This week marks the official start of fall; we are still enjoying some late summer fruits and vegetables, but our palates and our recipes are shifting to reflect the changing seasons. Eating locally is really all about embracing these changes – celebrating (and occasionally over-indulging in!) each fruit and vegetable at its peak of abundance and deliciousness.
So as we turn toward fall and see the first leaves change, it’s time to celebrate one of the great vegetables of this season – winter squash. This week’s pie – roasted winter squash with caramelized onions, goat cheese, and sage – features both butternut and delicata. Butternut (one of the most popular varieties and developed right here in Waltham, Massachusetts) is a fall classic that sweetens as the season progresses and the squash cures. Delicata is more subtle and savory, with a skin so thin it can be eaten right along with the flesh.
This week’s ingredients come a whole variety of wonderful Massachusetts farms. Our sage is from one of our partner farms, Brookwood, and our onions are from our other partner farm, Powisset. Both our butternut and our delicata squash are from Clearview Farm in Sterling (who provided the delicious peaches and blueberries a few weeks back), and our goat cheese is from Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, Mass. Westfield Farm is a family-owned farm that has been making award-winning goat cheese (and a few cow cheeses) in Central Mass. for more than 40 years. If you’re looking for a beautiful fall drive, stop by the farm to buy cheese from their self-serve stand, check out their website for cheese shipped right to you, or look for their Capri goat cheese in your local specialty foods store – they’re available at quite a few!
It’s hard to believe there’s just one more week of pie share after this! As we reflect on our first year offering a pie share, we are eager for your feedback. We will be sending out a survey with next week’s email and would greatly appreciate your honest responses, comments, and thoughts. We’ll also be sending along information about ordering holiday pies from Bushel + Crumb. While the farming season may be winding down, at Bushel + Crumb every season is pie season, and when the days get colder and friends and family come around, we hope you’ll celebrate by sharing some delicious local pie!
Fall is in the air with cooler nights and beautiful, crisp days. While the seasons may be about to change, we’re not quite ready to give up on summer and its bountiful fruits. So this week’s pie celebrates great late summer stone fruit in a plum frangipane pie.
Frangipane is a nutty pastry cream most commonly made with almonds that pairs especially well with stone fruits. Almonds are in the same plant family as stone fruits like plums, peaches, and apricots. If you can successfully crack open the pit of a peach you’ll see an almond-shaped seed inside and the botanical connection becomes obvious. There’s a great new cookbook by acclaimed author Deborah Madison called Vegetable Literacy that explores this very idea that shared plant families can be a good indicator of interesting flavor combinations. Check it out if you want to learn more about the botanical connections between different fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers; learn some great new recipes; and look at vegetables in a totally new light.
You’ll notice two distinct colors of plums in this week’s pie—that’s because we have two different varieties of plum to share with you. The larger, more red variety comes from a farm we’ve sourced from before: The Big Apple in Wrentham. Their farm stand is incredibly bountiful right now, as they’re still picking peaches and plums and are already harvesting early apples such as Gravensteins and Paula Reds. They’re also bringing in the first Bartlett pears of the season and their pick-you-own fields are open every weekend in the fall!
The smaller, darker plums are the Italian prune plum variety and they come from Lookout Farm in Natick. One of the oldest farms in Massachusetts, Lookout was first farmed in 1650 and the tradition continues today with the Belkin family. The farm is now open daily through the end of October for pick-you-own adventures. They have plums, peaches are hanging in there, and more and more apples and pears are ripening every day!
It’s hard to believe that there will be just one more sweet pie in the share. As a reminder, the last week of the pie share is Tuesday, October 8th. But don’t fret….we’ll be baking well into the fall and winter. As the fall crops come in, we’re gearing up for another round of recipe testing. So stay tuned for updates on opportunities to special order pies after the end of the share.