Robert and Pat Poole are known for their incredible and unique varieties of berries. Robert’s grandfather was a farmer in Texas and Robert believes that farming is in his blood. Robert’s father did not farm, but after retiring from teaching at the University of Redlands in 1990, Robert made it his mission in life to farm full time. Robert and Pat own three acres in Redlands and were already paying expensive water shares. Since they had to pay for water, they decided they may as well be using it.
They planted fruit and citrus trees and their neighbors had boysenberries that had rooted on their property as well, so they continued to grow boysenberries. Boysenberries have a deep sweet and sour flavor that is almost like wine. They are good for cooking and mixing with other ingredients. They are Robert’s favorite and he says he would walk ten miles in the snow for a boysenberry pie. They also grow youngberries and blackberries. Youngberries are sweeter and blackberries are much tarter and also excellent for cooking. Not many people grow these varieties of berries because they are very time-consuming to grow, hard to pick, and have a very short season. The Pooles will have berries for about four weeks at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market.
One of Pat’s favorite things to do with boysenberries is to make her specialty Boysenberry Strawberry Glaze pie. The strawberries add a nice sweetness to the boysenberries. It is a delicious and easy recipe and does not even have to go in the oven! It is a perfect way to enjoy boysenberries during their short season.
Pat Poole’s Boysenberry Strawberry Glaze Pie
3 baskets boysenberries
1 basket strawberries
_ cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 baked 9 inch pie crust
pinch of salt
Wash and dry the berries and hull the strawberries (chop the strawberries if you wish). Take one cup of boysenberries, crush them and cook them in one cup of water for about two minutes. Sieve them to remove all seeds. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and pinch of salt into the cooked boysenberry juice mixture. Cook the mixture, stirring, until it thickens and boils, about one minute. Let the cooked boysenberry glaze mixture cool slightly. Place half of the uncooked berries into the pie crust and top with a layer of the boysenberry glaze. Alternate layers of uncooked berries and glaze, ending with a final layer of the boysenberry glaze on top of the pie. Serve and Enjoy!