Step 1: Make the Crust
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 to 4 tablespoons cold water.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.
VAMPIE TIP: Double this recipe if you intend to make two pies, or if you'd like to use these for a double-crust pie.
Step 2: Cut Shortening Into Flour Mix
Use two knives and a criss-crossing motion to distribute shortening throughout the mixture.
Continue until mixture breaks up into blueberry-sized pieces.
VAMPIE TIP: It helps to dice your shortening into smaller pieces before dropping them into the flour.
Step 3: Add Water, Toss With a Fork
Pastry will start to clean the sides of the bowl.
VAMPIE TIP: Use the coldest water you have, and add one to two teaspoons more if the mixture's too dry.
Step 4: Gather Pastry Into a Ball
Transfer to a floured work surface. You're now ready to roll out your pastry.
VAMPIE TIP: If you're working with a double recipe, halve the ball into two at this point.
Step 5: Roll It Out
Slowly working from the center of your pastry, roll out into a larger piece.
You know when you've rolled enough if you take your pie plate and set it gently on top, and you can see that the crust is large enough to cover the entire pie plate.
VAMPIE TIP: Freeze your rolling pin to help with rolling out the pastry. A cloth-covered rolling pin is great to use, too.
Step 6: Fold N' Move
Gently take the folded pastry and place into the pie plate. Position the wedge's tip somewhere towards the middle of your plate. Unfold.
VAMPIE TIP: You can reposition the pastry to make sure that it's somewhat centered with no problem. Just lift and move gently.
Step 7: Pat, Trim and Crimp
Trim excess pastry dough from the edges, but leave a little to build up into your crust's edge.
You can simply tuck in the dough into a simple "wall" of dough the extends a little bit over the pie plate's edge.
You might also want to do a decorative edge by making a V-shape into the dough with your fingers. (Thumb of one hand on inside part of edge, thumb and forefinger of other hand on the outside; pinch dough._
VAMPIE TIP: You can toss the excess dough with a little cinnamon sugar to bake up into sweet treats so nothing is wasted.
Step 8: Prick All Over
Your crusts are ready to go into the oven!
Step 9: Bake 'Em
VAMPIE TIP: Expect the dough to shrink a little during baking, this is normal!
Step 10: Make the Syrup
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3-ounce package strawberry gelatin
1 cup boiling water
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and cornstarch (make sure to blend cornstarch in completely)
Add boiling water, and cook over medium heat until syrup thickens.
Remove from heat. Add powdered gelatin and stir until smooth.
Let mixture come to room temperature.
VAMPIE TIP: As you wait for the syrup to cool, prepare your strawberries by washing, drying and hulling them.
Step 11: Set 'Em Strawberries
Pour cooled gel mixture over the fruit.
Make sure to reserve some of the syrup for decoration.
VAMPIE TIP: Slice strawberries into smaller wedges to fill gaps in between, so you're packing all that strawberry goodness into your pie.
Step 12: A Creamy Cover
Do this gently, so you don't disturb the colored syrup-and-fruit mixture.
VAMPIE TIP: Whipped cream from a can usually deflates after some time, so if you can, try to whip the cream yourself.
Step 13: Color Me Red
Tweak as much as you'd like to achieve the kind of "blood" you want.
VAMPIE TIP: Use a little bit of food coloring at a time--a little goes a long way.
Step 14: Call Me Bloody
"A Bloody Mess"
Take some strawberry syrup and pour a little bit on one side of the pie.
Tilt the pie plate toward you, and guide the "drips" with the tip of a knife. Gravity will help you with natural-looking drips!
You can add as much "blood" as you can stomach.
"At First Bite"
Take a chopstick and poke two "fang" holes into your pie.
Drip some syrup into the holes and make two stripes of "blood" just outside them, extending outwards to the pie's edge.
You can use the chopstick to guide the way the syrup drips.
VAMPIE NOTE: The "At First Bite" decorating idea is inspired by Baking Bites' Vampire Cupcakes.
Step 15: Slice 'Em Up
Slice a wedge of pie and put this on a plate.
Drizzle some more "blood" on top.
Step 16: Bite Down