Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey.

That's in the words of my friend's mother Jeannie. And right now I'm applying it to a strawberry pie I made for Easter. I'm pretty sure I posted this on Dakota Martin at some point, but its so good and so easy I'll do it again. I found it years ago ( Literally, 2005 ! ) in a spring issue of Domino Mag ( RIP ). I still have my little tear out from it and the loss saddens me every time. I hadn't made it for a long time before last Sunday, but its such a good-go to I was back at it. This desserts screams summer with every little bite and it honors sunny skies because its healthy -- you don't have to feel a bikini bod transgression when you indulge ( it was 80 yesterday in NYC, no more layers ).

This sort of taste transplants me to a backyard with my bare feet in cool grass as dusk settles in and fireflies appear. I can see post-and-rail fences, lush green trees and a flagstone deck resting from the sun for the first time in hours. Maybe my eyes sting from chlorine and I'm wrapped in a damp towel with not much more to worry about than who's coming over to play tomorrow or whether I should watch Dirty Dancing or Grease. I wish that was a literal transplant, but I'll take the vision too.

Promise this wont disappoint or take you more than 20 minutes. Also, I was looking at tiny tart shells I have last night. Mini versions with different fruits could be fantastic -- any berry, kiwi, peaches, plums, even grape halves could be fun !

Raw Strawberry Pie ::

2 lbs fresh strawberries, tops removed, quartered
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice ( about half a lemon )
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups raw almonds
1 3/4 cups pitted dates

In a bowl, combine strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla and brown sugar. Mix well and let it sit while you make the crust. ( This is where I digress from the real recipe a bit, but my way is easier ) Combine dates and almonds in a food processor until well chopped and combined. Press mixture onto the bottom and sides of an oiled 9" pie plate to form crust. Using a slotted spoon or your hands, pile berries into the crust, discarding any remaining liquid. Refrigerate for two hours and serve.

Domino suggests lemon sorbet and fresh mint. I don't know why I've never done these things, but that sounds like summer on top of summer on top of summer. yum.

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