Monday, May 23, 2011

Strawberry Cranberry Pie

Cranberries are out and strawberries aren't in yet, but in my freezer... I'm torn on this freezer thing.  It's the only way to survive doing local and seasonal in New England.  If it wren't for my freezer, I would have been eating tasteless tired fruits and veggies from thousands of miles away all winter and spring.  But what if I wanted to be really hard core, and really just eat what was in season here and now?  Ok, there's no way I'm ever going to do that kind of hard core, even if I could (insert image of me in the Middlesex Fells with snowshoes and shovel foraging for roots in January).  But what if I wanted to be soft core, and really focus my diet around the foods that are available here and now, supplementing as need be first with what I can store up and then with what I can get at the store? Well, that's basically what I'm trying to do.  But then I hit this dilemma: the rhubarb finally are ready to pick, and I could make rhubarb pie, but I also have leftover frozen cranberries and strawberries that should get used up before I start freezing this season's goodies, and the combination sounds tantalizingly like strawberry rhubarb.  What to do?  Well, maybe just eat a lot of pie this week!

The cranberry strawberry combination is fantastic, like the tangy-sweet of strawberry rhubarb with a little more depth and warmth.  But make sure to cook the cranberries for a good long time before putting them in the pie.  On my first try, I didn't do that and got something like cranberry-strawberry soup in soggy crust. 

2 cups frozen cranberries
½ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
4 cups frozen strawberries (small or chopped)

2 cups flour
2 sticks cold butter
½ cup ice water

In a medium-small pot, bring cranberries and sugar to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid from the cranberries has released and then reduced to about 1/3 cup. This should take 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, make the crust.  Stir in with strawberries. Pour into pie crust.

Cover with latticed top crust, and bake at 375 for about 40 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes prior to serving, to allow the juices to thicken.