classic in all the right ways. Red currant jelly spiked with orange liqueur adds a sophisticated finish. Yes, it looks too good to eat, but don't let that stop you.

Hands-On Time time: 35 minutes
Total Time time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Yields: Serves 8

Ingredients

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup sugar

3 cups half-and-half

6 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (9-oz.) package chocolate wafer cookies

1/2 (4-oz.) bar semisweet chocolate baking bar, chopped

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 quart fresh strawberries

1/4 cup red currant jelly

1 tablespoon orange liqueur

How to Make It

Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate. Whisk together the first 3 ingredients and 2/3 cup of the sugar in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Whisk together the half-and-half and the next 2 ingredients in a small bowl; gradually add to the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly.

Bring to a boil over medium, whisking constantly, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and transfer to a bowl; cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Pulse the wafer cookies and chopped chocolate in a food processor 8 to 10 times or until finely crushed. Stir together the cookie crumb mixture, melted butter, and remaining 1/3 cup sugar; firmly press the mixture on the bottom, up sides, and onto lip of the prepared pie plate.

Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Spoon the chilled half-and-half mixture into the prepared crust. Cut 8 to 10 strawberries in half, and arrange around the outer edge of the pie (leaving tops on, if desired); hull and slice the remaining strawberries, and arrange in the center of the pie.

Cook the jelly in a small saucepan over medium 2 to 3 minutes or until melted. Remove from the heat, and stir in the liqueur. Brush the jelly mixture gently over the strawberries. Chill, uncovered, 30 minutes.

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