Monday, July 6, 2009

First Maine Strawberries

We took Ava strawberry picking for the first official time in her life. She is old enough now to be in the fields and assist with the picking. Well, sort of.
Really she was more concerned about the surrounding vegetation and spent most of her time with her Grandpa, making the rounds on the farm, as opposed to actually picking.
She did contribute though.
I want to teach Ava where food comes from-until recently I think she thought lobster and strawberries grow in the grocery store. Living in Maine, there are local opportunities to show her otherwise. Fairwind Farm, on Pork Point Road in Bowdoinham, Maine is a great location for berry picking. You can reach them at 207-729-1872. I think this was the first of about 17 rainy days in a row, when the sun was out-we speedily headed out to the fields.
When we got home, we whipped up 3 strawberry pies. I have never made one before, but I figured if there is a recipe for raspberry pie, I could substitute with strawberries, and they turned out perfectly! I am going to share my tried and true homemade pie crust recipe, from my step mom. Now that I have made this, I will never use store bought crusts again. Ava even made the crusts, it is that easy! The only modification to this for me, is that I usually only get about 3 crusts from this recipe, not the 4 listed, but I enjoy a thick crust...
Can you read the recipe?
Here is the pie recipe I used:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (total baking time of about 50 minutes)
2 rolled pie crusts from recipe above, one placed in an ungreased pie baking dish.
5 cups fresh strawberries (I whizzed mine in the food processor for a second after cutting off the tops)
3/4 Cup sugar
3 TBS all purpose flour
That's it!
Mix all ingredients together and pour into one crust in the ungreased pie dish. (I used oven safe, deep salad plates)
Top with 2nd crust, cut slits, or any desired shape for steam to escape, and crimp the edges together.
This is a juicy one, so I recommend placing a cookie sheet under the pie dish, or you just might be scrubbing the oven and waving a towel in front of your smoke alarm, while frantically opening all of your doors and windows. Oh so I hear...hmmm.
Cover edges of crust with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.
I made homemade whipped cream to serve with mine and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on the top before baking. Maine strawberries are actually quite tart, so you may add a little extra sugar to the filling if you prefer a sweeter taste, and are using Maine berries.
Next up: raspberries!

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