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Edibles — Strawberries

by Carol Riley, Staff Writer

Strawberries

June could be called the month of the strawberry. We celebrate National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day on June 9, National Strawberry Shortcake Day on June 14 (along with Flag Day), and National Strawberry Parfait Day on June 25. Aren’t we fortunate that those delicious strawberries are also good for us? A one cup serving is low in calories (about 45), high in Vitamin C (149% of your daily requirement), fat-free, sodium free, rich in Vitamin A and manganese, and more.

The strawberry got its name from the practice of growing berries under straw to protect them from frost. Strawberries were first grown in the United States in the early 19 th century, and now they are the leading small fruit crop with California and Florida leading the cultivation. Before refrigeration and commercial trucking made it possible to preserve and move the berries quickly, the fruit was picked and consumed in short order—as fresh fruit, in pies, tarts, and shortcakes. Strawberries were also preserved in jams and jelly.

Did you know that strawberries are the only fruit to carry its seeds on the outside? No two seeds are the same and there are about 200 seeds on the average berry. Each one has the genetic potential to become a new variety of strawberry—amazing!

When buying berries, select ones that are firm, fragrant, and bright red with dark green, fresh-looking caps. Strawberries don’t ripen after being harvested, so choose wisely and use them within a day or two after purchase. Keep them in a cool place, ideally the crisper drawer of your refrigerator; but since berries taste best at room temperature, remove them from the refrigerator an hour or two before serving. Avoid washing the berries or removing the caps until you are ready to use or serve. Remove the caps with a twisting motion, drain, then pat dry after rinsing. When it comes to fresh strawberries, simpler is better—just eat and enjoy! Of course, also feel free to observe one of the berry holidays in June.

So, now that you are drooling for strawberries, why not take advantage of the opportunity to pick your own! Graysmarsh Berry Farm, 6187 Woodcock Road, in Sequim will be opening for pick-your-own strawberries in early June. The farm is beautiful, the staff helpful, and the berries are plentiful and fabulous. Take your willpower with you, though, because I never do and I pick SO many of those luscious berries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

For filling

For assembling pie

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F;.
  2. Stir together the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, orange juice, zest and salt in a large bowl until well combined.
  3. Set aside while you roll out the bottom crust.
  4. Place fruit filling in the bottom crust and top with second crust or lattice crust.
  5. Whisk together egg and cream and lightly brush the top of the pie crust with the egg wash.
  6. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar, if using.
  7. Place pie on a baking sheet in the preheated oven.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Turn the oven down to 375°F and bake for another 30-35 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.
  10. Remove the pie from the oven and let it rest for about 3 hours until filling is set.

Image by congerdesign



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