Yesterday we went strawberry picking at a local, organic and unadvertised farm. The day was misty and gray, sounds almost lovely until you realize we've had 21 days of rain in the month of June. But this is strawberry season - the time to pick, wash and freeze enough to last us through the winter. At least give it an honest attempt.
According to the Environmental Working Group: Shopper's Guide to Pesticides strawberries have the 6th worst ranking for pesticide load. Considering we eat a lot of smoothies throughout the year I am concerned about exposing my children to these toxins. So my goal is to pick at least 50 lbs of berries and freeze what I can. I did really good last year. We used up our last bag a couple months ago. I was hoping to do the same or better this year but this rain is sure making it difficult. The berries are rotting and haven't had enough sun to sweeten them. Tart, moldy berries - not exactly what I was hoping for. Maybe next week's picking will be better.
Fresh Fruit Pie
Maybe you're finding good berries where you are? Or if you're south of Maine maybe peaches - oh yum! If you can get your hands on some fresh local fruit this is a great recipe to turn it into something special. I personally feel that in-season, farm grown fruit is special enough but sometimes you want to create a "real dessert" for a birthday or party.
This is the fruit pie I prepared for Damien's birthday/Father's day weekend earlier this month. And no, I didn't use local peaches or strawberries - neither were ready at the time but I did use Maine apples and our farm share rhubarb for the sauce. Hey, a little bit is better than none!
- 1 3/4 cup raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews or pecans)
- 1/2 cup (approx. 12) sulfate-free dried apricots, or dates
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes (or oatmeal)
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
- dashes of cinnamon and or nutmeg
Grind all ingredients in food processor till they are small bits clumping together. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie dish.
crumbly texture of ground nuts and dried fruit
pressed into the bottom and sides of the dish
Can use plain apple sauce or apple rhubarb sauce or make this apricot sauce.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup sulfate-free dried apricots
- 1/2 dried cranberries
- 1/4 apple juice
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- fresh fruit sliced, approx 2-3 cups
- Prepare crust and filling ahead of time. Chill both. Do not pour the filling into the crust, keep in a separate container.
- Measure 1 1/2 cups of the filling.
- Slice fruit topping.
- Pour 1 1/2 cups filling into crust and spread evenly.
- Top with sliced fruit.
Warning: this does not come out pretty. Try as I might I cannot get this to look attractive on individual plates, as soon as I remove the first piece the whole thing starts to fall apart. My family assures me that this defect in no way affects the taste. They all love it and everyone asks for seconds.