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10 July, 2014

Strawberry Pecan Pie for Canada Day

Comments : 4 Posted in : Drinks & Desserts on by : Ratna


Strawberry pecan pie-9

‘Shokale  taratari  deke  dish’,  ‘Wake  me  up  early’,  Mum  reminded  me.  It  was  her  oath  taking  ceremony  next  morning.

As  she  tied  her  hair  and  changed her  sari,  I  couldn’t  help  but  notice  how  much  she  had  aged.  Walking  very  slowly  supporting  herself  on  the  walking  stick  she  asked  for  help  in  putting  the  maple  leaf  broach  that  she  had  carefully  stored  in  her  butterfly  shaped  jewellery  box.  As  we  waited  in  the  judge’s  chamber  I  noticed  she  sat  quietly  rubbing  the  thumb  and the  first  finger  of  her  right  hand,  something  she  did  whenever  she  was  nervous.

I  felt  I  could  see  what  was  going  through  her  mind  like  the  pictures  in  a  kaleidoscope.  Sharing  laughter  with  friends,  tending  to  her  garden,  instructing  the  household  helps  in  their  daily  chores  she  had  lived  all  her  life  in  India. So  many  memories,  so  many  emotions  were  crisscrossing  her  mind  just  like  the  creases  on  her  face.  Very  soon  she  will  not  call  India  her  home. A  new  country  where  she  does  not  have  any  friends,  a  country  where  snow  covers  the  ground  for  months  together  will  be  her  new  home.  An  arrangement  that  was  made  to  enable  her to  stay  close  to  her  children,  at  the  time  of  her  life  when  she  is  more  like  the  child  than  a  mother.

Strawberry pecan pie-4

We  had  gone  over  a  few  times  the  formalities  that  would  occur  in  the  judge’s  chamber.  No  exams  for  her,  just  pledging,  ‘O  Canada, our  home  and  native  land  ……we  stand  on  guard  for  thee….’.   Are  you  alright  ma?  I  asked  nudging  her.  She  said  nothing. ‘Aami  kintu  India  keo  onek  bhalobashi’,  there,  she  let  it  out.  ‘I  still  love  India  a  lot’.  Her  gnarly  fingers  gave  out  what  her  tongue  couldn’t  for  the  longest  time.

Strawberry pecan pie-6

I  then  realized  what  was  bothering  her.  Erasing  the  feelings  for  the  land  of  one’s  birth  was  not  a  prerequisite  to  becoming  a  good  citizen  I  reassured  her.

Strawberry pecan pie-2

Oh  she  said,  like  Lord  Krishna,   Devaki  was  his  mother  by  birth  and  Yashoda  was  the  mother  who  brought  him  up. That’s  right  Ma, I  chimed  in.  India  was  your  country  of  birth  and  Canada  will  now  be  your  new  Motherland  just  like  Yashoda.  Her  face  lit  up.  I  noticed  she  put  her  right  hand  on  the  left  side  of  her  chest  as  she  sang  ”  O  Canada”…

Strawberry pecan pie-13

I  haven’t  baked  a  lot  of  pies.  The  latest  “Taste  of  Home”  magazine  had  a  Stars  and  Stripes  Pie  recipe  that  inspired  me  to  try  a  Canadian  version  of  the  same.  I  retained  the  recipe   with  some  alterations.

Strawberry pecan pie-11

Strawberry pecan pie-14

I  have  to  admit  this  is  my  second  try.  It  tasted  pretty  good,  I  have  learnt  the “(Secret)  Life  of  Pie”  the  hard  way.




For  the  Pastry,

All  purpose  flour                                        Two  and  half  cups

Salt                                                                Half  tsp

Cold  unsalted  butter,  cubed                    One  cup

Ice  water                                                     Six  to  ten  Tbsp


Fresh  Strawberries  roughly  chopped          Five  cups

Lemon  juice                                                   Two  tsp

Sugar  divided                                                One  cup  plus  one  tsp

All  purpose  flour                                           One  third  cup

Ground  cinnamon                                          One  and  one  fourth  tsp,  divided

Two  percent  milk                                           One  Tbsp

Mint  leaves  chopped                                      Half  tsp

Chopped  pecan  nuts                                     Half  cup


In  a  large  bowl,  mix  flour  and  salt;  cut  in  butter  until  crumbly.  Gradually  add  ice  water,  tossing  with  a  fork  until  dough  holds  together  when  pressed.  Divide  dough  in  two  pieces.  Shape  each  into  a  disk;  wrap  in  a  plastic  wrap.  Refrigerate  for  one  hour.

Preheat  oven  to  375  degrees.  For  filling,  place  strawberries  in  a  large  bowl;  drizzle  with  lemon  juice  and  mint  leaves.  In  a  small  bowl,  mix  one  cup  sugar,  flour  and  one  tsp  cinnamon. Sprinkle  over  strawberries  and  toss  gently  to  coat.  Add  the  nuts.

On  a  lightly  floured  surface,  roll  one  portion  of  dough  to  a  one  eighth  inch  thick  circle,  transfer  to  a  nine  inch  pie  plate.  Trim  pastry  even  with  rim.  Add  prepared  filling.

Roll  the  remaining  dough  to  a  one  eighth  thick  circle.  Place  top  pastry  over  filling.  Trim,  seal  and  flute  edge.  Use  a  maple  leaf  cookie  cutter  and  cut  out  the  shape  on  the  top  pastry.  From  the  left  over  dough  cut  out  two  rectangles  about  one  and  quarter  inch  to  one  eighth  inch  and  place  them  on  either  side  of  the  maple  leaf  cutout.  Press  to  stick.

Bake  forty  minutes.  Mix  remaining  sugar  and  cinnamon.  Brush  top  of  pie  with  milk;  sprinkle  with  cinnamon-sugar.  Bake  fifteen  to  twenty  minutes  longer  or  until  crust  is  golden  brown  and  filling  is  bubbly.  Cool  on  a  wire  rack.

Inside  Scoop;

Do  not  knead  at  all  when  mixing  the  dough  together.  The  first  one  I  did  turned  out  very  tough.

By  Ratna


4 thoughts on : Strawberry Pecan Pie for Canada Day

  • chinmoyee mukerji
    July 26, 2014 at 12:29 am

    I loved this post. It made me feel closer to grand ma.

    • Ratna
      July 26, 2014 at 6:01 am

      Thanks Chinmoyee.

  • July 20, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Beautiful post, my regards to your mother and I really hope she makes memories here as beautiful as she had in India.

    The pie looks delicious.

    • Ratna
      July 21, 2014 at 1:58 am

      Aww! Thanks Simi, you are so kind.

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