An Imperfect Perfect Strawberry Pie

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

– William Shakespeare

I adore cooking lovely food to make those around me happy.

However, when it comes to pie making, I’m really not talented in making nice looking pastry, whether its a homemade one or not. The ones I’ve made so far, even though they taste great, look uneven, they break, the filling goes through them. The outcome is totally unphotogenic.

Of course, unphotogenic food is absolutely fine to eat. Before I began this blog, I wouldn’t worry at all what the food I made looked like. Now I do tend to see all the imperfections.

After making loads of imperfect looking pies and not seeing any improvements, I thought what the heck, I shall photograph this strawberry pie and put it up on my blog. At the end of the day, I perfectly enjoyed eating it…

Making strawberry pie

To all my food blogging friends, did you begin to see you food differently too once you started blogging, with a more critical eye?



750g strawberries, 1 lime, 1 tablespoon butter, 4 tablespoons sugar, 1 sheet puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Wash and cut the strawberries. Add them to a big saucepan. Squeeze the juice of the lime. Add the butter and sugar. Cook only until the sugar and butter melts.

Arrange the pastry on a baking dish. Pour the strawberry mixture on top. Bake for 40 minutes.

Note: instead of ready made pastry you can make your own. A homemade pie crust recipe can be found here.

Thank you for reading!

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  1. Ngan R. 2014-04-08 at 01:29

    I think this pie is absolutely photogenic! Looks delicious! I cook with a mind towards flavor, but admit the prettier the food, the more it appeals to me. I’ve made some awful looking cakes and treats, and haven’t shown them on my blog yet. C’est la vie. 🙂

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-08 at 20:20

      I’ve made really deliciously flavoured cakes and treats and not showed them too! Usually because I couldn’t bother trying to photograph them 🙂 Have a lovely evening! xx

  2. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2014-04-08 at 02:05

    All I can say, Sofia, is that when a pastry (or any food) is handmade or homemade, part of the joy IS the imperfection! A perfect looking pie is PROFESSIONAL and/or machine made–it is a GIFT from you, the enthusiastic home cooker! (It’s taking me some effort to type this because in making a wonderful dinner, I burnt my hand…oy vey…)

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-08 at 20:26

      A pharmacist I once worked with told me that if I burn my hand in the kitchen, cut open a potato and rub it on. I always remember and luckily I haven’t had to try it…
      I’d love to be invited to wonderful dinner 😉

  3. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2014-04-08 at 02:06

    What I mean to say is that your pastry (or any food item) is a GIFT from you…

  4. Bunny Eats Design 2014-04-08 at 02:31

    That’s such a beautiful quote. I am lucky to have many gifts and I LOVE giving them away.

    As for cooking blog-worthy food, I am guilty. Quite often if I don’t feel like blogging, I’ll purposely cook food that I’d never blog about. I should actually take it as an opportunity to test out new recipes without the pressure of taking photos.

    Pastry still scares me, but now that I’m cutting out gluten (low gluten, not gluten free), I might just try to make pastry.

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-08 at 20:18

      Oh gosh Genie I’m reading your post now. I see why you’re cutting back on gluten and re-discovering what you should and shouldn’t eat now.
      I also often cook wonderful things and don’t blog about it because I don’t want to take out my camera and “spoil the moment” (and because I don’t have the time!).
      I can’t tell you have many gifts and like to make people happy with them xxx

  5. davegon 2014-04-08 at 04:12

    Interesting topic! What I’ve noticed, since I started my blog about eight months ago, is that I’m making less of the same foods I usually enjoy in favor of making more “showy” foods that I think might make a good blog post.

    But now you’ve got me thinking…maybe I should try to blog about things I like or want to eat that I already make, even if they don’t look as appetizing or “showy”. I recently made scones one time for work, even though I already blogged about scones. And so I got a little bummed that I was making something that wasn’t new, because I felt that I couldn’t post about it again! Maybe I shouldn’t feel like I can’t post about something I already made? I have to think about that one.

    BTW, I like the strawberry pie, even though it’s a store bought puff pastry crust. There is something very homey and inviting about it.

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-08 at 20:31

      Its interesting you say that because I also keep on making lots of new foods I’ve never tried before. At the beginning of my blog it was more for my blog. Now it’s just for my personal satisfaction and now most of the time I’ll make something amazing and won’t bother to photograph (nor blog) it.
      Maybe you should do as you suggest. I once posted a porcini risotto, it looked awful, haha. Then when I got my camera and had better lighting I did another post 🙂 Silly I know, but posting something again always gives us the opportunity to write a new thought too.
      Thanks, the pie was really good 🙂

  6. Sunny 2014-04-08 at 11:32

    Ahhh gimme some of that! It’ll be a while before I can get nice strawberries here, but I’m making a mental note to try this when I do!

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-08 at 16:34

      Hey Sunny, its so easy so go ahead! its sort of like just throwing everything together, stir, and then throw onto the pastry and put in the oven!

  7. Mabel Kwong 2014-04-08 at 11:34

    Were the strawberries sweet? I would hate to use a bunch of sour strawberries for a pie. You pie looks good. It looks as if your strawberries are swimming in a lot of juice 😀

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-08 at 20:32

      They were sweet (but then so where my spoonfuls of sugar!). It does look like they are swimming in juice, but its only the juice from itself: I suppose because of the lime juice and the osmosis created by the sugar I added.

  8. Pemberley Cup & Cakes by Rosa 2014-04-08 at 12:18

    I see no imperfection here anywhere… Greatest pies look like that, in my opinion. But it’s true that one tends to see food differently when you keep a food blog, as if you looked through the lens straight away.
    Great post, Sofia, as usual! <3

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-08 at 20:33

      Gracias Rosa. Yes, we do look at the presentation differently when we have a blog, a que si?

  9. Marie-Pier | 4 Seasons at Home 2014-04-08 at 20:41

    I definitely see my food with in a more critical way now that I read tons of food blogs and have my own one. I find it a bit ridiculous sometimes to style my food for several minutes and finally eat it cold just to have a nice photo! But you eat with your eyes first, right?

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-08 at 20:42

      Yes, and that’s why I don’t blog most of what I make, so that I don’t spoil the mood and have to make Mr.H. (and myself) eat cold! xx

  10. Helen @ Scrummy Lane 2014-04-09 at 17:46

    Ha! Sofia, I can relate to this so much! I made a cake that I’m going to post in my next blog post that wasn’t the prettiest, but I decided to post it anyway because it was so delicious. And part of my journey! I also don’t have the best of ‘luck’ with my pastry cases, so you’re not alone!

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-09 at 17:59

      I used to think I was alone because we see all these perfect pies all over the place (hey, maybe they were graphically designed 😉 ) but yeah. I’m learning that we are not alone!

  11. Amanda 2014-04-09 at 18:55

    I definitely not only see food differently, but I see the world differently after starting to blog and photograph. I will say however, your pie looks delicious. It’s so red and beautiful. Just perfect for spring. Yum!

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-13 at 22:26

      Actually I see the world differently too. A simple example is when I’m in a restaurant with friends and they tell the waiter to make a picture with my camera, everyone is really worried that “there was no flash” and I’m just thinking, no no, I do just do not use flashes now, no way!

  12. laurasmess 2014-04-11 at 07:23

    I love imperfect/rustic pies much more than the uniform ones in shops. They’re beautiful, unique and absolutely delicious! I’ve never made a strawberry pie but now I definitely want to. Yum! x

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-11 at 09:50

      I think you’re right! At the end of the day I prefer my food homemade, so it can look that way!

  13. Dalo 2013 2014-04-13 at 02:26

    What a great quote to open up this post, and I could not agree more: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” And if a cook like yourself practices such a thing then you have some very, very lucky friends!

    The pie looks incredible. Great photos, and I think the pie must have matched in taste. Cheers!

    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-13 at 22:18

      My place where I live is small so I only make dinners for a tiny amount of friends. If I had a bigger place I could invite more friends simultaneously!
      The pie tasted way better than the photo 😉

      1. Dalo 2013 2014-04-14 at 03:15

        Well it sure looked delicious…and making food for just a small group of friends is nice as there is a better chance for nice leftovers for the next day 🙂

  14. Sinfully Tempting 2014-04-27 at 19:36

    That is a wonderful looking pie! 🙂

    I will agree that I, too, have started looking at food differently since I began blogging. In the beginning I didn’t pay much thought to how the food looked. I didn’t have much experience with photography, and I didn’t care. Until I started looking around at other blogs and seeing just how much room I had for improvement.

    Since then, I’ve gotten a much better camera and done a lot of research on how to improve my photos. I feel it paid off, looking back to some of my older stuff. Everything looks so much more appetizing!

    You have a beautiful blog and I’m glad I stumbled across it.



    1. Sofia // Papaya Pieces 2014-04-27 at 19:50

      So we’re not the only one! Often when I’m eating out my friends will say: make a photo for your blog! And I know I just will not bother because the lighting is wrong and all sorts of other reasons.
      Oh yeah, as you say, a better camera helps a lot!
      Thanks for the compliment, I just changed my blog theme actually, and am still deciding if I like it or should go back to the previous… (time will tell!).

      1. Sinfully Tempting 2014-04-27 at 19:55

        I know what you mean about lighting. I found that is probably the number one reason for pictures that don’t come out as we’ve planned!

        I like the theme of your blog! Give it some time, see if it grows on you. One of these days I may get brave enough to change mine up a bit, haha.


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