Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Berry Picnics.....


It is that time of year when the weekends start to fill up with events, parties and get-togethers where the grills are hot and fruit is a staple for the weekend picnic. I love finding recipes perfect for a sunny day at the park or a backyard picnic with friends.

This weekend was one of those times (unfortunately, this weekend the summer rain had different things in mind....but a weekend is a great time to enjoy the summer no matter the weather). So with that in mind I decided to pull out an old favorite - Strawberry Sour Cream Pie.

The first time I made this pie it was for my brother. It was a new recipe based on what I could find during winter and happened to have strawberries in the freezer. Every time I make this I think of my brother and smile since he ate the entire pie less a couple of slices in about one day. So I guess I consider this pie to be his....but now have to enjoy it for him since he is a thousand miles away.


Strawberry Sour Cream Pie

Butter Pie Dough 
(this is my classic pie dough - make at least 1 hr ahead. I always make 1 day before)

1 1/4 C Pie and Pastry Flour
1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 stick (1/2 C) Unsalted Butter
3 Tbsp Ice Water

Combine flour, salt and sugar in food processor. Add butter and combine until butter is combined in small pieces (resembles course meal). Add water and blend until ball forms. (Can add more water if needed). Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and put in refrigerator for 1 hour. Can be made up to one day ahead.

When ready to use, let sit out for 30 minutes before rolling out on a floured surface. Roll out into a 12" disk and transfer to pan. Trim off excess and shape crust. I use my knuckles but you could also use a fork or other tools.

Strawberry Sour Cream Pie Filling


1 Quart Fresh Strawberries (see note for frozen strawberries below) (could use any other fruit on-hand)
1 1/4 C Sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 C Pie and Pastry Flour
1 C Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Vanilla Sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Hull, rinse and halve strawberries. Place berries in prepared pie crust and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add sour cream and combine well. Pour mixture evenly over strawberries and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.  Bake for 12 minutes at 450 degrees. Turn down oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tip on Frozen Strawberries - on occasion I use frozen strawberries for this recipe or freeze berries when I find a great sale. For any recipe I prefer to use my own frozen berries instead of frozen from the store.

To prepare frozen strawberries for use the rest of the year, hull, rinse and cut strawberries in half. Place on a cookie sheet cut side down and place in freezer for 1 hour. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. This allows the berries not to stick together and form a large clump. When needed, just add to recipe and cook as recommended (adding additional time only if needed).


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