Nailed It or Failed It: Old Boy’s Strawberry Pie

Published 10:17 am Monday, July 8, 2019

By Sarah Condley

We still had strawberries that we’d bought at a roadside stand, and I needed to use them — quick.

I have a great strawberry pie recipe that was my grandfather’s recipe, and it’s so good I didn’t know if I wanted even to try this recipe that I found in my stash.

Email newsletter signup

However, the photo that was with this recipe looked too delicious not to give it a whirl.

The week’s recipe came from Allrecipes magazine.

The Old Boy’s Strawberry Pie


—Pastry for 1 (9-inch) single-crust pie

— 1 1/4 cups flour

— 3/4 cup sugar (From our kitchen we found the original recipe a tad too sweet, so we reduced the sugar in the topping by 1/2 cup and didn’t miss it.)

— Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

— 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

— 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled (From our kitchen it’s worth it to get out the scale for this one. Because you’ll be using whole berries in this pie, and berry sizes vary, weight is a better indicator than cups of how much you’ll need.)

— 1 tablespoon cornstarch


Preheat oven to 400 degrees with racks in the center and lower third of the oven and a baking sheet on the lower rack. Fit pastry in a 9-inch pie plate, crimp or flute edges, and chill.

Whisk together 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and nutmeg in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 butter knives until large coarse crumbs form.

Put berries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir gently to coat, being careful not to crush the berries.

Pour berries into prepared crust, mounding them in the center. Cover with crumb topping.

Bake 20 minutes, then reduce oven to 375 degrees and bake until topping sets and fruit is bubbling, about 40 minutes. Cool completely (2 hours) on a wire rack.

I made my pie crust and had it ready in no time when I decided to make this pie.

I placed the pie crust in the refrigerator while I put the pie filling together.

The notes in parentheses above came from the magazine, and I chose to ignore both notes because I like sugar and I was going to cut up some of the berries because they were big.

I wanted even size strawberry pieces in the pie because I thought it would be easier to eat.

I preheated the oven, rearranged the racks inside and put a rimmed cookie sheet on the bottom rack.

I whisked together the flour, sugar and nutmeg then cut in the small pieces of cold butter.

I used a pastry blender to get the mixture to a coarse crumbs state.

I sat that bowl aside and combined the cornstarch, flour, and sugar before sprinkling it over the strawberries.

I gently stirred to coat all the berries.

The pie crust came out of the refrigerator, and I poured the strawberries in and mounded them a little bit in the center of the crust.

I covered the berries with the crumb mixture, and into the oven, it went.

I set the timer so I wouldn’t forget to lower the oven temperature.

When the timer sounded for the second time, the pie was done, and I sat it on a wire rack to cool.

The pie cooled overnight, and the next morning, I put it in the refrigerator.

That evening Brad and I had pie. It was pretty good, but I like my Pa Floyd’s recipe better.

I took some to our neighbors Chris and Rachel.

Here is Rachel’s exact quote from the text “Oh oh oh oh Sarah!!! This is the Bomb Dot Com! It has a perfectly equal amount of sweet and tart. I love the crumble on top better than a regular top crust. AND — speaking of crust, the crust amazing. Perfect summer pie! 4 thumbs-up.”

I also took a pie to my Aunt Carolyn and my friend Elaine who I mentioned last week was disappointed she didn’t get some of the Strawberry Crumb Cake.

Elaine started laughing, but later she told me it was “Very good; the crust was good and flaky, the pie was not too sweet, perfect with a real strawberry taste.”

Aunt Carolyn said she thought the pie was good, but she likes my Pa Floyd’s, her father, recipe better.

Though, my grandfather’s strawberry pie will probably always be my favorite, this pie will have a place in my self-made cookbook since my friends thought I Nailed It.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.