Go Berry

Our three favorite recipes for fresh-picked strawberries.

Strawberry-picking season is upon us, promising sweet juicy berries and the chance to show them off in some of our favorite summer recipes. Strawberry-rhubarb pie, chocolate covered strawberry cake and strawberry pizza pie are sure to be a hit at your next garden party or picnic. Just be sure to bring enough for seconds.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

For the crust:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
¼ cup ice water (more if needed)

In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, salt and sugar until it resembles cornmeal, with random chunks of butter. Transfer to a bowl and add about ¼ cup ice water and mix with your hands. It should look crumbly and not wet, but if you press it together, it should hold. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 40 minutes.

On a floured work surface roll the dough out into a circle. Place carefully into your 9-inch pie pan. Trim the edges with scissors. Use your fingers to create a decorative edge. Keep in refrigerator until filling is ready…makes 2 crusts: freeze one for later use.

For the crumb mixture:
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup butter, cold and diced
¼ teaspoon salt
Process until very crumbly. Set aside.

For the filling:
1 ½ cup rhubarb, sliced into half-inch pieces
2 ½ cup ripe strawberries, quartered
¼ - ½ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your fruit)
zest and juice of 1 orange
Mix together and set aside.

Put half of the crumb mixture on the bottom of the pie crust. Put all the fruit on top of the crumb mixture. Top with remaining crumb mixture.

Whisk together 1 egg and 3 teaspoons water. Pour over the pie. Bake at 400 degrees until juices are bubbly and crust is golden (about 40-50 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-inch pans with nonstick baking spray. In a stand mixer, combine first seven ingredients and mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, combine milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk by hand until thoroughly combined. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix on medium speed. Slowly and carefully add boiling water. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and mix one last time. Pour into pans and bake 30-35 minutes. Cakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Photo by Mark Edward Atkinson

Place chocolate cake on cake board or pedestal. Spread one thin layer of whipped ganache on cake. Spread a thicker portion of the strawberry buttercream directly on top of the whipped ganache. Repeat until all three layers are assembled. Use the remaining ganache to lightly crumb coat the cake. Put the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and use the remaining whipped ganache to ice the entire cake. Cover top of cake with chocolate covered strawberries. Serve chilled.

For whipped ganache:
2 ½ cups heavy cream
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ teaspoon vanilla

Heat 2 cups of heavy cream in a medium-sized, microwavable container and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on high, or until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove plastic and vigorously whisk until silky smooth. Allow chocolate to come to room temperature, approximately 2 hours. Once at room temperature, whisk on high in a stand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and vanilla. Whip with whisk attachment for 1 minute.

For strawberry buttercream:
4 cups unsalted butter
9 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 ½ cups all-natural organic Virginia strawberry jam
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Cream butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl regularly. Add jam and mix on medium-high speed until jam is completely incorporated. Add vanilla and salt, mixing for one minute or until light and whipped.

For chocolate covered strawberries:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pint strawberries 

In a microwave-safe container, add 1 cup of chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir mixture. Return to microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Continue melting chocolate in 10 second intervals until chocolate is silky smooth. When chocolate is silky, hold medium sized strawberries by the caps and dip quickly into chocolate. Lay on prepared parchment lined baking tray. When all strawberries are dipped, refrigerate.

Strawberry Pizza Pie

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine; melted
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon sugar 

For the filling:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese; softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 8-ounce container whipped topping
1 pint whole strawberries

For the topping:
1 pint chopped strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2-3 drops red food coloring; optional

Mix crust ingredients. Press into pizza pan or large pie pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool.

Make filling by creaming cheese with sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on cold crust. Arrange 1 pint sliced strawberries on top of cream cheese mixture. In a saucepan, combine all topping ingredients and cook until thick. Spread on top of pie. Refrigerate and serve.

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