If you have been following my Instagram, you will know I have been planning to work on something here regarding the Fanny Farmer Baking Book. Originally I thought I might do it Julie and Julia style and bake every recipe, but when I planned it all out I realized how ridiculous that looked.
The Fanny Farmer Baking Book has a lot of practical instruction for those who may just be beginning their foray into the world of baking. I have done a fair amount of baking in my life, but it has been sporadic recipes and I don't feel that I have a handle on what really makes it work. I am excited to work though this book and I have decided for now just to do the pie section. It is still a daunting task! There are over 100 recipes! To do it in one year would mean a pace of at least two pies per week. We'll see how I do. There are lots of interesting crust recipes, and heritage pies from bygone days (Shaker Lemon, Shoofly, and Vinegar to name a few). I have to say that I do already have a favourite basic pie crust recipe, so we'll have to see how these stack up.
The first recipe I chose to do was 'Fresh Strawberry Pie'. This is not the same recipe as is printed on my cute pie plate, but I thought I had to use it since I was making strawberry pie! I had planned to do the first recipe in the pie section first (Basic Master Recipe: American Apple Pie) since it is an overall basic pie recipe and includes most of the overall pie instructions, but apples are not at all in season right now, and strawberries are!
Look at these beauties! Since moving from Surrey I have mourned the loss of being near to Driediger Farms for their strawberries and blueberries (they do grow other things but those were our favourites). I am ever hopeful that my garden will be able to supply me with at least close to the amount of strawberries we eat as a family, but that seems destined to wait for at least another year. Last year I managed to make some trips out to the berry farm while visiting family, but this year I wasn't quite sure how I was going to manage it. Thankfully Davison Orchards in Vernon is not that far away. We went last year several times for their apples and pumpkins, but I was glad to realize that they also do strawberries! Beautiful strawberries! We always love our visits there. The produce is gorgeous, it is great for kids, the cafe has delicious food, and the bakery and gift shop are always worth a visit.
Anyway, regarding the pie crust, it was not much different from other recipes I have tried, but I did actually learn something that made it come together easily. It was recommended to add the water a tablespoon at a time and stir it lightly with a fork. You stop once there is enough moisture for the dough to come together. I had to use a couple more tablespoons than the recipe called for, but I live in a really dry climate, so that wasn't surprising. The result was a really workable, light, silky dough. I'm going to try that method out with my old recipe and see if it makes it even better. In other news, I really need to up my pie crust crimping game!
To make the filling half the berries were crushed and cooked with some cornstarch and sugar and the rest were stirred into that mixture fresh. The berries go into the pre-baked crust. After that whipped cream is spread over the top.
The end result - delicious. One thing for me was that the pie was a bit too sweet. The berries were such a beautiful quality that they didn't need much sugar to help them out. The other thing was the filling didn't quite set up as much as I expected it to so when we cut the pieces they looked pretty sloppy. I think after the leftovers have sat in the fridge for a few hours that will solve that issue.