Spiced Strawberry Pie with Crumble Topping

 
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There are certain movies that stay with you long after you’ve watched them, they aren’t necessarily the best, or your typical Oscar-worthy movies; sometimes it’s just because the themes in the movies are relatable.

I watched Higher Ground last year, a 2011 movie starring Vera Farmiga as a woman who suffers a crisis of faith in her tight-knit born-again Christian community.

Coming from an insanely religious culture, I connected with the heroine’s struggle with religion, faith, identity and doubt – I’ve been where she’s been, and basically came to the same realizations.
Every once in a while, something happens that makes me think back on this movie.

There’s also the song from which the movie gets its title, which brings back so many memories… there was a version sung in Twi that my dad played all the time, I can almost hear the singer’s raspy voice hauntingly sing of longing for a ‘higher ground’ – a far better place than she’s found; it made me dream then.

The reason why I’m bringing up the movie is because there’s a scene in it where the women gather for bible study, one of the ‘sisters’ is very excited that someone brought home-made carob-chip cookies to share.

Corrine, our heroine asks her friend; “Do you know what carob tastes like?”
“Chocolate?” her friend asks
“Disappointment” Corrine answers.

I thought about that scene when I started looking into making pie crust without the traditional animal fats (butter, lard) or vegetable shortening that contain trans fat.
I googled ‘vegan pie crust’ and coconut oil came up as an alternative. The challenge was to make a buttery and flaky crust that didn’t taste like disappointment, using coconut oil.

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I love coconut oil, I use it in everything – from soups to conditioning my hair, and I’ve used it for baking with great results. Coconut oil stays solid at certain temperatures (76 degrees F. melting point) and can be cut into flour in its solid state just like conventional shortening.

I chill mine in the fridge for a few minutes, cut it into pieces and whirl it with my flour and salt in the food processor for a few seconds, add apple cider vinegar and a few tablespoons of water.

The dough comes together much like any other pie dough, bakes flawlessly and tastes… buttery and flaky.

I made apple hand pies for work using the coconut oil dough, it got high praise, and no one could tell it had coconut oil in it.

This strawberry pie is what I do with the strawberries that are just coming in from California; I wish I knew how to resist them – they’re pretty tempting but not as tasty as BC strawberries in the summer.

There are so many delicious facets to this pie; the crust, perfect textured crumble topping, and the strawberry filling generously spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom for a rustic and flavourful taste – the warm spices and strawberries are perfect together; delightfully so, I love it especially during this time when we’re transitioning into warmer temperatures.

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Posted April 9th, 2013 in Dessert, Food. Tagged: , , , .
  • Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry

    I have soooooo pinned this and about to share on facebook.. Looking forward to the pick your own strawberry season.

    • http://elsbro.com/blog Elsa

      Oooooh, I’m looking forward to U Pick season too, I tend to go crazy! isn’t it exciting? :-)

  • http://elsbro.com/blog Elsa

    I have a ton of blueberries in my freezer too, I just made meyer lemon blueberry scones using coconut oil – it turned out fantastic, sadly couldn’t picture them because it was too dark and they went fast :-) but I’ll make them again. The pie would be amazing with blueberries ;-)

  • http://elsbro.com/blog Elsa

    You should totally do it!
    Did you say brownie studded chocolate ice cream? Kill me now!

  • Kitchen Butterfly

    I love the ‘phrase’…tastes like disappointment!

    I love the primer on pie crust of coconut oil.

    And most of all, I LOVEEEEEE this strawberry pie recipe – I’ve been desperate to make a baked strawberry pie!

  • http://blueberrykitchen.wordpress.com/ Rosie – Blueberry Kitchen

    Your pie looks so delicious and totally gorgeous!

    • http://elsbro.com/blog Elsa

      Thank you, thank you :-)

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