At Friske Orchards, a 2015 Red Hot Best medal winner in the U-Pick Farm category, the picking season opens with fresh, giant, juicy strawberries. While quarts and quarts and quarts of them head out the farm market door (either u-picked or they picked), proprietor Wendy Friske always has plenty to use in her Strawberry Cream Pie—a beloved dessert that has made decades of appearances at Friske family Fourth of July gatherings. During strawberry season, the pie also shows up on the menu at Friske’s Orchard Café. Call ahead if you’d like to special order a pie or to find out when the strawberries are ripe (generally late June). 231.599.2604, friske.com.—E.E.
Yield: two 9-inch deep-dish pies
- 3 cups wheat pastry flour
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 8 ounces homemade whipped cream (preferably made with heavy cream from Shetler Family Dairy and available at Friske Orchards)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 generous quarts fresh strawberries (from Friske Orchards!)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 ounce box of strawberry Jell-O
Toss together the crust ingredients with fork or pastry cutter and press into two, 9-inch deep-dish pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Mix cream filling ingredients with electric mixer. Spread thick layer in bottom of pre-baked crusts.
Wash, top and halve two generous quarts fresh strawberries, then place on top of cream filling in crusts. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy saucepan. Dissolve Jell-O into water and stir into the dry ingredients. Cook until clear and thickened. Pour equally over strawberries. Refrigerate immediately. Chill four hours and serve. Pie is best fresh!