Preserving the Seasons and A Recipe: Strawberry Basil Pie

Post by Olivia Martino, Registered Dietitian and Owner, Nourish Northwest

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I think I might be crazy because I have decided to make 25 pies for my own wedding, with the help of my amazing bridesmaids.  The only way to help make this less stressful is to get ahead, so although I am getting married in three months, I am starting the pies now.  My idea is to pick and preserve the fruit throughout the summer and by September I will have a delicious collection of berries, stone fruits and apples.  Since the strawberry season is short, I made sure to take advantage of a few hours I had off this week to get out to Sauvie Island and load up on the fresh hood strawberries.  The berries were perfectly ripe and it was a beautiful day out there!  I picked 10 pounds of berries for $15, just enough for five pies!

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The challenge is finding the best way to preserve the berries.  Should I can or freeze?  They both have advantages and risks, so I decided to do some internet research and landed on this method of freezing.  I love this idea since the fresh strawberries really only last a matter of days.  I’ll let you know in September if it works!

 

The method is to make the whole filling and then to pour it on top of plastic wrap and foil lined pie pans to that it will freeze in the perfect shape.  When I’m ready to bake in September, all I have to do is pop the frozen filling into the pie crust and bake for about 25 minutes longer than I normally would with fresh berries.  For more detailed instructions, click here.

 

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If you have ever had a strawberry off the vine then you know that you really don’t need to make anything out of it.  It is perfect just the way it is.  But if you are so inclined to make a pie, or 25, here is my wedding pie recipe #1!  Stay tuned for my mixed berry pie recipe in July!

 

Strawberry Basil Pie Filling

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adapted from tutti-dolci.com

Ingredients

Filling
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered

Instructions

Pulse basil in a food processor until finely chopped; add sugar and pulse for 1 minute. Combine basil-sugar, lemon zest, arrowroot starch, and salt in a large mixing bowl; add strawberries and toss gently to combine. Line a pie pan with aluminum foil and plastic wrap.  Pour filling into pan, cover with plastic, then foil and freeze for 8 hours.

Remove from pie pan and put into ziplock bag and freeze until ready to use.

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