Me (Danielle Rose) and my cousin on the hay bales
After I attended sip & Savour Ontario last week, I really began to realize the importance of supporting local Ontario produce. I immediately consulted my seasonal food chart so that I would know exactly which fruits and vegetables are in season in Ontario this summer and exactly when. To my delight, I learned that right now is strawberry season! I made it my mission to get out of Toronto and head north to St. Andrews Acres to support Ontario strawberries...and let's face it, a delicious strawberry pie at the end of the day ain't so bad either.
Not only was the day successful for bringing home a few pounds of juicy and flavourful strawberries, it was successful because I had so much fun in the process! I went with my mom and 5 year old cousin and, although the heat was pretty brutal in the fields, we had so much fun gathering all the strawberries. My cousin just thought it was the greatest thing that we got to take them all home! After the strawberry picking, we visited the little shop that they had, where they were selling strawberries that had already been picked, fresh picked rhubarb, and asparagus and tons of preserves, fudge, soup mixes, and more! They even had a large selection of free recipe cards from Ontario Farm Fresh, which I made sure to get one of each of! We supported the shop by purchasing our freshly picked strawberries, a package of fresh butter tarts, blueberry sauce, and 2 cups of frozen yogurt! What a great way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather in Ontario! If you are from Ontario and are interested in picking your own fresh produce, visit the Ontario Farm Fresh website to locate a farm.
When I got home, I was so excited to bake with my fresh strawberries! I ended up making a strawberry pie. My mom usually makes this pie with a classic pie crust, but I wanted to switch it up and try to make it with a graham cracker crust...and I have had a few unfortunate experiences making pie crust, so I took the easy route. The results were delicious but incredibly sweet! If you have a sweet tooth, then you will love the graham cracker crust! If you prefer your pie a little less sweet, then I would suggest making a regular pie crust. What is also great about this pie is that there is no baking except for the crust. This is perfect for strawberry season, because you won't have to heat up your house with the oven on.
Tip: Make this strawberry pie for your Canada Day celebrations on Wednesday! The red of the strawberries and white from the whipped cream are a perfect way to make your dessert table festive!
4 cups fresh strawberries
1 baked pie shell (regular or graham cracker crust, see above)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
whipped cream, optional for garnish
1. Hull washed and dried strawberries. Set aside 1 cup of strawberries.
2. Lay whole berries in pie shell, stem end down.
3. Puree reserved cup of strawberries. In a small saucepan, add pureed strawberries, water, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
4. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool slightly and then pour evenly over whole strawberries in pie shell. Chill for at least 3 hours or until pie is set and no longer jiggly. Serve with fresh whipped cream if desired.