Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Strawberries are by far one of my favorite fruits so it's a shame that they're only in season for such a small part of the year.  Eating them at any other time other than their peak just means large berries that appear red and ripe but with a disappointing sub-par flavor because they were shipped green from far far away.

Recall that last year, I had a mission to make a pie crust from scratch as part of my 23 Things in 2011 List.  This is the recipe that I made to complete that task and I remember that I took forever searching for what I thought would be the perfect pie crust.  The theory is that the vodka in the recipe will bake off during cooking resulting in an extra flaky crust.  And, it delivered!

This is me posting this pie recipe nearly a year later so that you can make it with fresh, in-season strawberries, too.  See, there ARE advantages to me being a posting slacker ;).

Fresh Strawberry Pie


For the Crust

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar (I like to use vanilla sugar)
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 TBSP chilled vodka
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. ice water, less 1 TBSP
For the Pie
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

To prepare the pie crust:
  1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.  Process for a few seconds to combine.
  2. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and process until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about ten seconds.
  3. Add the vodka then the water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube with the machine running, just until the dough holds together.  Do not process for more than 30 seconds.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.  Divide into two equal pieces and place on two separate sheets of plastic wrap.  Flatten into disks, then wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before using.  Make two 8 to 10-inch single-crust pies pies or one 8 to 10-inch double crust pie.  (Extra crust can be frozen for later use.)
To bake and assemble the pie:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove a disk of pie crust from the refrigerator and allow to warm slightly.  Roll out on a floured work surface and then transfer the pie crust to a pie plate.  Poke several holes in the bottom with a fork then bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Arrange 3/4 of strawberries in baked, cooled pie crust. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell. Chill for several hours before serving. 
  5. In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

Source: Pie crust from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook as adapted by and seen on Apple a Day; Strawberry Pie adapted from All Recipes

Monday, May 14, 2012

Creamed Chard and Spring Onion Pasta

Spring is here and this means lots of leafy greens!  Here's another one of those recipes that I made using my Cedarmore Farm CSA from last year but am just now getting around to sharing.  You can either make it as a sauce for pasta (per directions below) or as a side dish (see the original recipe at Smitten Kitchen).  It's very simple and perfect for busy days and/or meatless Mondays.

One Year Ago: Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake
Two Years Ago: Blonde Brownies

Creamed Chard and Spring Onions

  • 1/2 pound pasta, cooked
  • 1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, thick stems removed and leaves sliced into ribbons
  • 3 spring onions, ends trimmed, white and some green parts sliced into thin coins
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Wash your chard, but no need to dry it, just place it in a large pot over high heat. Cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 6 minutes.
  2. Press or squeeze out the excess liquid any number of ways, either by wringing it out in cheesecloth (my favorite method), putting it in a mesh strainer and pressing the moisture out with a spatula or large spoon or letting it cool long enough to grab small handfuls and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible.
  3. Wipe out the large pot so you can use it again. Heat milk or cream in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Keep warm. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic, if using, in butter in your wiped-out large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about six minutes. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, about three minutes. Add warm milk or cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, three to four minutes. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in chard, then salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.  Serve over hot pasta.
Source: Smitten Kitchen

Friday, May 11, 2012

Foil-Baked White Fish with Ginger Over Wilted Greens

It's springtime but this recipe was tried LAST FALL.  By the time I got around to posting it though, the veggies weren't in season so I decided to hold on to posting until this year.  Good thing these types of greens are prevalent in both ends of the growing season...enjoy!
I've been getting a crazy amount of greens from our farmshare lately.  Spicy greens, napa cabbage, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens.  Seriously.  You name it, I've probably gotten it in the past month.  Chris and I could only eat so many salads and honestly, I was starting to run out of foods to make with all these greens.  That was, until I saw this recipe in our CSA newsletter.

I'm a sucker for baked foil packet fish.  The last version that I made (Foil-Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn) pretty much knocked my socks off.  This one was great too!  The foil packet preparation results in a moist fish that cooks in all the yummy juices that you add.  This recipe tasted just like my favorite Chinese Steamed Fish but simpler with its "one dish" preparation.

Do you have any other favorite foil-baked recipes?  I kind of feel like the possibilities are endless!

Foil-Baked White Fish with Ginger Over Wilted Greens


  • 6 cups baby spinach OR any mixed greens
  • 4 – 5 ounce white fish filets
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup Marsala wine or chicken broth
  • 8 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 lime quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons basil chiffonade

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Tear off 4 sheets of foil or parchment paper that are 12 inches long. On individual squares: Place 1 ½ cups of greens in center of the square then on top of the greens add the fish. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon into each packet of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, ½ teaspoonful sesame oil.  Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of liquid or wine.  Bringing the two long sides of the square together, fold over the food.  Fold over three or more times.  Fold and crimp the remaining sides. Repeat until all 4 packets are made.
  3. Bake 10 minutes in hot oven.  Let sit 5 minutes before opening.  Squeeze lime juice and sprinkle basil into each packet and enjoy!
Source: Cedarmore Farm CSA Newsletter