Monday, June 26, 2006

Very Berry Pie!

Berry season is upon us! Flavorful, ripe, local organic strawberries. We have a local farmers' market on Sundays that is a 5 minute walk from our house (lucky us)!!

Last week I picked up a whack of fresh strawberries and made this ridiculously simple Strawberry Vanilla Cream Pie. I need to test it again, and once I do, I'll cut a piece to show you a photo of a slice (forgot to do so this time round).

This past Sunday organic cherries were out as well... yay!! I only buy organic strawberries, cherries, and raspberries, because of the "dirty dozen" rule (see this post). That means I only buy fresh berries during 'berry season'. The rest of the year I buy frozen organic berries, and I am always sad when summer winds down and fresh organic berries (and peaches) are done for the year.

I'm fairly certain I'll include this recipe in Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. Even though it is very easy and straightforward, I think that's what a lot of us need in recipes from time to time. Not sure what the recipe name will be (maybe just Strawberry Vanilla Cream Pie??), but the recipe will most likely make it into the new book...

if only berry season lasted longer! :)

24 comments:

Julie said...

I would love to see this recipe in the new book! I am all about strawberries + simple desserts!

Megan the Vegan said...

DREENA!!! This looks amazing. I've been going crazy eating all the blueberries, strawberries and cherries I can!

Personally I find making a pie very intimidating, so if you have a simple version for your cookbook, I think it should certainly go in!

OkraMary said...

I agree - that pie is beautiful! And I just read your "why buy organic" post that you linked and it made me think - just recently I bought a bunch of organic bananas and was amazed at how different they tasted - much better!

Sweet Pea said...

I'm pretty sure I've never seen organic cherries in my area and I LOVE cherries.
The pie looks so yummy.

Anderson, Cherie said...

I can only get organic frozen cherries.

I'm with you, Dreena, on only buying organic berries. Whenever I see the huge insecticided ones at the store, I think, "Frankenfood." I'm tired of even calling it conventional. Let's call it "poison," what it really is.

Anyway, the pie is beautiful and I can't wait to see the recipe in your book!

Vicki said...

beautiful summer strawberry pie! yes, easy and straightforward recipes are much appreciated. :o)

Melissa West said...

MMMMMmmmm, my Mom used to make strawberry pie. I can never get enough pies. I would also love to see this pie in the new cookbook. I agree with Julie I am all about strawberries and simple desserts. The simpler the better!

SDGvegan said...

Oooh, Ihave a strawberry rhubarb pie to make for my fiance's birthday this week. We loooove berries. We got blackberries, blueberries, and cherries at the Farmer's Market this weekend.

Carrie™ said...

Well you know I like berries and that pie looks delicious. I don't buy any imported berries either. They seem tasteless too. I try to buy as much as I can and freeze them for winter treats. I haven't seen any local cherries yet, but if BC has them, Ontario can't be far behind. We also go nuts for blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I love peaches, but Jim doesn't (I know, he's strange).
Add another vote to putting the pie in the book.

EatPeacePlease said...

Yum, is it un-baked?

Chris said...

Wow, that looks awesome! I'm bummed because strawberry season is pretty much over here. But now it's blueberries and peaches and melons - and soon tomatoes and corn. I do love summer...

Danielle said...

Ooh, yummy. I love berries of all sorts. And a berry pie sounds rockin'

vegancore said...

Oh, that looks amazing! Strawberry vanilla anything is a sure-fire hit with me. :)

cindy said...

This pie looks great. Look forward to the new book so I can get the recipe. This is one of those going to a picnic kind of recipes or last minute dessert to take to a potluck with the family.

Isil S. said...

This pie looks so beautiful and I think the name you found for it is also great "very berry pie", just loved it!

Dreena said...

Great Julie, thanks for letting me know. :)

Well, Megan, I find many pies intimidating too. Very fussy and a lot of prepping time. For that reason, I either make a very simple crust from oats or biscuit crumbs, or I buy prepared crusts. Making a traditional pie shell is not for me!! I forgot to mention in the post that I buy pie shells/crusts by Wholly Wholesome. Very nice products!

Okramary, it's SO true! I had a banana on travel about a year ago, and I thought it tasted awful. Apples are very different too. I know there are taste differences in addition to the health benefits of eating organic.

Sweet pea, we are fortunate to have locally grown cherries, and so farmers' markets typically have one or more booths with organic cherries - but the conventional ones are there too. I am really wary of berries and cherries that aren't organic. May be neurotic of me, but I've read that they are treated so heavily with pesticides. Maybe lots of washing helps, but I'm unsure whether the pesticides penetrate the skins... okay, I'll stop it now, or I'll make everyone else as neurotic as I am!! :)

Thank you Cherie!! :) It's ironic that we call it organic and conventional, when really organic IS conventional - or was until farming practices changed. I buy mostly organic, some things I don't because of availability and prices (ex: ginger, fennel), but more and more I find myself getting organic, esp when I think of my young girls eating it.

Thank you Vicki... easy and straightforward - that's gold for me these days!!

Thanks, dragonslayer. I bet you have very fond memories of having your mom's pie. You should get her recipe (if she used one) and try to replicate it in vegan form. :)

Sdgvegan, we love berries so much too. My girls (esp the older) can eat them endlessly. I have to cut the 5 year old off at times, just because I'm afraid she'll make her stomach sore from all the berries!!! My mom used to make strawberry rhubarb jam and we loved it! Enjoy your pie the weekend - post a pic for us if you can. :)

Thanks Carrie! Even imported organic strawberries are kind of rubbery, not like organic local ones at all - the taste is so much more vibrant, isn't it? I love peaches so much - esp the white peach variety. My husband seemed indifferent about them, and then I popped one in his lunch one day last summer. He said "that was really good". We both remember buying peaches in Newfoundland when they were out of season, and shipped in, and so they were dry and mealy and awful!!! Here, because they are local and organic, my gosh they are so sweet and juicy - amazing!

Hey Leslie! Well, pretty much the pie is uncooked. The shell I prebaked but really I don't think you need to. It is a graham crust, and so you can leave it as is. I like to prebake them a little, but next time I am going to use a traditional flour crust (premade - Wholly Wholesome) I think. The rest of the pie is unbaked! :) Yayyyy for you. Btw, my oven stopped working this weekend. Can you believe that???! It's a new oven, only 3 years old, and for some reason, it just stopped Sunday morning. I had a batch of muffins ready to bake and had to make "pan-muffins"! I thought "that's what I get for all those remarks to Leslie about her oven". I do hope we get it fixed soon, though! I have cookies to bake!!

Chris, ditto on summer!!! :) I am a spring/summer gal, and I love seeing all the beautiful produce at the markets. When fall comes I'm always a bit blue. I know other produce is available then, but it's just not the same as the summer bounty!

Thanks Danielle!

Vegancore, I loved the strawberry/vanilla combo too. Not that it's new or unique in any way, but just because I test with chocolate quite a bit, that this was such a refreshing change!

Thank you Cindy! It's definitely a great last-minute dessert - well, if you have the berries on hand - but then again, other fresh fruits can be substituted like kiwi, peaches, blueberries, etc!! (thanks for spurring that idea to make notes in the recipe on that) :)

Hey, thanks Isil! I was typing the post and just popped in Very Berry Pie... but it does suit the recipe, I agree!

EatPeacePlease said...

Oh no Dreena, I hope you get it fixed soon. Thanks for the tips on how it's made though. We have some nice strawberries in the house now.

As for your organic vs conventional, I think the same way, as it really is conventional until farming practices turned. I find myself passing up a lot of items now days.

Anonymous said...

I love all the fresh berries that are out now, too! I have a lot of them sitting in my fridge and i'm hoping to make some kind of tart/scone/shortcake to drizzle berries over... MMMM!

I also have a question about arrowroot. A lot of your recipes call for it-- and I almost always substitute cornstarch (and haven't had any problems). But I know that sometimes cornstarch is indicated as a possible substitution and other times it is not-- is there a significant difference btw the two that I should be aware of? Should I try to find arrowroot? (We've used it before but now that we've moved I'm not sure how available it is around here)
Stephanie

Anonymous said...

p.s. I wanted to add--- DEFINITELY put this pie in the new book. Oh my goodness, I really really cannot wait for this book to be released!! :)
Stephanie

Arlete said...

OOOH! I love berries! We are fortunate to have organic strawberries growing in our very own garden here at home.

I have a bit of an off-topic question for you Dreena... I have an almost 9 month old daughter and was wondering if it is safe to introduce our own organic strawberries into her diet? Many of the books that I've consulted suggest waiting until a year before giving berries because they are common allergens, but I noticed in Vive, you suggest blueberries & blackberries at 6-9 mos. and strawberries as late as possible... is that true even for home-grown, organic strawberries? I would love to be able to give her some of our strawberries while they are sweet and fresh... Thanks!

Arlete :-)

Vicki said...

dreena ~ i'm with stephanie concerning the arrowroot flour. i can't find it anywhere & also sub cornstarch - any thoughts on that?
just gotta say again that i can't wait for your new cookbook - i was reminded of that again when i visited carrie @ the house of simon & saw your chocolate mint melties! wow. though they'd be melted even more with our hot, hot, hot weather this week....

Dreena said...

Leslie, we have someone coming to check our oven tomorrow... keeping fingers crossed!

Hi Stephanie - thank you, that's super sweet! To answer your question (and Vicki's) about the arrowroot... it's a bit of a long one, but here's the deal:
When I started cooking vegan, I read somewhere that cornstarch wasn't vegan. That's not true, but after reading that I learned about arrowroot as a sub, so I began using it. I have always used it and don't have trouble finding it (always at health food stores or in the health sections of groceries, usually around the flours). It IS more expensive though. You can always use cornstarch instead of arrowroot. They substitute equally, measure for measure. Arrowroot is quite tasteless, however, whereas some people can pick up on the taste of cornstarch. This probably isn't a concern unless you are using a lot of cornstarch in a recipe. Also, arrowroot can be heated for longer - and reheated - without breaking down, but cornstarch can break down if heated too long. Arrowroot is also a good option for people with corn allergies, but that is not a concern for most of us. So, in short, if you are having trouble finding arrowroot (or it is too $$), then by all means, use the cornstarch. :)

Hi Arlete! Strawberries are more allergenic than some other fruits - as is citrus, but that doesn't mean your daughter will be sensitive. It is best to delay foods that are more allergenic in general, however I think you can test her out on them. I asked my naturopath a similar question, and she explained that if you are seeing that your child is very sensitive to foods, then you should delay introducing the more allergenic foods. If, however, your daughter is thriving and you can tell that she isn't have food introduction troubles, then you can test her on some of the "new" foods a little earlier (within a reasonable time frame). For instance, at 9 months, I would think it is quite fine to test her on a few small pieces of strawberries given that you would normally introduce them at about 12 months or a little later. Go with the guidelines of testing it on her lip and waiting 5 or 10 minutes. Then give her a little piece. If you see she is okay that day, then you can give her more the next day. Other foods that are HIGHLY allergenic, like peanuts, I would definitely delay as much as possible. I am not introducing peanut butter to my toddler until she is at least 2, perhaps 2 1/2. I agree, it's almost a shame not to let her enjoy fresh organic strawberries while they are in season!! Soon the blueberries will be out, and they are in the "safe" zone for her age, so you can fill her up on those too!! Good luck, let me know how things go, and thanks for the note. :)

Hey Vicki, I addressed the arrowroot question above - hope that helps! Thanks about the cookies... very melty minty cookies - mmmm! :)

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Thanks for the great idea on how to use my tons of strawberries! I will check out the "why buy organic" post - it's always good to be informed.

-Crystal

Dreena said...

Hey, you're welcome Crystal. I popped to your blog - holy berry feast over there!! :)