This week’s pie is inspired by a recipe we once saw from a small Vermont bakery, Vergennes Laundry, making something they called a tart-a-touille – a savory tart featuring the classic vegetables of the French ratatouille dish. These veggies – summer squash, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes – pair perfectly. In this week’s pie we roasted them simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper, added a bit of sharp cheese and some fresh herbs, and called it done. When the vegetables are fresh and nearly falling off the vine with ripeness, there’s no need to do anything other than let their delicious flavor shine.
This week’s vegetables come from Allandale Farm. Allandale is often referred to as “Boston’s last working farm.” It sits on the Boston/Brookline border and has managed to persevere and thrive amidst years of development pressure. While many people know Allandale as a great place to buy flowering plants and other items for the garden, it also has a booming vegetable business supporting both the retail farm stand, a large CSA, and restaurant and wholesale customers like us. The farm is now managed by Ethan Grundberg who continues the long tradition of sustainable farming in harmony with the city.
In these last lingering days of August, we hope you enjoy out version of a tart-a-touille. We’ll see you on September 10, ushering in the new school year with something sweet and delicious.
This week’s pie is a celebration of peak summer fruits – Blueberry Peach with Almond Crumble.
The fruit this week comes to us from Clearview Farm. This 6th generation, 200-year-old family farm sits on about 85 acres in Sterling, Mass. and is run by Rick and Diane Melone. They primarily focus on fruit, growing apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, blueberries, and raspberries. But they also sell corn, seasonal vegetables, their own apple cider, and stellar apple cider donuts at their farm stand from mid-August through the holidays. If you find yourself in central Mass. it’s a great place to stop by!
Diane is a direct descendant of Mary Sawyer, the young girl who brought her lamb to school one day and inspired the classic nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb. That lamb roamed the fields of what is now Clearview Farm more than 100 years ago.
Rick is certified in Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which promotes minimized pesticide use. This, combined with crop rotation and natural fertilizer, helps Clearview Farm produce delicious, healthy crops.
We had a great chat with Rick all about pies when we picked up our blueberries and peaches. Rick’s daughter makes pies and crumbles with their fruit and sells them at the farm stand all season. We’re inspired to try making their “apple dumpling” which is a cored apple stuffed with crumb topping and wrapped in pie dough. Yum!
We hope you enjoy the sweet summer fruits in our pie this week. Embrace the beautiful lazy days of August and we’ll see you in two weeks with a pie bursting with late summer vegetable bounty.