Strawberry Cream Pie



1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked
1/2 cup slivered almonds, optional


1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup crushed strawberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 cups fresh strawberries, halved
Whipped cream, optional


Cover bottom of pie shell with nuts if desired; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt; gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir a small amount into egg; return all to the saucepan. Cook and stir until almost bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 1-2 minutes more (do not boil). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and almond extract if desired. Cool to room temperature. Whip cream; fold into filling. Pour into pie shell. Chill for at least 2 hours.
About 2 hours before serving, prepare glaze. Combine crushed strawberries and water in a large saucepan; cook for 2 minutes. Combine sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir into the berries. Cook until thick and clear, stirring constantly. Strain. Cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, arrange berry halves over filling; pour glaze evenly over berries. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.
Yield: 6-8 servings.