Have the pie and eat it too!

strawberry pie

Life’s short. That’s the mother of all clichés… Live today as if it was your last… Blah blah blah!

So let’s bring a new twist to this oh so annoying saying: Let’s say I don’t even have a day to live. That I’ll be dead in 5 minutes: the cat scratches my eye, I can’t see because of the blood, I fall in the stairs, crawl all the way to the house next door in the hope I’ll find a helping hand, and my neighbor, who has secretly hated me for years, gives me the final blow (he’s a pastry chef, so I guess he’d be using a rolling pin). What I mean here is that we might not even have the hole bloody day!

Strawberries and wine

I find it much better to enjoy the present moment. Scratch that! To enjoy the instant!

So to hell with my diet and hello gorgeous, scrumptious, juicy strawberry pie!

Poppies and strawberries

While we’re on the subject, I think that we can bring both clichés together and all agree that enjoying the moment and living to the fullest come together when we make people around us happy. My philosophy is this though: you can’t make others happy if you neglect your own bliss. We have to BE before we can GIVE! So I brought a big slice of pie to my aunt Liliane, but I made sure I ate mine first. You know, I needed the strength to walk the 2 blocks to her house…

Piece of pie

This pie was probably one of the best I have ever had (and I’ve had many). I completely messed up the presentation though. I need to get one of those pie plates with a removable bottom. When I tell you I am a terrible baker… :0)

  1. Make a sugar crust pastry (pâte sablée in French). For this you’ll need 250g of flour (2 cups I think), 125g of sugar (1 cup), 125g soft salted butter (1 cup), half a lemon zest and one egg. Mix the sugar with the butter and the zest using a wooden spoon, add the egg and mix again, add the flour and mix again. Form a ball with the dough and wrap it up in film. Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then spread the dough with a rolling pin, put it in the pie plate and cover it with a sheet of baking paper with little stones on top. Then into the oven at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes (until the crust reaches the color you like). Let the crust cool down and proceed to step 2:
  2. Gently mix two big (BIG) table spoons worth of Mascarpone with the same amount of strawberry jam (I used blueberry jam here, but I think the color didn’t look very appealing). Spread this mix on the pie and place your strawberries on top. A pound should do. You can sprinkle some pistachios for a better look or glaze your pie. I like my pies “au naturel” :0)

Note: No! That white, tasteless thing you find in most supermarkets is NOT BUTTER! Butter is yellow! Real butter should go bad after 2 or 3 weeks. I know it’s hard, but try to find a farm for heaven’s sake, or at least a good market. My advice? If you care about what you eat (which I know you do), ask the best pastry chef in your town where he or she gets the real butter ;0) Or you know what? Even better: come over here and I’ll make you the damn pie myself! ;0)

Liliane and her pie

95 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara says:

    Love the post! The pie sounds easy and delicious. I will search my urban setting for real butter . . . .

  2. Renate Flynn says:

    ” I needed the strength to walk the 2 blocks to her house…” I just love that…And your photography is beautiful. I will so enjoy following your blog.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you Renate! I’m always excited to get a new reader, especially a blogger who enjoys food as much as I do 😉

      1. Renate Flynn says:

        Oh, indeed! Those strawberries. And, that fork which has obviously been used. A fantastic photo. Best wishes to you!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Thanks dear Renate! I really think strawberries are my favorite fruit of all… 😉

  3. Your strawberry pie just vibrates off the screen! I would like to order one now, please. YUM!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Alright then. I’ll start cooking! 😉

  4. Selena Rea says:

    Yum, strawberry pie! Your photos are stunning.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you Selena! It was absolutely delicious. I was the first surprised as I typically don’t bake… 🙂

  5. Cook it fit says:

    Wooooow, it simply looks delicious! Well done! 🙂 Cheers, Crys

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks a lot Crys! I appreciate it!!

  6. Jessie says:

    Your blog is lovely! I like the personal voice in your writing which helps me get a feel for who you really are. Also, the pictures are beautiful!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much Jessie! Photography is my greatest joy, so comments like these go right tot my heart 🙂

  7. A beautiful and well written way to brighten any day

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Why thank you! Glad my murder of a few strawberries could brighten anyone’s day 😉

  8. CJBNomad8654 says:

    Fantastic photography on your website. Just beautiful.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! Comments like yours always make my day. I hope you come back often 🙂

  9. firecook says:

    Beautiful …:)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks a lot 😉 It was delicious too if I may say so myself 🙂

      1. firecook says:

        Eating is as fun as making it I bet:)

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Eating it is MUCH MORE FUN than making it actually 😉

          1. firecook says:

            Ya that’s for sure as well:) I love to eat as well as making different dishes.:)

  10. You’re right a up the butter, I once worked in a restaurant and we spent a day tasting butter. French was by far the best.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I could live on bread and butter alone 😉 Thanks for dropping by!

  11. alangent says:

    The pie looks delicious and the photography is excellent.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! I am not a good baker, but this one I think I nailed 🙂

  12. v8mile says:

    Oh, I love, love strawberries— my favorite summertime fruit. And your photos look just delectable!

  13. This looks so delicious! Stunning photos. Emma xx

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks so much my dear Emma!

  14. Stéphane Cassin Photographie says:

    Magnifique, tout est beau c’est bien simple!!! Les différentes profondeurs de champ, la lumière filtrée sur certaines photos, le traitement apporté aussi, tout cela contribue pour donner du plaisir au regard et à la qualité de l’image! On dit que les Stéphane ont plusieurs cordes à leur arc, mais c’est vrai 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Les Stéphanes sont les meilleurs, c’est bien connu. Pourtant avec au moins 5 à 6 Stéphanes dans chaque classe de la maternelle à la terminale, nous méritons bien de réussir à nous démarquer un peu du lot… 😉

  15. Wendy says:

    Oh My Heavens! Strawberry pie is my fav! Love your gorgeous photos Stephane! I am so jealous, my strawberry plants are just blooming….I have been out in the garden fantasizing about strawberry pies!!! Thanks for sharing with us!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are most welcome Wendy and thank you for the kind comment. I am thinking of making my own jam this year…

      1. Wendy says:

        Oh you really should! Check out my recipe for Simple Strawberry Jam….it is so good, and so quick and easy to make! It tastes just like fresh berries, all year long!

  16. That’s bribery, strawberry pie bribery, but it makes me want to drop everything and fly.

  17. I wish I could get into my computer and eat your strawberry pie – it just looks wonderful! No diet could stand up to that!

  18. Stéphane,
    Your pictures are beautiful! And thank you for reminding us that every day, every hour, even every minute is a blessing! In today’s fast-paced, technologically driven society, it’s little pieces of beauty and whimsy, like your post, that make us stop and realize it again. I wonder WHY it’s so easy for us to forget how precious life is! Thanks for this moment, “plein de poésie”!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks for such a lovely comment dear Chloe! It means a lot!!

  19. mmmarzipan says:

    STUNNING! just… wow! ❤

  20. I’m coming and expect PIE! Yum! Stephane this was a funny post. Really enjoyed it!

  21. mariekeates says:

    Is that an invitation because I’m terrible at pastry and that pie is making my mouth water? 🙂

  22. Quelle belles photos! Je voudrais pouvoir les manger.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Tu peux, mais attention aux dents 🙂

  23. juliabarrett says:

    Beautiful and yummy!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Julia!!

  24. Michael Latimer says:

    wish I could say “be right there”

  25. Chaya says:

    oh this is so beautiful! you can’t even tell that you’re missing a removable bottom for your tart pan. lovely pictures as always.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much dear! I have bought the removable bottom dish though. Very practical indeed! 😉

  26. Conor Bofin says:

    Elegant posting and a delicious looking pie. You have just given one instant a boost.

  27. The Lu Life says:

    What gorgeous photos! It really makes me want to take multiple bites of that pie (if not eat the whole thing)!

  28. terrepruitt says:

    I love the presentation! Beautiful!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much!

  29. Comment résister ?! de superbes clichés.

  30. I tell my friends about you all the time and how one day I’ll visit you in Bordeaux and eat your fabulous food. 🙂

  31. Steve says:

    “To Hell with my diet”…..I think I’ve heard or read you say that once or twice….maybe three times. I don’t know if you caught my post on neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt’s TED talk on why we MUST abandon the very thought of dieting immediately. It’s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn0Ygp7pMbA

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Great link! I’ve lost 16 pounds so far though. The trick? NO DIET! Just sugar free and smaller portions… If I feel like it 🙂

  32. Jessie says:

    It’s drizzling outside in Seoul and I enjoy eating your pie with my eyes and a cup of coffee. ^^

  33. chef mimi says:

    My dear Stephane, you continue to make me laugh. Yes, I would also need pie to nourish myself for a 2 block walk. Why not?!!! We really miss you!!! (Em and I were talking about our time a while back on skype.)

  34. Photos and food both whet my appetite! So good of you to eat yours so you’d have the energy to visit. You’re a saint. 🙂


  35. What a lucky Aunt! I hope very much that one day, one of my nephews brings me such a beautiful pie to share! Though not sure that I’m patient enough to wait that long… better start baking it myself! 😉

  36. pinkagendist says:

    Have you ever tried one that has strawberries, meringue and condensed milk?

  37. The pie looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  38. You’ll have to make it for me! As I can’t find decent strawberries over here. At least the butter’s okay. Beautiful photos!

  39. TO Hell with the diet with this forecast on your head☺

  40. Luffy Moogan says:

    That looks like the most scrumptious thing I’ve seen for ages! Am on my way around!

  41. Urvashi Roe says:

    That pie looks delicious. Alas my strawberries are yet to fruit. I have little white alpine ones but not nearly enough to bake with

  42. Linda Duffin says:

    That looks divine! Our strawberries are only just in flower but I look forward to trying this later in the season.

  43. Angeline M says:

    You have a great imagination! And this pie looks scrumptious. I may not be able to get there, but my best friend, who lived in Lyon for a few years, will be visiting in the area in fall….I’ll recommend highly that she go for a little visit with you.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      That would be great Angeline! I’d love to meet your friends. You are now my official sales person 😉 🙂

      1. Angeline M says:

        Recommendation has been made to my friend, and she will also tell her friends living in France about you. I love being your official sales person 🙂

  44. Le Photidien says:

    Magnifiques photos. Elles mettent vraiment en appétit !

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci merci!!

  45. sabine says:

    Looks like your aunt had nothing to complain about in terms of presentation and taste – Seems to me you made one damn good pie! Who’s counting calories anyway (btw, I´ve never seen any in person, so how bad can they be )?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You’re right S! I’ve never seen one of those suckers. They ARE a myth! We’ve all been duped 😉

  46. Jane and Lance Hattatt says:

    Hello Stephane,

    Well, we are coming over right now. The only problem you may have is that as we are sure to love every last crumb of the delicious Strawberry Pie, we shall stay on for dinner, relax over a bottle of wine or two or several, spend the night, appear for, we are certain, a banquet of a breakfast, eat a luxuriously leisurely lunch, have afternoon tea and then…….Strawberry Pie and repeat….and repeat…..

    Our flight is soon…..

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’ll get more butter and I’ll meet you at the house 🙂

  47. Great life philosophy, as well as a great pie! I can get good (lait cru) butter, but haven’t tried it yet to make a pie.
    PS 250 grams flour = 1.5 cups + 2 Tbsp, 125 grams sugar = 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp, 125 grams butter = 1/2 cup (1 stick) + 1 Tbsp. 1.5/.5/.5 should work, but it will be slightly less 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      The most important here is the proportions 1 for 1/2 and 1/2. I think all baking recipes should be in grams anyway. Much more precise 😉

  48. americanmominbordeaux says:

    Yes, enjoy the moment and LIVE! You are so right – That’s my motto – very though there are days…!! I have to stop and be grateful for what I have and where I live! Each day I guide I’m touched and reminded by what a beautiful area we live in and the food!! Thanks for the Strawberry pie recipe – I’m not a baker either…but every once in a while I have to come up with something – and this is strawberry season afterall! Have a great week.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I am so glad you are enjoying your new job! You really deserve to find joy in your work and it seems you have…

  49. Andris says:


    The visual of your cat scratching you in the eye made me laugh out loud and your aunt looks like she could tell wonderful tales. Love her look and her character.

    Thanks! Andris

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Andris. I am so glad I made you laugh! Aunt Liliane is a character indeed 🙂

  50. Kate says:

    It looks mouth-watering! Beautiful photos too… a visual feast, if alas only a virtual one!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Kate! Maybe one day I’ll get to make one for you 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Jenn! Do try it. You’ll love it 🙂

  51. Rosa de los Vientos says:

    I want to insert my bloody fork in that wild pie.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Please do! 😉

  52. Oh the pie looks heavenly, the crust is wonderful looking, thin and crisp. I do love pie and strawberries are in season and I have been wanting pie. Would love to come to have you make one for me but in lieu of that I’ll make it myself and I try to always buy good butter, no farms around me in NYC but I seek out the best I can find for my pie crust.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I bet you have wonderful high end grocery stores in NYC. You know Manhattan is my favorite place on earth… by far 😉

      1. Yes we have everything here, I love shopping in France as well, unequalled quality and freshness.

  53. Another delightful post and gorgeous pictures, Stephane! Thank you for the big smile!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are so welcome my dear Tamara!!

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