Friday, July 31, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Fresh Glazed Strawberry Pie

Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. These are the true American coffee shops and I absolutely love them. So of course I’m a fan of Guy Fieri’s Food Network television show of the same name.

(Holla, Guy!)

If you’re wondering if Guy has visited any of your favorite diners or dives, click here and scroll down the right column. The site lists all of the diners and dives that Guy has featured on this TV show thus far...

I have plenty of favorite diners here in Queens, New York, but my heart belongs to EAT 'N' PARK, a beloved regional diner chain located where I grew up, outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If you live near the Ohio Valley, you've probably eaten there. The place began during the days of the 1950’s car hops when everyone thought it was real keen to park and eat right in their cars.

Eat 'n' Park doesn’t serve you in your car anymore. They're now a family restaurant and coffee shop chain serving a great American menu and the most amazing fresh glazed strawberry pie I ever had.

My husband and I grew up on this delectable pie and for a lot of summers here in New York we pined for it (be
cause nobody even tries to do it the same way here), so I decided to step up and attempt a copycat Eat ‘n’ Park strawberry pie recipe.

My multiple experiments were…interesting. Witness this beauty to the left. Pretty to look at but about as tasty as waxed fruit. I’d used too much unflavored gelatin, which gave it great firmness but after a few hours rendered it as rubbery as an inner tube.

Next I reduced the gelatin way down—and got soup.

Then I added cornstarch for thickening and the raw, chalky taste made my husband want to gag.

Back to the drawing board…and finally, eureka! A combo of flavored gelatin, unflavored gelatin, flour, sugar, water, and strawberry jam created the best glazed strawberry pie I had ever tasted.

Is it a worthy copycat Eat 'n' Park pie recipe? You bet'cha! Now during the summer, when hot weather begs for a delicious
chilled fruit pie with sweet whipped cream, I whip up this recipe. Ever since I perfected it, making our favorite pie is a piece of . . . well, you know!

Click here or on the picture above
to get my recipe for
Fresh Glazed Strawberry Pie

(The complete recipe will appear in PDF
format and you can save it or print it out.)
For more of my recipes or to find out more about my Coffeehouse Mystery series, visit my *virtual* coffeehouse:

...And don't forget to enter to win our weekly Mystery Lovers' Kitchen contest. The prize is a $25 gift certificate to the Williams-Sonoma kitchenware and gourmet food store. Just sign in to this blog and leave a comment or send an "Enter me!" e-mail with your first name and state to Good luck!

~Cleo Coyleauthor of The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Where coffee and crime are always brewing...


  1. Ohhhh...yum. Yum, yum, yum. That just looks delish. I'm going to try this one out. Eat n' Park looks like a wonderful place to hang out.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth - I just love how we all grow up with different regional shops and stores and foods in America. And it's not until we move far away that we realize just how unique those beloved foods and shops of our childhood were!


  3. Cleo, I love the diner show! Love it! And the pie looks yummy. I'll try to make a gluten-free version and let you know how it turns out!

  4. I'm another fan of Guy's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Thanks for mentioning it. And, the strawberry pie looks wonderful!

  5. The strawberry looks great. I will try this, I do hope I can freeze half.

  6. Back in 1970, I worked a brief spell at a restaurant in Albuquerque--Walgreen's, I think, and their strawberry pie was always popular. I've wondered how to replicate it, and I'm going to try this. Thanks!

  7. Avery - Gluten-free version - cool!

    Lesa - Isn't Guy the greatest? I just love to watch him scarf down those fun foods. Note to readers looking for good books: Lesa is one of the best reviewers in the biz! You should check out her blog on a regular basis:
    Lesa's Book Critiques

    Hi Vannie - So great to see you over here at my other binary crib - Lol! I know what you mean about freezing half the pie, but honestly this pie is mostly fruit. I usually eat a slice for dessert one night and then another for breakfast the next morning (with coffee, of course!) and so on and it's soon finished. (BTW - everyone reading this should click on your name and check out your own great recipes, too!) Come on back anytime, V...

    Janet - I find it completely comforting that someone else is out there backing up my love of retro strawberry pie. It must have been a fashion years ago like green beans almondine. (I honeslty can't find it made this way in New York City - only variations on French fruit tarts with pastry cream bases.) But I really do love the purity of simple glazed strawberries in a buttery sweet crust. Cheers to you and thanks for dropping on by...

    ~Cleo Coyle

  8. Diners and dives. Okay, doll, NOW you're speakin' my language. How 'bout you slice me off a hunk o' that pie, pour me a nice, hot cup of joe, and explain to me what the hell a Food "network" is?

    Jack Shepard, PI

  9. I have reviewed a coffee house mystery (or two) on my site, Cooking with Ideas which focuses on finger lakes food (and places I travel too) as well as murder mysteries focusing on food. . . I am always looking to do interviews via email . . . and have reviewed some of your colleagues as well. . .

  10. Day late here, Cleo, but I'm excited to try this one, as is my family. Thanks for all the testing to find the perfect combination. We're lucking out from all your hard work!

  11. bibliochef! - Yo! Shout-out from Queens to the Brillat-Savarin of the net. Just added you to our blogroll.

    Julie - Aw, thanks. But cooking is not hard work to me. It's playtime - although I'm far from a natural. In my "pretend" life I'm a pastry chef in Paris. In this one, souffle is a dirty word.

    Jack - Well, I see you've followed me over here again to crack wise. To answer your question: The Food Network is a construct of the 21st Century - a TV channel that's kind of like the girly shows when you were alive, but with decadent French pastries and succulent meats replacing the women.

    ~Cleo Coyle
    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."