When dad turned 75, he planted strawberries on six acres of the farm. He loved tending, pruning and transplanting the berry plants. Every morning around sunrise, he was hoeing in the patch to catch a few weeds that popped up overnight. Dad’s favorite strawberry was “the biggest ripe one you find under a leaf and pop in your mouth!” Our family continues to keep his passion for strawberries alive and thriving today.
Strawberries are a flavorful member of the rose family, growing wild for centuries in both the Americas and Europe. Now, cultivated strawberries are available year-round; they are neither as flavorful nor juicy as just picked local strawberries.
A two-crust strawberry pie is the first pie that’s devoured at every function. Don’t want to make the crust? Buy a frozen pre-made crust and use this recipe for the filling.
Admittedly Mom’s strawberry jam is the best. It works as an ice cream topping too.
No need for an ice cream freezer for this creamy ice cream.
Bon strawberry appetit!
Two Crust Strawberry Pie(One 9” pie serves 6 to 8)For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
About 2 tablespoons ice water
Extra flour for rolling the crust
For the filling:
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Grated zest of one-half lemon
4 generous cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and drained
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or 3 tablespoons flour
About 2/3 to 1 cup granulated sugar, according to taste
Pinch of salt
About 1 tablespoon butter cut into tiny piecesTo prepare:In the food processor with the stainless steel blade, add flour and salt, pulse two times. Cut butter into tablespoon size slices and add them to the flour. Pulse until the butter looks like peas. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk the egg, 1 tablespoon water and vinegar together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in egg/water and with a fork, pull the liquid through the flour, adding more water if necessary until the mixture forms a ball. Do not over mix. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
For the bottom of the pie, in a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon flour, 2 teaspoons sugar and lemon zest together and reserve.
Cut berries into uniform size for even cooking. For the top of the berries, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt together and reserve.
For the crust, divide the dough in half and place it in the center of a floured pastry cloth or marble slab. Flatten and roll the dough out into a circle larger than the pie pan. Transfer and fit the dough into the pan, cut off the excess from the edge of the rim. Pre-bake the bottom crust for 5 minutes (it will look dry in a few places.)
Sprinkle the reserved zest/flour mixture over the hot crust and set aside. Cool while you roll out the remaining dough.
Mound the berries in the pie pan, sprinkle the larger flour/sugar mixture over the berries and scatter butter on top.
With a table knife, cut decorative design in the center of the dough. Wet two fingers with cold water and dampen the lip-edges of the pre-baked crust. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan and drape it over the berries. Trim off excess dough, leaving about one-half inch overhang. Tuck the overhanging dough under the dampened crust on the lip-edge of pan; crimp/pinch the two crusts together with your fingers in decorative manner. Bake until the fruit is soft to the point of a fork stuck into the vents near the center of the pie and the juices bubble up around the edge. The crust should have an even brown color, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack until ready to serve. Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream(About 1 1/2 pints)1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, drained well To prepare:Working in a mixing bowl, whisk zest and juice together with sugar, whisking until the mixture is thick and lemon colored. Add salt, cream and milk, whisking until blended. Transfer the mixture to an 8” x 8” square metal cake pan, cover with aluminum foil and place in the coldest part of the freezing compartment of the refrigerator. Freeze for 2 hours—the center will be mushy with frozen edges. Meanwhile, slice the strawberries, taste and add sugar if desired.
Remove the pan of nearly frozen ice cream, and, using a spoon, break up the mixture. Add strawberries and mix well. Replace the foil cover and return the pan to the freezer for about 2 hours longer. The ice cream should be perfect for scooping into bowls. Garnish with a perfect strawberry.Opal’s Strawberry Preserves(Yields about 6 cups)1 generous quart ripe strawberries, washed, hulled, and drained
5 cups granulated sugar, divided into 3 cup and 2 cup amounts
4 quart non-reactive heavy bottom saucepan
3 pint-size Mason jars To prepare (total of 3 days): In the saucepan over high heat, add the drained strawberries. Constantly stir and smash the berries and cook until the berries begin to boil. Boil, exactly 3 minutes. Add 3 cups of sugar, stirring constantly as fast as possible to dissolve the sugar. Boil, exactly 3 minutes longer. Add remaining 2 cups of sugar, stirring continuously and quickly; boil, exactly 3 minutes longer.
Continue stirring, set the pan off the heat and pour the hot mixture into a large bowl. Keep the bowl on the counter, uncovered, for 3 days; stir the jam every time you walk past it.
After 3 days, pour the jam into sterilized jars. Following manufacturer’s instructions, seal and process for 5 minutes in a hot water bath for safe shelf life. Or pour the jam into sterilized jars, leave 1/2” inch space at the top of the jar, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 months. Or freeze indefinitely.
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