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.
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.