Mom’s Strawberry-Banana Pie

Strawberry Pie 1

I really cannot explain why this recipe was overlooked for so long. Granted, it wasn’t one that Mom prepared frequently — we were a strawberry shortcake family — but she did make this pie at least once a year. And how I loved it! I was walking around the farmers market, looking at all the fresh strawberries, when I remembered this treat. After buying a quart of strawberries, I rushed home, stopping along the way at a grocery to buy the rest of the ingredients. It wasn’t very much later that I had a strawberry-banana pie chilling in my fridge. A few weeks more and I prepared another while visiting Zia. Now, several months later and with my birthday looming in the near future (it’s Sunday, you know), I thought this the perfect time to share the recipe for Mom’s strawberry banana pie — and my personal favorite. Happy birthday to me!

The recipe I’m sharing is memory-based, for there is nothing written to follow. As you’ll soon see, however, the recipe is easy enough to reconstruct, although I did make a couple of changes. In the first place, I believe Mom used a pudding mix — sometimes vanilla, other times banana — and I do not recall her make pudding from scratch for this pie. The recipe I initially followed was printed in the recipe book that came with my first microwave, bought after I moved to Chicago in 1980. Never throw away a cookbook.

Then again, there are times when maybe you should toss a cookbook. When I prepared its vanilla pudding recipe, it was far too thick and not nearly as creamy as remembered and, therefore, not worthy of Mom’s pie. So, I made a couple of adjustments. I cut the amount of cornstarch, used 3 egg yolks instead of 2 whole eggs, and used less vanilla. The result was a pudding fit for Mom’s pie, just thick enough not to be runny yet creamy enough to wash over your palate. I, like the pudding, was all set.

I could not recall what, if any, glaze Mom used with the strawberry topping. I chose strawberry flavored gelatin, thinking it would both set the berries in place and prolong their shelf life. I did consider making the pie without the strawberry topping, using fresh berries to garnish each piece when served. If you prefer to do that, you should cover the pie with plastic wrap to prevent a film forming on the pudding.

It’s my idea to add a thin coating of chocolate to the pie crust. Living alone, my pie will not “disappear” as quickly as Mom’s did. The chocolate coating will prevent the pie crust from getting soggy as the pie sits. (I can say, with some certainty, that from my earliest days I have never liked a soggy bottom.)

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Strawberrhy Banana Pie

Dessert at Zia’s

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Strawberry-Banana Pie Recipe

Ingredients

for the pie

  • 1 pastry crust large enough to cover a deep, 9″ (23 cm) pie dish – store-bought may be substituted
  • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • vanilla pudding, recipe follows
  • 12 oz (340 g) fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and halved or sliced
  • strawberry flavored gelatin, instructions follow
  • whipping cream for serving
  • shaved chocolate for garnish (optional)

for the vanilla pudding

  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

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Directions

to prepare the vanilla pudding

  1. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt before adding ½ cup of milk. Continue whisking until fully combined.
  2. Add remaining milk and microwave on high for 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pudding should be smooth and thick.
  3. Temper the eggs by adding a few ounces of the hot liquid to the eggs, stirring all the while. Begin stirring the hot liquid as you add the egg mixture to it.
  4. Microwave on high until the pudding just begins to boil, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the butter and vanilla to the pudding, stir well, cover with plastic wrap (see Notes), and set aside to cool.

to prepare the pie crust

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450˚ F (230˚ C).
  2. Use whatever type of pasty crust that you prefer — homemade or store-bought — and use it to cover a deep, 9 inch (23 cm) pie plate/pan.
  3. Use a fork to puncture the pie crust before baking for 10 to 12 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Crust should be golden brown. Remove to cool.
  4. Once the crust has cooled somewhat, melt the chocolate chips and warm the milk.
  5. Add the milk to the melted chocolate and whisk to create a ganache (see Notes.)
  6. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the bottom of the pie crust with the melted chocolate.

to prepare the gelatin

  1. Follow the package directions to quickly prepare the gelatin using both boiling water and ice cubes.
  2. Once the gelatin is dissolved and the ice cubes have melted, add the halved/sliced strawberries and gently stir.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

to assemble the pie

  1. Once the pie crust has set and the chocolate coating hardened, coat the chocolate with a bit of pudding.
  2. Evenly space the sliced bananas across the pie’s bottom.
  3. Use as much pudding as is necessary to coat the sliced bananas. Be sure to leave room on top of the pudding for the strawberries. Use an offset spatula to even the top of the pudding.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to place the strawberries atop the pudding. Carefully pour the gelatin to cover the pudding and coat the strawberries.
    • Place excess gelatin and strawberries into serving bowls. Once set they may be served to those poor unfortunates who do not like pie.
  5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to let the pie fully set. The longer the better.
  6. Serve garnished with freshly whipped cream and shaved chocolate (optional).

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Strawberry Banana Pie 6

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Notes

You can make this pie any number of ways, from the very simple — use store-bought pastry and instant pudding mix — to the more involved — make your own pastry, pudding, and strawberry glaze. No matter how you choose to prepare it, you’ll find this pie makes a fine dessert.

I bet that a few of you gasped and clutched your pearls when you read that I had prepared the pudding in the microwave. Release the pearls! Martha Stewart’s vanilla pudding recipe is a good one and is prepared in a more traditional way.

Whatever type of pudding you prepare, be sure it is on the firm side so that the pie doesn’t collapse as the runny pudding fills the empty place left when you serve a piece of the pie.

Although I like the chocolate coating for the pie’s crust, you’ll create new problems if the chocolate is rock-hard when solid. Remember you’ll have to cut through it to serve the pie. Use enough milk to make a ganache that will stiffen without getting too hard. Either that or make the chocolate coating as thin as possible.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Blueberry-Lemon Slice copy

Since today’s recipe was a dessert, why not end this post with another? This Blueberry-Lemon Slice is the perfect combination of tart and sweet and not at all difficult to prepare. It’s also a tasty way to use some of those blueberries if, like me, you freeze a couple quarts every summer. You will see the recipe when you click HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Zucchini Pesto Pasta Preview

Zucchini “Noodles” with Walnut Pesto

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150 thoughts on “Mom’s Strawberry-Banana Pie

  1. Hi John, it’s always a pleasure to start my day with one of your wonderful posts. This one is exceptionally well written, and I also like the pie. I have had pies like this in France (sans the bananas, though) and it has been on my list to make one for a long time. I like your idea of covering the pie crust with chocolate. Now I just have to wait for strawberries to be in season. We have imported or greenhouse strawberries year round of course, but nothing beats the real thing. Is your pie crust mostly flour and fat, or does it have sugar, too?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Stefan. Glad I can be a part of your morning in a positive way. 🙂
      You’ve posed the perfect question for this post. 3 different pies were photographed and each used a different crust. I’ve made no secret that I am not a baker and my pastry making and rolling skills are abysmal.
      The first photo and those in the slide show are from the same pie and its crust is store bought, the kind that comes in a roll and must be unfurled before use.
      The 2nd pie was made in Michigan for Zia and I took the easy route, buying a pie crust that was already fitted to an aluminum pie pan.
      The crust for the 3rd and final photo is one that I made. I got the recipe years ago from a TV show affiliated with Martha Stewart and it uses cream cheese, butter, and heavy cream but no sugar. It is the most forgiving dough and even I look somewhat proficient when I use it for a pie. You can get that recipe HERE.
      I have used another recipe that uses just a couple of TBSP of sugar, along with a mix of butter and shortening or lard. This is where my poor rolling skills come to the forefront to make for one very trying hour or so. 🙂
      Hope you have a wonderful day, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks. As I know you can do ravioli and agnolotti, I’m positive I can teach you how to make a good pie crust without cream cheese. The best way to start is to NOT listen to the ‘rules’ for getting a flaky crust. Once you are proficient in getting a crust that is perhaps not the flakiest, it will be time to fine tune it and get it flakier. The point is that all the ‘rules’ that make it flaky, also make it more difficult to roll out and work with it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This pie looks amazing! Bananas and strawberries are a wonderful combination- one of my favourites. Will certainly be trying this one once we have some strawberries worth the name.

    Hope you have a very happy birthday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cole, and you’re so right. I had to prepare one last week to replace some photos that I didn’t like. The pie looked great but the strawberries had no taste. The jello saved it, somewhat, but now I am really looking forward to berry season.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my gosh, this sounds divine. I love strawberries and bananas together …. and then add a little chocolate, yum! I’m looking forward to the zucchini noodle recipe. Since I need to eat gluten free, I’ve been experimenting with a spiralizer. Wishing you a wonderful birthday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ingrid. The pie is a good one. Mom hit this one out of the park. I, too, recently bought a spiralizer and have been playing with it ever since. I’ve
      “pasta” dishes to share, as well as potatoes. Last night’s dinner was a tuna casserole but I need to work on that a bit yet. All in all, this is one gadget that I’m really enjoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I know what you mean about the pudding having to be just right — I had the same challenge at Thanksgiving making an old favorite recipe new again without the instant pudding mix. It was worth the trouble as it appears yours proved to be–you would make your mom proud (and your birthday a delicious one). Happy Birthday, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Judy. It really is a shame that Mom couldn’t be here to see how well her recipes and this blog are being received. She, much like her sister, Zia, never gave herself credit for being a good cook no matter how much I tried to convince her. This would please her no end.

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  5. Happy birthday,John. It appears there are birthdays all round. It was my birthday yesterday!! Good to see you baking. I can’t imagine eating a whole pie, my hips would not cope but my eyes certainly would. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Glenda, and belated wishes for a happy birthday. Every January, I’m surprised by the number of birthdays this time of year. Makes me wonder what’s the big deal with April? I don’t spend too much time thinking about it, though. I prefer to think that my siblings and I were all virgin births, without the divine intervention component, of course. 🙂

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  6. Happy Birthday John! What does this make you lets see…23 for Zia and 21 for you, right? Wink wink! Now this is one gorgeous pie and love that whole combination of strawberry banana. Great idea and love the creamy pudding in the pie. Let me know when you plan on lighting those candles, I will put the fire brigade on alert.. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Birthday! Hope it’s a good one. And with this pie, how could it not be? I’ve had strawberry banana pie, of course — who hasn’t? But I’ve never made one. I probably should. This Sunday. In honor of your birthday. 🙂 BTW, I find I’m using the microwave more and more for cooking. It’s really good at some things. Haven’t made pudding in it, but it sounds like a perfect way to make it. Anyway, wonderful recipe — thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John. Considering the alternative, every birthday is a good one. 😉
      This pie is a good one but do yourself a favor. Wait until berry season. I had to make one for the photos last week and the pie looked good but the berries fell far short. As for the microwave, I think many try to cook everything in it and then are disappointed with the results. Selective use works best for me. Thanks for the visit and comment, John.

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  8. Buon compleanno a te per Domenica! What a fabulous recipe – my kind of pie. Your mom certainly knew how to show you how much she loved you when she made this. It really reminded me of the birthday cake I was allowed to have when I was little. There were not so many Italian bakers around then and we used to go to a special one in the centre of London and my brother and I were allowed to choose a cake each. His birthday is 23rd Jan and mine (as you so kindly remembered 🙂 ) is tomorrow. He always chose something with chocolate but I always chose the one with strawberries on top!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grazie mille, Cara! I agree with you on all points. How I loved to see that Mom had made one of these for us! (And how I hated that everyone also loved it, too!) You and your brother were pretty clever. Had you both asked for the same cake, you may have been expected to share the same one. Choosing different cakes, you both had plenty to enjoy. Che bambini intelligent!.

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  9. First off, Happy Birthday in advance! I hope it is spectacular, John. And wow, what a pie! Definitely birthday worthy and incorporating some of my favorite ingredients…pudding, strawberry, banana and chocolate…kind of a “split” pie. I applaud you for not using pudding mix, even though getting the pudding the right consistency took some extra effort…and yours sounds wonderful. In fact this pie looks so good, I’m pinning it to try when we get some fresh berries in a few months…if I can wait that long. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Betsy, for the birthday wishes and kind words. You’re right to wait for berry season. I didn’t because I needed photos. (Still haven’t figured out where that folder went.) The pie looked great but the berries were sub-par. All that means is that I’ll enjoy the next one so much more. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Indeed, Happy upcoming Birthday…but what a present you left for us with this recipe. These flavors belong together. As far as getting that recipe book with your first microwave, our first microwave serves now as a storage area for fresh bread. It doesn’t “do the wave” so much anymore but we saved it. As for saving cookbooks…my wife agrees with that premise and I am grateful we have the space to house them all. Magazines as well. Pictures just add to the a-peel on this banana pie…thank you berry much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, the puns! I love ’em, each and e-berry one. I’ve placed myself on a cookbook moratorium and will not buy another until I get things better organized … well, not a hard copy one, anyway. Virtual books do not go on a bookshelf so they don’t count. I may revisit this, however. should I need to get a new smartphone or tablet because I’ve run out of space. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I don’t always make everything from scratch but, when it comes to one of Mom’s iconic recipes, I’ll go for it even when she didn’t. Unlike her, I don’t have kids asking how much longer before we can have a piece.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful post, John, so full of loving memories, and such a lovely pie, with all the layers of different flavors and textures.
    Great idea, to add the chocolate layer, both for the wonderful taste (chocolate and strawberries, who can beat that?!) but also for keeping the pastry hold longer.
    I will definitely be lurking for good strawberries to make this.

    Happy Birthday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sounds simply delicious, John. And easy if you cheat 🙂
    I used to put fruit on my butter cake and glaze it with an Oekter glaze. That was decades ago, but if Oekter products are sold where you live, I bet that it’s still available.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words and the heads-up about Oekter products. I checked and there are a number of their products on Amazon. Now I’ll check for them at my local groceries. Either way, I will definitely try the glaze. The gelatin may be too sweet for some. Thanks again. 🙂

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  13. Happy Birthday John! Mehta a wonderful way to celebrate. The pie looks fantastic and the memories are perhaps even better. We were strawberry shortcake people as well. I was never fond of the glaze on a strawberry pie. This has all my favorites though, chocolate, banana and strawberry. Guess what I might have to make once its berry picking season?! April isn’t that long from now….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Gretchen! Yes, best wait for berry season because off-season berries just aren’t right. As much as I like a good strawberry shortcake, I do prefer this pie. What’s not to love with a single bite that contains chocolate, pudding, strawberries, and bananas? Besides, we all know the benefits of both chocolate and fruit. This pie is really a health food. (This is what I tell myself as I’m cutting my 2nd piece.) 😀

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  14. Happy Birthday! This pie looks amazing and Bananas and Strawberries and Chocolate – all my favorite things! I can hardly wait for strawberry season. And thanks for posting an alternate pudding recipe as I don’t own a microwave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. None of my “tweaks” are outside of Mom’s realm of possibilities. The big difference is that I don’t have 3 kids to deal with while I make a pie. It’s a wonder she found time to make it at all. 🙂

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  15. Sheesh! And there I had it in my diary, just for once. ’cause forgetting birthdays is the very biggest talent I have . . . .and now the date seems to have been gazumped and I better say a huge ‘Happy Birthday’ myself . . . perhaps just as well ’cause nearly made you a year older [than that 21 or 31 or whatever 🙂 ! Have a wonderful personal year . . . am so waiting for you to travel back to San Marino etc et al later in spring . . . . am certain zia Pina is already counting the days . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Eha, and don’t worry about remembering my birthday. We millennials just aren’t concerned about birthdays — unless someone asks of which millennium we’re a part. 🙂

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  16. First, Happy Birthday, John! 🙂 Cool slideshow. I’m glad you clarified that there were 3 different pie crusts. I was confused a bit. The crust in the fist photo is very intriguing. It looks thin, crispy and elegant. I used to look forward to summer to have a strawberry pie at Marie Callendar’s (do you know the restaurant?). Your Mom’s strawberry-banana pie tops that, with chocolate lining, wonderful pudding and a layer of sliced banana. Strawberries covered with gelatin is brilliant for visuals as well as flavor, and keeps the strawberries from perishing in the refrigerator. This is a keeper recipe.
    I discarded many of my cookbooks which came as a part of a purchase of kitchen electric gadgets, and I am sorry now. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Fae. The first version looked so “elegant” because of my poor rolling skills. Although I don’t remember specifically, I’d be willing to bet that the crust on the opposite side was too thick and stretched far beyond the pie plate. Chance are that the crust had already been rolled, re-rolled, and re-rolled again before I just gave up and slapped it into the pie plate. As I mentioned to Stefan, I really do need more experience working with pastry dough. This is cruel and unusual punishment otherwise. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m already anticipating those zucchini noodles, John. They really speak to me! Now I must try the strawberry pie. Strawberry pie is my son’s favorite pie and every birthday that’s what we purchase instead of birthday cake, although I’ve never even tried to make one. I presumed it would just be too tricky. You’ve really broken down the steps and I think I’d be brave enough. I like the addition of the chocolate and would never have thought of that! For my own tastes, the blueberry-lemon slice is absolutely perfect. I have the ingredients on hand and think I may need to try this tomorrow! I should not read your posts and delicious recipes after 10:00 pm. I’m now hungry and craving something sweet! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Debra, I know what you mean. Reading so many great recipes on others’ blogs often leave me feeling so hungry. There are sure to be a number of posts as a result of my recent purchase of a spiralizer. Just last night I made a tuna casserole with zucchini. The dish needs some work but I really enjoyed the flavor. As for today’s pie, it’s really not at all tricky. The only concern is the timing, The crust has to cool before the chocolate is applied. the chocolate has to be cooled before the bananas and pudding are layered, etc. Even so, it is an easy pie to make and, trust me, the reward is well worth it.

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      • I made the Lemon-Blueberry Slice tonight, John, and it was a big hit! My favorite comment was when my husband said, “You outdid yourself.” LOL! He loved it, and I kept taking a little bite and saying that was enough, and then returning to the pan…you know how that goes! It is delicious. I’m going to make the pie before too long. I need to perfect that one before I see my son again. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry, Debra. Your reply got lost …
          So vey glad that you made and enjoyed the slice. For my tastes, it has just the right combination of lemon and blueberries. It is sure to disappear whenever I serve it, too. 🙂

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  18. Hold on a minute – I clearly have not lived yet! Where has this awesome pie been my whole life – thank you to your mamma! Wow! Wish I had a slice for my lunch.
    Have a beautiful day John and Happy Birthday for Sunday.
    🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mandy, I feel I must warn you, Make this pie and you’ll be amazed how quickly it disappears — even when you’re home alone. I blame it on kitchen elves. I couldn’t possibly eat a pie that quickly. No, not me. 😉

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    • Thanks, Celi. I have to say, it isn’t much easier going to bed knowing this pie is in your fridge. A little slice before bedtime is oh, so very satisfying. At least that’s what I tell myself as I’m opening the fridge door. 🙂

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  19. Enjoying a slice (or two, or … ) is a fantastic way to enjoy your birthday! This pie looks and sounds so good, and it brings some nostalgia too. Happy Birthday to you! We’re birthday buddies, as mine was just on Monday. The odometer has clicked over yet again, and as Martha would day, that’s a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ha ha! I DID clutch my pearls when I saw you used a microwave – but I would do exactly the same thing. Sometimes making pudding on the stove demands too much attention when you’re doing other things.

    But blast it all, John – I won’t rest until I try this pie. You are The Best for posting this recipe.

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    • Ruth, a pearl clutcher? Who knew? You are right, though, about baby sitting pudding on the stove. For me, it’s more like burning pudding on the stove and not cooking. A microwave dings to remind me to get over there. If you are going to make this pie, I hope you’ll wait until berry season. It is so much better with locally grown strawberries in season. As good as this pie is, January berries are such a disappointment. I know, One of those pies in the photos was made just 2 weeks ago. It looks pretty but the only flavor those berries had came from the jello. Like I said, a disappointment. I still ate it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Well my friend, I must wish you the happiest of birthdays on Subday! I hope your friends spoil you and that you have a memorable time.
    I read this post with some surprise and not exactly why you would think: I’m assisting on a magazine shoot this week and yesterday we made a pie with a pudding filling! And I just learned the trick to get a nice clean-cut pudding-based pie slice photo is that you must add corn starch to the pudding! And here you are doing the very same thing! Small world. Adding the chocolate ganache to prevent the crust from sogginess is pure genius! And the flavour combo of banana, chocolate and strawberry is totally delicious! A retro-flavour combination that I haven’t seen since the 80’s and I do wonder why, because it’s so darn good. The gelatin over the berries does add a gorgeous shine and it’s nature’s preservative, sealing in all that goodness. Normally I would be a little surprised to see berries on your blog this time of year and it’s not because we can’t source them, but because they are usually cost prohibitive and usually tasteless but for some reason those little gems are both super flavourful and reasonably priced this year! Even with our sucky dollar (good time to come to Canada, Canadian dollar is less $0.70 US!) they are affordable! It sure is nice to see a pop of colour on these unseasonably mild but dreary days.
    Happy , happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much,Eva. I had a wonderful birthday and the party continues. Another Aquarian baby will be joining me tonight for another celebratory dinner. YAY!
      I’ve not made this pie in well over 10 years and I cannot say why. Like you said, it is “so darn good!” I’m glad that you’ve found good berries. Two of the pies pictured were from the summer. The third and last photo was with berries recently purchased. Although they looked good, their taste left something to be desired. All they’ve done is to whet my hunger for another to be made this June. Any excuse, eh? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It’s a funny thing but Mom and Zia never considered them to be good cooks. I can remember trying to convince Mom when i returned from my first trip to Italy. She would have none of it. The response to this blog has proven to Zia what I’ve been saying all along. Although she would never say it aloud — she’s far too modest — she cannot deny that our family recipes have been very well-received.

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  22. Dear John,
    your post made me smile a lot: First your “Happy birthday to me!” – Just cute. Second: “I, like the pudding, was all set.” – Just loved it. Third: I never loved a soggy bottom either – you did express it so nicely. And last but not least to read your secret in one comment that you fulfill onother year in a long row on that lovely earth on Sunday: We are of the same year of construction and of production! So nice…. It was the year of the horse (chinese horoscope). 😉 – I wish you a very happy birthday feast with that gorgeous and yummi looking tarte, John! A lovely upcoming new year and many years to come yet – and take care of you!
    Hm, I’d like to share your wonderful birthday cake with you, mmmmh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Irmi, for leaving such a lovely comment. I certainly hope that this is a good year for you, too. After all, we “horse” people need to look out for each other. Tonight will make the last of the birthday celebrations. A fellow Aquarian and I will be going out for dinner and there will be cake after — guaranteed! Neither of us will let an opportunity like this pass us by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. What a great pie to combat the winter doldrums. The colourful telling of the pie’s origins and components gave me a boost, and whipping one up to eat would be the cream on top. No pearl clutching here, I like your shortcuts John! I think I need some pie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I hadn’t prepared this pie in ages and after that 1st bite, i couldn’t help but wonder why. It such a good pie and when made in berry season, it’s a salute to summer. I really hope you give it a try. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Yes! Happy Birthday to you, dear John! The East Coast will celebrate it under several inches of snow! My birthday is coming up too!
    Bravo! Making a cake to celebrate yourself! And it looks stunning and delicious. What’s not to love?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Francesca, and I hope yours is a happy birthday, too, followed by a fantastic year! This pie combines 3 of my favorite dessert ingredients: bananas, chocolate, and strawberries. Just as you said, “What’s not to love?” 🙂

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  25. It’s not like you to be baking, John! And you always tell me how you’re no good at it! Well this pie speaks for itself and I can tell you definitely have some skills in the baking department. I like how this can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be – and sometimes shortcuts are necessary not just to make things easier but to save us some time as well. The colour of the strawberries is wonderful and I love how the pie also includes some chocolate ganache xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Charlie. I must admit, however, that when compared to your many masterpieces, this pie isn’t even in the running. This is more assembly than baking, unlike your Titanic. I will never forget that cake. It was simply wonderful! 🙂

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  26. John – this pie looks amazing – and happy birthday to you! I hope you saved yourself a piece for today. I loved hearing the history of the recipe, your changes, and how you kept the soggy bottom at bay. Perfect. David

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, David. No, there was no pie for my big day but there was cake and cocktails. That’s plenty for me. Well, almost. I’ll be going out for one final birthday dinner tonight with a fellow Aquarian. I’ll have to see what’s on the dessert cart. Pie certainly isn’t out of the question. 🙂

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  27. Happy belated birthday John. Your pie looks divine!

    I always use the lazy person’s glaze, for red fruit; redcurrant jelly gently warmed to liquid and brushed over the fruit, from the centre to edges (it goes a bit soggy if you brush the opposite way, and we all know what a stickler you are about a soggy bottom).
    The matriarch of the family turned 104 on the 21st January; everyone enjoyed a slice of beautiful cake.
    E

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Elaine for the birthday wishes and the suggestion for a glaze. I prepare so few pies that I never would have thought to use currant jelly. I will now, though. 🙂
      How wonderful that she turned 104! Sounds like she was treated to a nice party, as well she should have been. I hope she is in both good health and spirits, too.

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  28. Miss A saw this pop up in my Facebook feed and you should have seen her face and heard her exclamation. I think if she could dive through the computer, she would have. I think you have shared another one that will be a must serve in our house. Looking forward to finding some good fresh strawberries now!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Hi ChgoJohn!
    I finally figured out how to find your blog! Now I can’t figure out why I’m not receiving your posts through email (maybe I’ve not signed up for them correctly!).
    Some of my fondest childhood, ‘new’ food experiences included tasting my first bite of fresh strawberry pie. Unforgettable!
    And now I need to try it with bananas!
    YUM!
    Be well,
    Roz

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Roz. Glad you made it! I, too, am experiencing problems getting notifications of posts and do not know what to do about it. Support is dragging its feet and are pretty unresponsive and we’re not alone. I hope it clears up sooner rather than later.
      I, too, remember this pie and pestering Mom to cut into it. Why wait until after dinner? I never was one much for patience, especially when pie was involved. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Happy Birthday, belated but wishing you happy days all the year through 🙂 What a great idea to bake pie to celebrate your birthday. I love happy birthday to me gestures. My birthday is past, being a Sagi but I have an Aquarian moon (my Dad is the opposite – Aquarian sun sign like you, Sagi moon) so I have a soft spot for the water bearers.

    Like

    • Thanks, Abbe. A childhood without strawberries seems mighty harsh. It must have been a banner day when you discovered you were no longer allergic — a little scary, too, no doubt. 🙂

      Like

  31. Well, well my dear boy – I just learned that you’re about five years YOUNGER than I am!! Wishing you a happy belated birthday. I love how you told people not to be alarmed that you used a microwave in preparing this pie… and ‘not to get their knickers in a knot’ because the recipe was from Martha Stewart herself. (Actually, as you know, there was no mention of ‘knickers’ in your post!) This pie looks yummy – as always!! ; o )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cecile, but i respectfully suggest you check your math. Surely you’re younger than I. My eyes do not lie. As for using a microwave, the beauty of this dessert is that you can make as much of it by hand as you like. I tend to draw the line with the pie crust and buy mine at the grocery. I’m just no good rolling out pasty dough, no matter how hard I try. I don’t think I’ve enough practice with it and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I’d eat all of the experiments. 🙂

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  32. Wow, absolutely delicious! Happy belated birthday John! I do hope that the pie continues to be passed down within your family… I love the fact that you baked from memory and that it’s a reflection of many happy times you’ve spent with Zia and your mum as you’ve grown up. I love strawberries but for some reason I’ve never really liked banana in pies. Maybe that would change if I tried this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Laura. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear your comment was written by my sister. She, too, loved strawberries but not bananas. Mom often made this pie without the bananas, much to my dismay. Then again, when she did make it, there was that much more for me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  34. I’ve been meaning to make an open-faced pie and I’m still procrastinating as usual. Your mum’s pie looks absolutely delicious, John. And as I said before, photos are awesome, these days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Liz. I don’t know how this recipe skipped my mind for so long. Now, I can hardly wait for berry season so that I can make it again. I simply love this pie. 🙂

      Like

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