Strawberry season is peaking across southern Wisconsin. Join us as we visit Tipi Produce near Evansville, Wisc., where farmer Steve Pincus discusses this year’s phenomenal strawberry crop during a u-pick event for their CSA members.
“I’ve been at this for 40 years, and this is our best crop ever,” said Steve. He and his wife, Beth Kazmar, were recently recognized as the 2016 Organic Farmers of the Year by MOSES (Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services). Everything they grow is certified organic.
Tipi has about two thirds of an acre planted in six varieties of strawberries: Annapolis, Honeyoye, L’Amour, Allstar, and Steve’s favorite, Jewel. The last variety to ripen will be Valley Sunset; as of Saturday, June 18, they hadn’t started picking those berries. Steve expects to harvest about 7,000 pounds of strawberries total.
Strawberries are self pollinated, but good insect pollination can increase yields by about 20 percent. Each individual strawberry contains about 400 seeds.
Tipi Produce can add eight additional CSA members this season. Tip: If you join this week, you can come out on Sunday, June 26 for their final strawberry u-pick. (Tipi’s u-picks are not open to the general public.)
Farms Near Madison Offering Strawberry U-Picks
A quick search for u-pick strawberry opportunities via the WI Farm Fresh Atlas netted these local farms; please contact the farm before visiting:
Appleberry Farm – Cross Plains
Bures Berry Patch – Barneveld
Carandale Farm, LLC – Oregon
Flyte Family Farms, LLC – Colona
Jelli’s Market – Helenville
Kirschbaum’s Strawberry Acres, LLC – Beaver Dam
The Berry Farmer – Baraboo
Visit the Dane County Farmers’ Market to see what area farmers are bringing to Madison this week.
Classic Strawberry Shortcake
from “Cooking with Fruit,” by Rulce Redard Payne and Dorrit Speyer Senior
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) lightly salted butter, cut into pieces
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 quart fresh strawberries, washed, dried, hulled, and halved
2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling, plus 2 teaspoons for whipped cream
1 ½ cups whipping cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Combine the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or food processor, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cream and stir until the mixture just comes together. Shape the dough into a flat disk and press it lightly into the prepared pan, patting it evenly to the edges. Bake on the center rack for about 20 minutes; the top should be lightly colored and feel firm to the touch. Turn the cake out of the pan and set it right side up onto a cake rack to cool.
When the shortcake is completely cool, slice it in half horizontally with a long, thin knife. Slice the strawberries in half and sprinkle them with 2 tablespoons of the sugar; set aside for about 30 minutes.
When ready to assemble, whip the cream with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar. Spread two-thirds of the strawberries with their juice over the cut surface of the bottom half, and then cover them with about two-thirds of the whipped cream. Set the top half over the filling and press lightly. Spoon the berries onto the center of the top layer only, and top with the remaining whipped cream.
by Erika Jones, foodie and executive director, FairShare CSA Coalition
All the gourmet pies in the world, and this tried-and-true version just can’t be beat! Thanks, Betty Crocker!
– Use your favorite pie-crust recipe. We use a 3-2-1 pie crust with all butter from Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio.
– Blind-bake the pie crust and set to cool completely.
3 pints (6 cups, or more!) fresh strawberries – heap them in!
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup water
3 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup sweetened, homemade whipped cream
In a small bowl, crush enough strawberries to make 1 cup (I pureed them with a hand blender to get them nice and smooth).
In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; stir in crushed strawberries and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely, about 30 minutes (Erika: I set the mixture, in the pan, in an ice water bath to cool it quickly!).
Stir cream cheese to make it spreadable, and then spread on the bottom of the cooled, baked pie crust.
Place remaining strawberries, whole or sliced, in pie shell. Pour cooked strawberry mixture evenly over berries. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours, before serving.
Just before serving, top pie with sweetened, homemade whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie. (Erika: This pie is best enjoyed the first day — so invite your friends over to make sure the whole thing gets eaten up fast! Whipped cream really does complete this dessert!).
from “Very Vegetarian” by Jannequin Bennett
1 ¼ cups strawberries, fresh or individually quick-frozen
12 basil leaves
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice from 6 to 9 lemons
5 to 6 cups water
Purée the strawberries and basil with the sugar.
Combine the strawberry mixture, lemon juice, and water in a pitcher and mix well. Taste and adjust the sweetness with additional sugar. Serve over ice.
Makes 2 quarts.
from “SuperFood Kitchen,” by Julie Morris
4 cups strawberries, stems removed
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
chopped fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
Blend all the ingredients except the mint together in a blender until smooth. Chill for a minimum of one hour, and garnish with mint just before serving.
CREDITS: Produced by Molly Stentz and Julie Garrett; theme music performed by Cathryn Herlihey; logo by Katie Hess; photos and reporting by Julie Garrett