Almost a month ago (I can't believe it's been that long), I headed out to Berry Patch Farms in Nevada on the first Saturday morning when they offered ready-to-pick strawberries. I showed up right at their opening at 8 a.m., thinking that I was arriving way too early. To my surprise, there were already about 30 people out in one of their strawberry patches!
At first, I was directed to a row in the field that didn't have many ripe berries for the picking. I was a little disappointed. But when I walked back towards the beginning rows of the patch, I discovered all these berries that other folks neglected for some reason. (I also stepped on quite a few half-chewed up strawberry stems. Eww! Can't people wait to eat the berries till they get home?)
Pretty soon, I filled up a box with berries. I ended up picking 9 pounds of strawberries! I could have stayed and picked more, but I've learned from experience that one box is enough, unless I want to be making strawberry jam for the next three days straight.
Of course, I made a couple batches of jam. But I really wanted to make a pie, too. And my favorite pie is strawberry-rhubarb. Last year, I didn't have much luck with strawberry-rhubarb pie. The pie filling was way too runny. But this year, I followed a tip I discovered on the Kitchn website that suggested draining the juice off the berries after they've sat in sugar for 15 minutes. It sounded a little strange, but I decided to give it a try. And guess what? My pie turned out perfect! No runny filling!
(I'm still not great at making "pretty" pies. But trust me, they taste good!)
I also decided to try out one of the cute metal pie pans I found at an antique store. I was hesitant to use them for fear I would scratch them up. But then I pulled the pan out of cupboard and realized that it was already dinged up. These pans were meant to be used! And they are the perfect size. The only pans I can find at the local stores are 10-inch or deep-dish pie pans. Most pie recipes are for a 9-inch pie.
Here's the recipe for the strawberry-rhubarb pie. I know it's a little late to pick strawberries, but I found some beautiful California strawberries on sale this weekend. It's the next best thing to locally grown.
Strawberry rhubarb pie
From Iowa State Fair cookbook
- 1-1/4 C. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 T. instant tapioca
- 1 T. strawberry gelatin
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 C. fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
- 3 C. fresh, chopped rhubarb
- 1 T. butter or margarine
- Pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie
- Sugar, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, tapioca, gelatin and cinnamon. Add fruit and let rest 15 minutes, or until tapioca softens. Pour all into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot with butter. Cover with vented top crust. Flute edges. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Use pie bands or foil to prevent dark edges. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degree; bake an additional 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.