Waiting for the first strawberry of the year can be an exercise in patience (the first real strawberry, not grocery store strawberry).
If you live in a place that has an actual winter, those brilliant red jewels are usually one of the earliest fruits to ripen after the cold weather breaks, and those first berries almost make up for the preceding six months… Almost.
If you’re lucky enough to have your own patch (and if you have some land, you should, because they’re not all that difficult to grow), you can pick ’em, wash ’em, and eat ’em in mere minutes (or just eat them out in the field!).
Many places offer pick-your-own, which we often frequent to stock up for freezing and jams, because even frozen, the flavor is so much more.. strawberry-y than the stuff that’s picked too early and artificially ripened just for you.
While we certainly do our share of freezing and canning, it’s still imperative that we eat a lot fresh too. I guess you can only have so many yogurt parfaits, so if you need another way to use them up, check out this quick no-bake strawberry pie. My mom used to make a version of this when we were younger and it remains one of my favorites. It’s simple, which allows for so much fresh strawberry goodness in every bite.
Note: Unless it’s just not physically possible, DO NOT use store-bought strawberries for this. This recipe is one that should only be made when you have good, fresh, local berries available. If you can’t manage decent berries, save yourself a trip to the store and just use some chunks of Styrofoam instead. I’d dig into my stash of good frozen berries (might be a little juicier) first.
Fresh Strawberry Pie In Four Easy Steps
One pie will require about a quart of berries. And I lied a little bit, because you’ll need a crust for this, so there is a small amount of baking involved, just not of the strawberries.
Using your favorite crust recipe, make it and bake it.
Throw most of the berries into the crust, reserving about a cup.
In a pan, combine about 1/2 – 2/3 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp of arrowroot (or cornstarch). Add in 1/2 cup of water and the rest of the berries. Mash them slightly and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few more minutes, until it starts to thicken up.
Pour this over the rest of the berries in the crust, covering it evenly. Chill in the fridge for an hour or two, or until the pie filling is set. Top with a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or better yet, just eat it straight and revel in the flavor of fresh strawberry pie.