Monday, April 28, 2008

Springtime has been berry, berry good to me!

In April, the strawberry hits its stride. The popular Vitamin-C rich berries are at their reddest, ripest, sweetest and cheapest this month, and I've been taking advantage.

When the price drops to $8.00 for a flat (12 boxes), I can't resist walking out of the market with my cardboard box packed with a dainty-dozen pints.

My favorite spring and summer time breakfast treat is plain yogurt with fresh berries. I recently joined friends for breakfast at Zinc Cafe in Laguna Beach. The cafe elevated my simple treat by adding a touch of honey (for shimmer and sweetness) and a sprinkling of orange zest (for a touch of bitter). I love these simple touches and have been adding them to my daily dish of berries and yogurt.

A perfect Sunday morning: Strawberry parfait, coffee and the Sunday Times

I came back from a recent trip to West Virginia with a recipe for Shoney's (aka Bob's Big Boy) fresh strawberry pie filling and an easy, idiot-proof pie crust recipe. I make at least two pies at a time and give one to a friend and keep one for the family.

Pies are made for sharing. Always bake two at a time and surprise a friend.

Shoney's Fresh Strawberry Pie
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1/2 small pkg. strawberry gelatin (4 T.)
2 1/2 pints fresh strawberries
1 baked 9 inch pie shell, cooled

Blend together cornstarch and sugar. Combine in saucepan with water. Cook, stirring until thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Cool. (If there are any globules of cornstarch, remove them.)

Spread strawberries in baked pie shell. Pour gelatin mixture over berries and let chill 2 or 3 hours. Garnish with whipped cream.

(Shoney's leaves berries whole, but I hull and quarter mine and mix with the glaze before placing in the pie shell.)

After two pies and five yogurt pafaits, I still have four pints of strawberries left. It may be time for some strawberry shortcake.