When Barbara and Gene met in the early 1970s, she took notice because, unlike the men in her own family, he seemed to know his way around a kitchen. He wooed her with scratch-made beef ragu and, of course, pie.
“When we were first dating and my husband came to my parents’ house, he made an apple pie. He used my mother’s recipe for the crust. He got her to write down the amount of ingredients by watching her with the measuring cups. I was very impressed,” Nordstrom said. (Although she joked that after they were married, he concentrated more on eating than on cooking.)
Nordstrom has been making strawberry-raspberry pie for Fourth of July and other special gatherings since the 1970s. She made it often after she and Gene were married in 1973 and fondly recalls that they’d eat the whole pie together “with lots of ice cream.”
Nordstrom said she plans to make it again on Tuesday because “it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without strawberry-raspberry pie!” She said the pie is a tasty reminder of family traditions and history, including an appreciation of good food and second helpings.
Nordstrom opined that the art of homemade pie-making is dying because good store-bought pies are so readily available (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). But I agree with Nordstrom that nothing says love like a pie made from scratch. That’s why Nordstrom said she always pokes a heart-shaped hole on top of her strawberry-raspberry pies — because this is a pie with heart.
Grandma Grace Mae’s Strawberry-Raspberry Pie
1 cup shortening
21/3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt (unless using salted shortening)
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup cold water plus 1 teaspoon vinegar
1 pint strawberries, chopped into raspberry-size chunks
1 pint raspberries
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch or 1/3 to 1/2 cup flour
For the crust: Cut half of shortening into flour, salt, sugar mixture until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add remaining shortening and cut in until the lumps are the size of peas. Gradually add enough water for the dough to stick together. Roll half of dough between waxed paper or plastic wrap for bottom crust. Place in 9-inch pie dish. Roll out remaining dough for top crust.
For the filling: Rinse berries then dry on a paper towel. In a bowl, mix berries, sugar and cornstarch or flour. Gently ladle berry mixture on bottom crust. Place top crust over berries. Press edges together to seal. Make vents with a fork in a heart shape. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes then turn oven to 350 for another 20 to 30 minutes for a total cooking time of about 50 minutes. If the crust edges start to brown, cover edges with strips of foil.