As a kid, I always looked forward to strawberry picking in early summer. Once we went with my great aunt and uncle and many times with my childhood best friend and her family. They shared their strawberry jam recipe with us, and we always made strawberry shortcake that same day. I remember the taste of a warm strawberry and the pride of lugging the heavy cardboard containers in for weighing.
yesterday, we took the kids and one of their friends to Appleberry Farm, making it in only a few minues after they opened for the first day of the first season. We worked in teams, each taking one side of the row and crawling along, gently pushing the bushy, sawtoothed leaves aside to spot the little red berries.Less ripe ones than later in the season, and the little guys picked many orange ones, but even they filled the mouth with a strong, if tart, strawberry essence. Mmm. At the end, they got to move our little orange flag to proudly show that we'd cleaned out three-and-a-half rows.
For Christmas, my mom made cookbooks for my and my brothers' families containing our favorite childhood recipes; a thoughtful gift that I've used–a lot.
Here's our traditional family recipe we couldn't wait to eat after our yearly excursion. It's a surprise for my kids that one is waiting for them after school today….As a kid, I remember watching my mom arrange the berries int eh bottom of the pie (which is more like a deep-dish fruit tart), carefully choosing the largest and prettiest and making even, concentric rings.
Strawberry Pie (one pie, 8 pieces)
from our family friends.
8-9" baked pie shell
2 pints fresh-picked strawberries
1 C sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 C water
2 T strawberry Jello powder
Topping: 1 pint heavy cream, whipped with 1 t vanilla (add sugar if you wish)
Prepare pie shell.
Stem, wash and drain the berries. Selecting a few ripe or not-pretty berries, mash enough for 1/3 cupful and set aside.
Combine sugar, cornstarch and 1 C water. Cook over medium heat until thick and clear, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add Jello. Mix well. Cool slightly. Then add the mashed berries. Fill pie shell with whole berries, setting stem-side down in circles and filling in gaps with other berries.
Pour mixture evenly over them.
Chill for at least 4 hours.
Just before serving, top with stiffly whipped cream.