It’s strawberry season in Canada, although here in our corner of the Canadian Shield there are no strawberry farms within 200 kilometres, and no organic ones within 500 kilometres. But, thanks to Mark’s lovely parents, who visited us from Manitoba, we had 16 pounds of fresh organic strawberries to enjoy this weekend. Many of the berries ended up in the freezer to be enjoyed in smoothies in the winter, but I did make 2 pies.
While all fresh local strawberries are delicious, I make a special effort to buy organic berries. Although they can be a little more expensive, they are worth it because, according to the Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides, non-organic strawberries are #3 on the “Dirty Dozen” list, due to of the high amount of pesticide residue they may contain.
Here are the recipes, and the photos, from my kitchen this week. I like this pie recipe because fresh berries are mixed in with cooked ones, giving it a truly fresh flavour:
Fresh Strawberry Pie (adapted from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook):
5 cups strawberries
3 – 4 T cornstarch
1/2 – 1 cup honey (depending on how sweet your berries are, and how sweet you like your pie)
2 T lemon juice
Baked pie crust*
Divide the strawberries into 2 bowls. Slice in half the berries in one bowl. Crush the berries in the 2nd bowl (which should be microwaveable) with a fork or potato masher.
Stir in the cornstarch, honey, and lemon juice into the crushed berries, mixing well. Place the bowl in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, take out and stir well, and repeat until the mixture looks clear or translucent and is thickened. Remove from the heat and cool. When cooled, stir in sliced strawberries and put the mixture into the baked crust and place in the fridge until firm. Serve with whipped cream.
In our house, opinion is divided on whether a graham wafer crust is the best one to use for this recipe, which is why I usually bake two, one with a graham wafer crust and then a second one with my favourite, Tannis’s Pie Crust. That way everybody is happy!
*Tannis’s Oatmeal Pie Crust:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup almonds or pecans, chopped finely
2 T brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
Mix dry ingredients together, then add butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate and bake at 400 degrees F for 12 – 15 minutes.
To find a U-Pick farm near you, check out this website, www.pickyourown.org (and remember,choose organic whenever you can)