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Picking strawberries? Here’s where to go and what to make

Daniel Kurtrz, 7, and his sister Lauren, 9, look at the bounty of strawberries they picked at Wards Berry Farm in Sharon.
Daniel Kurtrz, 7, and his sister Lauren, 9, look at the bounty of strawberries they picked at Wards Berry Farm in Sharon.John Tlumacki/GLOBE STAFF

Strawberry fields forever? Well, the clock is ticking, but the getting is good right now.

Strawberries are among the first fruit to ripen each spring in the Northeast, according to the University of Vermont. In New England, June bearers can be available from about the first week of the month into early July, according to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The juicy crops, which are high in vitamin C and packed with antioxidants, are best used within two to three days once picked, according to Parlee Farms, a pick-your-own destination in Tyngsborough. Below are 17 fruitful spots to visit.


Availability of berries, prices, and reservation requirements vary by farm, so be sure to check each location’s website or give them a call before going. Read on to find 10 of our favorite strawberry-themed recipes you can make with your bounty.

10 of the Globe’s best strawberry recipes

1. Strawberry shortcake

Sheryl Julian

Made like biscuits, in a bowl with a pastry blender or two blunt knives, this delicate cake is baked in an 8-inch round pan, then sliced horizontally.

Serves 8

Recipe: Strawberry shortcake

2. Strawberry shortcake for a crowd

While strawberries are here, don’t miss out on strawberry shortcake, and while you are at it, make enough for a crowd. This begins with a traditional biscuit recipe, but with a few twists.

Serves 12

Recipe: Strawberry shortcake for a crowd

3. Easy strawberry parfaits

Sally Pasley Vargas

Parfaits are layered desserts but they can also be healthy breakfast cups, served in juice glasses, jars, wine glasses, or any stemmed glasses. These parfaits are layered with yogurt and crushed strawberries flavored with orange and a little jam for sweetness, then topped with your own homemade granola.

Serves 6

Recipe: Easy strawberry parfaits

4. Strawberries in French galette

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

A lovely way to showcase the berry flavors is in an elegant French galette, a round free-form tart called crostata in Italian cooking. It starts with a basic food-processor pie dough, which is chilled for 30 minutes to relax the gluten and cool the butter that warms quickly in the summer kitchen.


Serves 8

Recipe: Strawberries in French galette

5. Strawberry-rhubarb breakfast pies

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Similar to homemade toaster pastries, these breakfast pies are stuffed with fresh strawberries and rhubarb. They won’t bake off as neat and tidy as the ones from a package. The rectangles may even develop a few fissures during baking, but the trade-off is that instead of a thin layer of jam, they are literally bursting with late spring fruits.

Makes 16

Recipes: Strawberry-rhubarb breakfast pies

6. Pavlova with strawberries

Sally Pasley Vargas

Australians and New Zealanders argue endlessly over which country created this dessert, named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured the world with her ballet company into the 1920s. The crisp meringue is as light as an arabesque, with a slightly soft interior, perfect for heaps of whipped cream and summer berries.

Serves 6

Recipe: Pavlova with strawberries

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Pack berries, crushed cookies, and softly whipped cream into the jars with crumbled shortbread cookies from your favorite bakery. It works with any type of berries, an array or one variety, or ripe stone fruits, cut into thin slices.

Serves 8

Recipe: Last-minute strawberry cookie crumble

8. Strawberries and rhubarb New England pie

Karoline Boehm-Goodnick

The season when strawberries and rhubarb are available is short, but while it lasts, this is the pie that New England bakers wait all winter to make. In this version, a small amount of nutmeg added to the buttery pastry works well with the fruit.


Makes one 9-inch pie

Recipe: Strawberries and rhubarb New England pie

9. Individual pavlovas with berries and cream

Sally Pasley Vargas for the Boston Globe

The big, crisp meringue is so beautiful you almost don’t want to eat it. Instead of one large confection, we make small meringues here to top with lightly sweetened whipped cream and berries. A personal dessert feast.

Recipe: Individual Pavlovas with berries and cream

10. Strawberry Sorbet

This freshly churned sorbet is almost more berry-y than the berries themselves. Simplicity is the goal.

Makes about 1 quart

Recipe: Strawberry Sorbet

Jude Frazier, 3, from Medford holds a basket of strawberries at Wards Berry Farm.
Jude Frazier, 3, from Medford holds a basket of strawberries at Wards Berry Farm.John Tlumacki

Dana Gerber can be reached at dana.gerber@globe.com