Strawberries have arrived here in Virginia this week. The strawberry season with berries being brought in from North Caroline seems to be about a month sooner than in NW PA!
Believe it or not, there are over 103 different types of strawberries. Of course, the region where you live will have the best varieties for your climate and growing conditions. Most strawberry farms offer several varieties to stretch strawberry season as long as possible. You can purchase strawberries by the quart and some growers even sell by the pound.
Once you pick or buy all the strawberries you need the fun part starts when you get home. I have listed below some of the best ways to preserve your berries along with a couple of recipes to bake with this fresh fruit.
How to Freeze Strawberries
I think freezing berries whole is the quickest way to get those fresh strawberries into your freezer!
1) Rinse the berries
2) Hull the strawberries.
3) Lay them on a rimmed baking sheet such as a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Place in the freezer until frozen (8 hours or more).
Remove the frozen strawberries from the baking sheet and store them in a sealed container (freezer bags or freezer-safe containers) in the freezer for up to a year.
I find gallon freezer bags work best. By using freezer bags you can easily take out just what you need! Why not add a few other fruits to the bag to make smoothie kits!
JAMS and JEllIES
Another great idea to have that taste of summer long after the berries are through is to make Jam or Jelly.
Below is a link that shows the steps to take to make the perfect preserve. As you can see the number one thing is to start with fresh fruit with no bruises.
This website not only explains step by step how to make the perfect jam and jelly but also includes some great recipes
Baking with Berries
I’m sure many of you can guess one of the top strawberry desserts is Strawberry Shortcake. There are some great recipes for shortcake and this one from Taste of Home is no exception which I will include here; https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/strawberry-shortcake/. A tip can be dropping or cutting these shortcakes instead of baking in a square dish.
One of my favorites is Glazed Strawberry Pie. This recipe is from a local Church Cookbook.
Glazed Strawberry Pie
Delicious Chilled Strawberry Pie
- 2.5 Cups Strawberries halved
- 1 Cup Crushed strawberries
- Tablespoon Corn starch
- Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup water
- dash salt
- 1 9 inch Baked pie shell
- Combine cornstarch, sugar. water and salt in saucepan. Add crushed berries and cook over medium heat until thick, stiriing constantly. Once bubbling begins remove from stove top. Remove from heat.
- Arrange strawberry halves in baked pie shell. Pour hot mixture over berries.
- Chill about 3 hours or longer Serve with whipped Creme
- ** You can purchase a 9 inch pie crust and bake it in the oven (empty) for about 20 minutes. Placing some “pie weights” in the crust while baking prevents it from shrinking! If you would like to bake your own crust jump over to my Peach Custard Pie recipe and the pie crust recipe is included.