2014 Pie Share Week One – Strawberry Balsamic

Fresh picked berries ready for pie.

It’s the first week of the 2014 Bushel + Crumb pie share!

We’re excited to kick off the share with a celebration of the first sweet fruit of the season – strawberries. This week’s pie is Strawberry Balsamic. If you remember this pie from last year, we promise we will mostly be offering new pie varieties, but we just couldn’t resist a repeat of this popular, delicious pie.

The strawberries come our way from two Massachusetts farms, Czajkwoski Farm in Hadley and Clearview Farm in Sterling. Both farms are run by incredibly talented and dedicated farmers. If you’re interested in some fun farm activity, Clearview is having a strawberry festival next Saturday, June 28 with live music, kids activities, craft beer, wood fired pizza, and more. Read here for more info – we might see you there!

We hope this first pie helps you kick off the start of summer on a sweet note.

Happy pie eating!

Week 2 – Chard, scapes, scallions, goat cheese

This week’s savory pie features beautiful produce – the chard, garlic scapes, and scallions are all from there – from one of our partner farms, Powisset Farm in Dover.  Powisset is a CSA farm run by the nonprofit Trustees of the Reservations.  Look out for more info about both Powisset and Brookwood Farms and their incredible farm staff in the coming weeks.

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In addition to the produce, the delicious eggs in the pie filling came from Sweetfern Farm in Rutland, MA. Their flock of happy, heirloom chickens gave us quite an assortment of colorful and huge local eggs.

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For those who purchased a sweet pie, the strawberries and rhubarb come to us by way of Lanni Orchards.  This is the tail end of the season for these two crops, so we were quite excited to get them in the nick of time.  Lanni Orchards is a 300 acre farm located in Lunenburg, MA.  The farm is celebrating its 50th year in production this year.  The third generation of Lanni’s are now running the farm, started by Pasquale and Rosa Lanni when they immigrated from Avellino, Italy in the early 1960s. Lanni Orchards is primarily known for its large apple orchard and extensive controlled atmosphere storage – allowing for premium quality apples to emerge from storage well into the spring. But Lanni grows and harvests a wide range of fruits and vegetables before apple season even begins.

If you have children in many of the greater Boston school districts, including Dover-Sherborn, Milton, or Brookline, they are likely to have sampled Lanni apples at some point in the school cafeteria.  Lanni is one of the state’s largest providers of local foods to schools – selling everything from apples and pears to farm fresh pickles.

Week 1 – Strawberry Balsamic Pie

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This week’s pie is…Strawberry balsamic with black pepper!

It’s sweet.  We promise.  Some of us have been throwing sliced strawberries in our salads for years, and this pie celebrates that great flavor combination of super sweet strawberries and mildly acidic balsamic vinegar. The crushed black pepper is just to spice things up.

This week’s pie only has a few ingredients.  It’s pretty much a full-on celebration of strawberries. These strawberries come from a CT farm called Pell’s.  We were actually originally going to source from much closer to Boston, but all of the rain last week, coupled with a gorgeous Saturday full of families venturing out for pick-your-own strawberries left the supply rather low.  Fortunately, Simca was visiting family in CT (and picking strawberries – an annual tradition she’s been doing since she was very young) and that farm had plenty of strawberries to fill you pies.

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Another farm featured prominently in these first pies is Four Star Farms.  Four Star is a grain farm located in Northfield in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley and run by the L’Etoile family.  Our pies use a whole wheat pastry flour from Four Star. This very fertile valley once had many grain farms, but Four Star now is one of a very small number producing and milling grains on a commercial scale.  The L’Etoiles take the sustainability of their operation very seriously and use an advanced integrated pest management practice with a focus on soil health to minimize any spraying.  You can read a lot more about their farming practices and commitment to the ecological responsibility of their farm on their website. You can also find out where to order their tasty whole grain products and find some delicious recipe ideas.

If you like the strawberries in your pie, head out to one of the many local farms that off pick-your-own and pick some more!  Many farms expect pick-your-own to stay open until about July 1st, but call ahead for picking conditions, as strawberries in Massachusetts are very susceptible to poor weather.

We look forward to seeing you at the pie pick up and we hope you love your strawberry balsamic pies!