Mile High Strawberry Pie, packed with juicy, ripe strawberries covered in bright red glaze was famous worldwide. This legendary pie topped with a mountain of whipped cream could only be purchased at “The Patio” in Allentown, PA.
This week Sunday Supper asked us, “What food represents or is from your hometown? Share a recipe for or featuring it and celebrate your town’s culinary goodness.”
I grew up in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania. Allentown was “Big City” to me. Hess’s was the place to shop. The store was over the top with the latest fashions from London and perfumes from Paris. These things drew people into the store. Once there you bought the ten dollar shirts and had lunch in their restaurant.
Many area restaurants sold strawberry pies. Each one had their take on Hess’s showstopper.
Going to The Patio was something everyone did. Back in its day it was the classiest place this side of New York City. You would go even just for coffee and you’d feel like a queen.
The now defunct department store and chain is a memory. The Strawberry Pie however, lives on.
I found several versions of this pie recipe online. Considering the store existed for 100 years it is conceivable each new chef added a personal touch. If you know any chefs, you know how important it is to add a bit of personal flair to a recipe. We all do it all the time.
So my take on a Mile High Strawberry Pie, uses cherry juice instead of artificial strawberry flavoring and red coloring to get that gel looking and tasting great! I used reserved juice from canned unsweetened cherries. I freeze any leftover juices from unsweetened canned fruit for just such an occasion. Juiced thawed out frozen black cherries work just as well.
I used real whip cream. If you need to hold the pie for a bit before serving, you may want add a stabilizer or use whip topping.
If you need a good homemade pie crust recipe, you can find one HERE .
- 1 9-inch pie crust, baked
- 2 quarts fresh strawberries, cleaned
- 4 cups strawberries fresh or frozen, crushed and strained through a ricer and then through a fine sieve to make ½ cup juice
- 1 cup cherry juice or water
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsps. cornstarch, thinned with an equal amount of cherry juice or cold water
- Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Arrange whole strawberries points up to tightly line the bottom on the cooled,baked pie crust. Add one to two more layers, tightly packed.
- Make the gel by bringing ½ cup strawberry juice, 1 cup water, lemon juice and sugar to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
- Slowly add the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly.
- Return to a boil and cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before pouring over berries.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow gel to set.
- When pie is set, make whipped cream.
- Beat cream, powdered sugar and vanilla together in a chilled mixing bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Top chilled pie with cream and serve.
If you would like to know more about Hess’s here is a PBS clip.
Thank you Coleen from The Redhead Baker for hosting this event!
Join the Sunday Supper Group as we share a bit of our Hometown Goodness with you!
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