We'll take a brief break from the Eating Out in New York (again) Series for a little Friday dessert. 🙂
Oh tiny kitchen, why can't you fit everything?
One negative aspect of having a tiny kitchen is that you can't stock up on food. Lack of storage space basically forces me to pay premium prices for smaller packaging. I don't have a pantry. Instead, my snacks are stuffed in random kitchen cabinets. In general, I try not to buy things in bulk.
Imagine my utter shock when I got a call from the front desk (at 8AM no less!) telling me to come down immediately to pick up a very perishable large shipment.
Bleary-eyed and hardly coherent (yes, she had awaken me from my slumber, after all), I went downstairs and brought the box upstairs. When I opened it I nearly gasped.
There were 8 twelve-ounce cartons of strawberries.
I was thrilled but at the same time a bit anxious as I glanced at my tiny kitchen.
What was I going to do?
I did try eating some of them plain, and they were delicious. However, strawberries are very, very perishable items and they really don't last long. I knew there was no way I could eat all the berries. Furthermore, I felt like my refrigerator had been hijacked, stuffed to the brim with these berries.
Then Bryan, the non-cook who saves the day in the most surprising ways sometimes, suggested that I make "sugar strawberries." Apparently, his mom used to make it all the time when he was a kid, and he actually enjoyed eating them.
Happy to find a way to store my strawberries somewhere else other than the refrigerator, I decided to make sugar-macerated strawberries and then use them to make a fresh strawberry pie that would totally remind me of summer.
2 lbs strawberries, stemmed and sliced
½ cup sugar
1 T balsamic vinegar
Combine strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Liquid will come out of the strawberries. Using a sieve or colander, drain the strawberries. Take the drained liquid and combine with balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil in a saucepan and cook until the liquid has reduced by at least ½ and has reached the consistency of syrup. Cool and set aside.
If you have a ton of strawberries, you can freeze the sugar strawberry base for future use for making strawberry shortcake, pies, or other desserts! They freeze really well!
Making the Pie . . .
Making the pie is easy, as this is a no-bake pie and can really come together in minutes as long as you have a crust ready to go. In this case, I defrosted one of my larger bags of frozen macerated strawberries in order to make the pie.
The pie crust
If you don't have time to bake your own crust, you can always buy a pre-baked one in the store. Alternatively, if you make your own, you will need to pre-bake it, since this is a no-bake pie. I used this great recipe (you can see my step by step pictures here).
When baking the crust, be sure to weigh down the empty pie crust with something heavy (e.g., dried beans, pie weights). Otherwise, your crust will shrink (like mine did - oops!!).
Fresh Strawberry Pie with Sweet Balsamic Reduction
Pre--bake a pie crust (check out this excellent tutorial). Spread the Greek strained yogurt on the bottom layer of the pie crust. Top with sugar macerated strawberries. Finally, drizzle with the balsamic-strawberry reduction.
Yumm . . . this fresh pie tastes so much like summer. It's absolutely delicious.
I personally love how the thick, creamy yogurt, which is just a bit tart, balances out the fresh and bright tasting strawberries. The deep balsamic sugar sauce adds just enough sweetness to round the entire dessert out.
Here's looking forward to summer really really soon . . .
California Giant Berry Farm is the company that kindly sent me the strawberries. They currently have a website called Put Some Spring Into Your Step with creative tips on how you can use berries. One cool tip I liked was to freeze strawberries and using them as ice cubes in lemonade. Hee hee, maybe I could even used my frozen sugar-macerated strawberries!
In the spirit of promoting good health through food and exercise, California Giant Berry Farm has generously offered to give away the following to ONE lucky winner:
1) One shipment of fresh berries and
2) a $25 gift certificate to Academy.com (they sell sports equipment)
In order to enter, please comment below and tell me your favorite way to enjoy berries in the summer! For second and third chances to enter, please tweet and/or write about the promotion on facebook. You must link back to this post. For example:
Giveaway! Win a shipment of fresh berries plus $25 gift card to academy.com @tinyurbankitchn http://bit.ly/jYnqZ1
For tweets, please mention @tinyurbankitchn. For facebook entries, please mention @Tiny Urban Kitchen.
Giveaway ends next Wednesday, June 1 at Midnight EST.
Time to time I receive free products, meals, etc. as a food blogger. I do not receive any payment for blog posts/reviews nor am I required to write a post when I receive free products, meals, etc. The views expressed in this post are completely my own. The strawberries and the giveaway are paid for by California Giant Berry Farm. The balsamic vinegar was provided for free by Star Fine Foods.
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