Locally grown strawberries are indescribably sweet and juicy treats right now, so I consider myself fortunate to live in an area where strawberry stands dot the roadsides. Strawberries have been players in my gastronomic memories. I remember going to an annual strawberry festival that helped raise funds to support a local children’s orphanage in my girlhood hometown. And when I was pregnant with my first child, I craved strawberries. Not a bad thing to crave because strawberries contain vitamins A, C, and K and also contain calcium. Fresh strawberries did little to ease my craving, though. I found that strawberry cake and strawberry pie did the trick and miraculously I was able to keep my weight gain down to the necessary minimum on that strawberry diet and gave birth to an under 6 pound baby. Currently, I live near a town that is reviving its aging strawberry festival and is promoting independent growers instead of wholesalers. Because delectable strawberry-based goodies are everywhere to be found, it’s my kind of festival!
Here are some strawberry tips to keep in mind: Strawberries will not ripen after they’ve been picked, so purchase strawberries that are firm and bright red with no white or green areas and ones that are also free of mold or damage. Look for berries with fresh looking green foliage caps. Strawberries can be refrigerated for one to three days, but do not wash or hull them until ready to be eaten. Whole unwashed berries can be frozen in airtight containers or bags for use all year long.
While I was rummaging through my recipe cards in my circa 1970′s shoebox, I came across a recipe for strawberry pie. With six baskets of berries sitting on my kitchen counter and company coming over for dinner tonight, I thought I’d dust off this recipe and give it another try. It’s a simple recipe and if it tastes as good as it looks, it should be fabulous!
Strawberry Glaze Pie
1 9-inch pie crust, baked
About 4 cups of fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
3/4 cup cold water
Whipping cream or ice cream
Mash 1-1/2 cups of berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour thickened mixture into a mesh sieve over a bowl and stir to strain the glaze.
Place about 1-1/2 cup berries stem end down on baked pie crust and pour half of the glaze over the berries. Add remaining berries and pour remaining glaze over them.
Chill for several hours before serving.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.