Well I sure hope so! There is nothing as sweet and tasty as a fresh farm strawberry. Farm strawberries are generally slightly smaller than the ones that are in the grocery store, they are also red all the way through as you can see in the photo of the strawberries I cut this morning (ever notice that when you cut into a store strawberry the inside is white and the berry is tart?). Farm strawberries actually smell like the artificial strawberry smell in candy! I’m crazy about them, and really will only eat them when in season because the ones imported from California out of season don’t begin to compare. I learned something last year when I went to San Francisco in April, California farm strawberries aren’t that much bigger than ours, so I have no idea how they are cross germinating to get those huge tasteless ones that Godiva and Stew Leonards dip in chocolate. The family just got back from our annual trip to South Carolina to visit relatives and I’ve eaten 5 quarts of Charleston strawberries in the last 10 days. According to the farmers at the Charleston Farmers Market and at Boone Hill Farm store they are at the end of the strawberry season in Charleston, which is very early (usually the season doesn’t really get into swing until the second week of April). One lady exclaimed that strawberries were available locally since January! Like New York, South Carolina had an extremely warm winter so their growing season is in full swing (yes I’ve already had summer corn last week!). For those of you who venture to the NYC Greenmarkets (which I frequent until Catskill Maison Bed and Breakfast is open for business next weekend and I can get them from Bohringer Farm or Eger Bros Farm), you will see that local lettuce has been available since the last weekend of March and asparagus has been available for the past 3 weeks! I would anticipate that strawberries are not far behind. I’m so excited about strawberry season, for us in the Northeast it’s usually in season from about Memorial Day (on a good year) until 4th of July and then back again in early September. It will be interesting to see if they are available this weekend at the market or if the recent cool weather has slowed the season a bit. Regardless, I will hedge a bet that we will be able to serve strawberry french toast to guests this Memorial Day weekend!!!!
Posts Tagged ‘catskill maison bed and breakfast’
May 8th, 2012 by moffett
August 11th, 2010 by moffett
In early July it’s cherry picking season at Bohringer farm up here in the Catskills. This year we picked 35 pounds of cherries because we incorporate cherries into our breakfasts at Catskill Maison Bed and Breakfast. Though 35 lbs of raw cherries shrink to about 10 lbs of cooked cherries, it’s still too many cherries to store at the B&B so I decided to make jam and jelly and cherry sauce (a blog on that later)…but my father kept hinting (okay so his hints are the equivalent of knocking you over the head with a brick to get your attention) at wanting a cherry pie.
So one Saturday evening a couple of weeks ago, he came home from golfing, and to his surprise his request was answered. A piping hot, fresh out of the oven cherry pie was on the counter in our kitchen.
Cherries extract a lot of water, so it’s best to cook them down before adding them to the base of a pie because you will get very runny and watery pie even if you add cornstarch or flour. Some recipes call for tapioca flour, but the pearls are hard and rubbery so not my favorite and it’s an extra step to grind them down.
You can make crust from scratch or buy the prepared crust in the freezer section of the grocery store. Blind bake your bottom pie crust in the pie pan with pie weights on the crust (or some beans on parchment paper) for 10-15 minutes before you add the filling because if you don’t the bottom crust will get soggy.
Put your cherries in a pot and cook for about 7 minutes and drain all of the liquid (or keep the liquid to make jelly or sauce in the future like I do). Then add sugar to taste (maybe a cup or so), a tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of ginger and a pinch of clove. Finally add 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Combine all ingredients and pour into your par baked pie shell. Cover with the second crust but don’t forget to make holes in the crust so steam can escape. Then bake for 50-55 minutes (until crust is golden) at 350 degrees F.
Let pie cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.