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RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Strawberry custard pie

Strawberries – especially the small, sweet variety grown in Louisiana – make great pies. If you can only find large, less juicy and less sweet ones, they will have to be sliced and sweetened. This custard pie can be topped with either meringue or whipped cream.
2 9-inch deep-dish pie-crust shells (homemade, frozen or
refrigerated) baked
2 pints Louisiana strawberries, rinsed and patted dry
(slice and toss with 2 tablespoons sugar if necessary)
1 quart milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 egg plus 5 egg yolks, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Strawberry custard pieBake pie shells and cool. Prepare berries. Set aside.
In a double boiler, heat milk until hot but not boiling. Mix sugar and flour and stir into milk. Add a little milk mixture to eggs and stir in. Add egg mixture very gradually into milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook custard over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. When thickened, remove from heat and cool. When cool, add 1 teaspoon vanilla and strawberries. Fill pie shells with strawberry custard. Whip cream until peaks form. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar and whip briefly. Spread onto pie.
If meringue topping is preferred, beat the 5 egg whites until foamy. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and continue beating, gradually adding 1/4 cup confectioners sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread onto pie and place pie in a 350° oven until lightly browned on top, about 10 minutes.

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