Friday, June 15, 2012

Growing Strawberries and Yummy Strawberry Pie

Three years ago, I started a strawberry bed in our backyard.  I don't have a lot of sunny open spots in my yard so I had Paul rip out some old rose bushes that were against the house and not doing too well.  He then made a small raised bed for me and we filled it with dirt.  I started with five plants and have added a few since then.  The last two years I didn't get too many berries but this year I got LOTS! 
We got at least a bowl full of strawberries every day for a couple of weeks
I think it also helped that Paul surrounded the bed with chicken wire so the birds and critters couldn't steal the berries - this definitely helped a lot!
It may not look pretty, but it's effective!
I wanted to keep my bed organic so I just used a little Blood Meal as fertilizer and I think it did the trick.  Although, I think the vibrant green leaves were a bit tempting to some silly little insects that would try and eat the leaves.  But all in all it did well considering I didn't use anything to control the little pests.

We had plenty of strawberries to eat every night and sometimes we had more than we could eat so I froze them.  I experimented with new recipes like strawberry shortcake, strawberry crepes, strawberries and ice cream, etc.  They were all good but none matched the new strawberry pie recipe I tried.  

Click HERE for the recipe for "IceBox Strawberry Pie" if you're interested.  I got the recipe from Cook's Country after watching them make it on our PBS station one Saturday afternoon. I didn't use their pie crust recipe though - I used my favorite one that I've been using for years.  I got it from an old cookbook that belonged to a family I worked for in college.  

My Favorite Pie Crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2/3 cup + 2 T. shortening
  • 4-5 T. cold water (I use ice water to make sure it's really cold) 
Mix flour and salt.  Cut in shortening a little at a time until crumbly.  Sprinkle in water 1 T. at a time until pie dough forms.  Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make it easier to work with.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a floured surface.  Place in pie plate and bake at 350 degrees until light golden brown (it took around 30 minutes).  This recipe is supposed to make enough for a 2 crust pie and you only need one crust for this recipe but I make the whole thing anyway.  You can freeze the other crust, eat it, or bake it with cinnamon and sugar for a yummy snack!

I LOVE strawberry season and I'm curious to see what my strawberry patch will do next year and what yummy creations I get to try.

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to second that this pie is delicious! Yours must have been out of this world with home grown strawberries!!!!!!!!! We also love their Cook’s Illustrated Fresh Strawberry Pie, which is quite a different style using whole strawberries with a homemade glaze. I have made them both twice each; this is my husband's fav and the CI pie is my fav, but we both love both, and I can’t imagine anyone not loving a slice of this pie! The Easy Chocolate Ice Cream from this issue of Cook's Country is also his favorite chocolate ice cream :)