It doesn’t feel much like summer this week but today is the official summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Even if you can’t tell by the weather that summer’s here, you can tell by the change in the Farmer’s Market offerings and the beginning of the outdoor art-show-and-music-concert season. The Vancouver Craft Winefest hits Esther Short Park this weekend and the Recycled Arts Festival next weekend. Summer concerts start in July. And in the Farmer’s Market, there are still beautiful strawberries.

So, here’s recipe for something sweet and romantic using those strawberries. Imagine a dinner of seasonal salmon, a nice tossed green salad and strawberry hand pies for dessert. Light food so you don’t go to sleep right away and a sweet treat to feed your special someone. Give it a try.

Berry Hand Pie

1 package Pillsbury pie crusts (the ones in the refrigerated section)

1 cup berries (strawberries now, others later in the season)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tblsp. cornstarch

1 egg beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. If using strawberries, hull first and cut into small bits. Mix berries with sugar and place in small saucepan. Simmer until berries are soft, stirring often to keep from sticking.

3. Remove from heat and add vanilla and cinnamon.

4. Add cornstarch to hot mixture and stir until it begins to thicken. Allow mixture to cool.

5. With 5″ pastry cutter, cut out rounds.

6. Place 1 tblsp. of berry mixture in center of pastry. Fold in half and seal edges.

7. Brush with beaten egg.

8. On baking pan lined with parchment, place the hand pies and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.

9. Cool and feed to your dinner companion. The recipe makes enough to keep you feeding each other for several meals!


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