Oh, how I love fresh strawberry season! Red, ripe, juicy, fresh summer strawberries are one of life’s simple pleasures. Picking them yourself from a locally-grown patch makes them even better!
The Strawberry Patch
Last Friday, my husband had the morning off. Strawberry season around here was nearing its end, and we had been talking about going, but hadn’t made it yet. When we got up that morning, the weather was on the cooler side compared to how it had been, so we decided that if we wanted fresh strawberries, this might be our last chance!
We poured our coffee into travel mugs, applied some sunscreen and headed out. We got there just slightly ahead of the majority of people, which was nice. We were able to choose a row a bit away from where anyone else was picking, and remain socially-distanced.
Strawberry picking is kind of nostalgic for me. I have clear memories from my childhood of picking strawberries (and cherries, and apples, and rhubarb and peaches…) at a family farm, and then being in the farmhouse kitchen with my grandmothers and mom while they washed and prepared all that fruit for canning and/or freezing.
Plus, it was just nice being outside, chatting and laughing as my husband and I each crawled up opposite sides of our row, searching for the best berries. Over the course of about an hour and a half, we each managed to fill a box with perfectly red, ripe berries.
When we got them up to the stand to pay, we were surprised that our haul weighed in at more than 17 POUNDS of strawberries! 🤣 🍓 😂 🍓
Look at these beauties!
Preserving the Berries
Cleaning up the berries wasn’t quite the same experience from my childhood that I recall so well, of sipping iced tea in the overly warm farmhouse kitchen with the fans blowing, while we processed the fruit…but we did manage to get our berries cleaned and preserved.
My husband and I each used one of these little stainless steel strawberry hullers and it made the job go so much faster.
Also, there was wine, so it all worked out.
Of our 17 pounds, we ended up with enough to keep in the fridge and use fresh for a few days, a few to share with my mother-in-law, and 4 large bags for the freezer. Not too bad.
All Things STRAWBERRY!
As you can imagine, a lot of strawberries have been consumed in the last few days.
We have enjoyed them in fruit bowls…
We had them with our pancakes for breakfast…
My husband made Frozen Strawberry Margaritas to accompany our fish tacos for dinner one night….
We used some to make Strawberry Basil Vodka Lemonade for our Father’s Day Barbecue….
Fresh Summer Strawberry Pie!
And many of our berries got turned into this Fresh Summer Strawberry Pie. Oh my word. Fresh Strawberry Pie is best when the strawberries are fresh, juicy and ripe. Like now. Even the ones in the stores right now are better than they are for the entire rest of the year. If you aren’t buying strawberries every single time you go to the store right now, (or better yet, picking your own!) you’re missing out. 😍. Summer and fresh berries go hand in hand.
Let’s Make Some Pie!
Fresh strawberry pie requires a single, pre-baked crust, because the pie itself does not get baked once the berries are added.
Since I was making this pie on Father’s Day morning, and had several other things I needed to do/prepare that day, I took some help from the store with a purchased pie crust dough. When I make crust from scratch, the one that I really like is from the first Magnolia Table cookbook.
Take a little time to flute the edges with your fingers to make it pretty. Pretty pies taste better. 😃
Before placing in the oven, poke bottom and sides of crust generously with a fork, so your crust doesn’t bubble up in the oven.
Bake according the instructions on your pie crust or recipe, until the crust is a light golden brown.
Let cool while you prepare the strawberry filling.
The Fresh Berries
Arrange the fresh berries in the cooled crust. Nestle them in to fill the gaps as best as you can. You want a nice, thick pie, so layer them generously.
Some strawberry pies call for a glaze made with Jello. I’ve used that before, especially if my berries weren’t super sweet, because the strawberry Jello adds extra flavor and sweetness.
But since these berries were perfectly ripe and fresh from the patch, I didn’t want to disguise any of their natural flavor with the Jello, so I made a glaze using just fresh berries, water, sugar and cornstarch.
Bring the berry mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Mash the berries using a potato masher or a utensil like this Farberware Multi-purpose masher that I have.
Simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened. Let cool slightly before gently pouring mixture over berries, making sure it seeps into all the cracks and crevices between each berry. Try not to let it cover up your pretty scalloped crust edge though.
Serve It Up!
Let it chill in the fridge for several hours to firm up. Then serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on each slice. Beautiful and delicious!
Fresh Strawberry Pie
- 1 9-inch pie crust baked
- 6 cups fresh strawberries add more for an extra thick pie
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 3/4 cup water
For the Fresh Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Arrange 4 cups of the strawberries in baked pastry shell. Mash remaining 2 cups berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell.
- Chill for several hours before serving with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
For the Whipped Cream:
- Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. This step is not mandatory, but helps your whip cream thicken up better, especially on a warm, summer day.
- Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream and vanilla. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks.
- Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, re-whisk for 10 to 15 seconds.
Happy Strawberry Season 🍓,
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