This Past Summer, While Traveling Through Rhode Island, I Took My Family On A Culinary Detour: Picking Fresh Strawberries.
It was great fun to watch the kids run around in search for the perfect specimen. How many they actually found remains a mystery (each one got mysteriously eaten before we could witness its perfection), but their juice-stained clothing suggested a healthy crop. The berry orchard we visited also had a bakery, and the smell of the fruit pies was intoxicating.
I had fallen into a rut, making the same old strawberry and angel food cake dessert year after year. But strawberry fields and the bakery’s delightful chilled pie renewed my appreciation for these treats from nature.
There are two simple secrets to a fabulous berry pie. First, freshly whipped cream is a must. Second, use the freshest strawberries you can find – the ones that are really red and juicy. Forget about the size; it’s the sweetness that counts.
Fresh Strawberry Pie
2 qt fresh strawberries
1 c sugar
3 T all-purpose flour
2 T packaged strawberry gelatin
2 t unflavored gelatin
3 T strawberry jam
1 T vanilla bean paste
1 ¼ c water
1 pre-baked (8 inch) deep dish pie shell
► Clean and dry the strawberries thoroughly before slicing. Remove the stems and then cut into either quarters or halves, depending on the size of the berry. Place the berries in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, strawberry gelatin and unflavored gelatin.
► To make the glaze, heat the strawberry jam, vanilla paste and water in a medium-sized saucepan until it comes to a boil. Whisk in the dry ingredients until there are no lumps in the glaze. Allow the mixture to simmer for 6-7 minutes or until it reduces and begins to thicken. Remove from heat and pour the hot glaze mixture over the fresh strawberries and toss to coat each berry. Pour the berry mixture into the prepared pie crust and refrigerate for 4 hours before serving. Serve with a large dollop of fresh whipped cream.