Week 9 – Spiced Pear and Apple

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This week marks the final week of the pie share.  It’s hard to believe that eighteen weeks and nine pies have passed so quickly!  We hope you have enjoyed experiencing the changing of the seasons through pie – from June’s sweet strawberries to mid-summer’s stone fruits to the tastes of fall in this week’s pie: Spiced Pear and Apple. This week’s fruit – Bosc pears and a mix of McIntosh, Macoun, and Cortland apples – once again comes to us from The Big Apple in Wrentham.

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This season we have had so many great farm partners at Brookwood, Powisset, and beyond, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to all of the hardworking farmers. We thank them, and of course each of you, for taking a chance on a new pie business! To help us gather feedback on your experiences, we have put together a very brief online survey that should only take about 2 minutes to complete. Your anonymous responses are much appreciated! Please click here to access the survey.

While this marks the end of the summer pie share, it doesn’t mean the end of Bushel + Crumb’s pie season! There are holidays to celebrate and, as winter sets in, what food could be more comforting and perfect for sharing with family than a warm, delicious pie? For Thanksgiving, we’re excited about offering seasonal flavors that are both classic (pumpkin and apple) and a little more adventurous, including Cazuela Pie (sweet potato and coconut), Salted Honey Walnut, and Savory Squash and Goat Cheese.

Thanksgiving pies will be available for pick-up on Tuesday, November 26th at Brookwood from 1-6 pm and at Powisset from 3-6 pm. Pies will be baked fresh that morning and will taste delicious on Thanksgiving day – we’ll provide warming instructions for those who like their pies fresh out of the oven.  Our Thanksgiving pie order form can be downloaded by clicking here or check out our blog next week for online ordering. And we’ll be sure to keep you posted about more special order pie opportunities throughout the fall, winter, and spring!

It has been a great joy for us to share our love of pie and of local farms with you this season. We’re always interested in hearing from you – to inquire about pies for special events, to share a great recipe, for feedback on the summer share or a particular pie, or to request a special variety of pie.

Enjoy this final pie of the summer pie share and we hope to see you at farm next season, if not sooner!

Week 8 – Roasted Winter Squash and Caramelized Onion

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.

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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!

Week 7 – Plum Frangipane

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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.

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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.

Week 6 – Tart-a-touille

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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.

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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.

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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.

Week 5 – Blueberry Peach with Almond Crumble

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!

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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.

Week 4 – Roasted Beets and Carrots with Za’atar

Welcome to week four of the pie share and the second savory pie – Roasted Beets and Carrots with Za’atar.

You may not immediately think of beets and carrots as great summer vegetables, but they are wonderful, season-long staples that don’t mind the peak heat in the summer and only get sweeter with the cold temps of the fall!  Tomatoes and other beautiful late-summer veggies like eggplants and peppers are just around the corner.

This week’s pie has a Middle Eastern slant and features both labne, a strained yogurt, and a traditional spice mix called za’atar.  Za’atar formulations vary slightly throughout the region, but the Lebanese version we are using today features thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac.

The beets and carrots come to you by way of one of our two farm partners, Brookwood Community Farm.  Brookwood was started in 2006 on an historic dairy farm situated within the Blue Hills in Milton.  The farm has expanded from an initial CSA of under 10 members to more than 250 members taking part in a four-season CSA.  From one acre of cultivation initially, they now grow on three different sites totaling just over five acres.

Brookwood’s 2013 Farm Staff & Just-Washed Carrots

As a community farm, Brookwood is committed to more than growing delicious food.  The farm provides educational and volunteer opportunities for youth and adults and supports a variety of food access initiatives.  They helped found a farmers market in the nearby Mattapan neighborhood and now provide food for that market and for a bicycle-powered mobile market in the neighborhood. More than 10% of the farm’s harvest is donated to local food pantries.  For those of you unfamiliar with Brookwood, you can find more info on their website: www.brookwoodcommunityfarm.org.

Thanks, as always, to the dedicated farm staff at Brookwood and all of the farms we source from, who are growing some delectable vegetables.

Enjoy your pie and we’ll see you in two weeks on the sweet side (we’re hoping the apricot season hangs on until then…).

Week 3 – Cherry Clafoutis Pie

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Week 3 of the pie share brings you a sweet pie… Cherry Clafoutis Pie

Clafoutis (pronounced kla-foo-tee) is a traditional dessert from the Limousin region of France which is essentially a custard batter baked over fruit. A clafoutis is most commonly made with cherries and purists would insist that the cherry pit should remain inside the cherry, as it imparts a delicate, almond-y flavor. We thought you might not appreciate eating a dessert full of pits, so we’ve approximated that flavor with some organic almond extract. And we’ve made our clafoutis in pie form, which makes for easier slicing, as the fruit and custard are surrounded by a delicious, buttery crust.

Because this pie is essentially a custard made with fresh egg, yogurt, and cream, it should be kept in the refrigerator unless you are going to eat it right away.

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This week’s cherries come from a wonderful farm located in Wrentham called The Big Apple. As the name would suggest, they are famous for their apples, but they also grow an incredible variety of fruits that are not widely cultivated in Massachusetts. They are one of just a small number of farms that grow cherries and apricots, as well as more common stone fruits such as peaches and plums.

The Big Apple is run by John and Peg Morse and has been in the Morse family since 1950. The farm actually sits on Pine Hedge Orchard, but has become known as The Big Apple for the large carved wooden apple that sits out in front of the farm store. The Morses have traced the farm back to the late 1700s and have a great farm history posted on their website. In the early 1900s the farm was largely run as a nursery and many of the trees ended up in the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain.

The Big Apple has a great pick-your-own operation and is currently picking raspberries and blueberries. Call ahead for picking information, as conditions may change rapidly with the weather.

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Our eggs are again from Sweetfern Farm in Rutland. The idea for Sweetfern Farm started in November 2011 when Kate and Anthony bought their 1865 farmhouse.  Twenty short months later, these self-taught farmers find themselves tending to their flock of Shetland sheep, pasture-raised chickens and turkeys, beehives, large gardens, and of course, their fantastic flock of laying hens.

Named for the fragrant New England-native shrub found ubiquitous around the farm, Kate and Ant are committed to using sustainable farming practices to keep the animals, plants, and soil healthy so that they may farm there for many years to come. Though still very much in a growing phase, they welcome visitors to their mellow little farm.

Their award-winning eggs are available fresh at the farm daily.  Their fresh chicken and lamb will be available in late summer, and turkeys in time for Thanksgiving.  Plans for 2014 include pastured pork and Devon beef.  Wool products and wildflower honey will be available for the 2013 holiday season.

Special Order Pies

From time to time we offer special order pies so you can enjoy our pie even if you aren’t a regular Bushel + Crumb share member.  Or, if you’re a member and you just love pie, you can pick up an extra one!

On July 2nd, we’ll have individual pies for sale. Pie share members will receive a savory pie in their normal share size (see below for our likely pie variety).

But we’ll also have sweet and savory pies available for pre-ordering. So if you’ve got a Fourth of July barbecue to bring a dessert or entree to, think about ordering an extra pie or two.

The savory variety will most likely be: Spinach, green garlic, and herb with goat cheese

The sweet variety will most likely be: Strawberry rhubarb with ginger crumble

Please note that pie flavors depend entirely on the availability of our locally sourced produce and may change unexpectedly. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but with farming some things are just out of our control!

Small (6″) pies are $13 and Large (9″) pies are $22. You can pay with a check or cash when you pick up your pie.

To order a pie (or more than one) for pick up on July 2nd at Brookwood Community Farm or Powisset Farm, please complete the following order form.  Orders must be received by 5pm on Thursday, June 27th to guarantee your pie.  Please contact us at info@bushelandcrumb.com with any questions.

A Few More Days Until Pie!

The countdown to the first pie distribution has begun! After much testing and deliberating, we’ve selected a first pie (no we’re telling you what it is yet — the surprise is part of the fun!). It’s a sweet one and a true celebration of these mid-June weeks when some days cling to spring showers and other days are seeped in sunshine.

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Our kitchen is in good shape and ready to be put to use. Our pie boxes are waiting to be filled and our Bushel + Crumb stickers are waiting to be stuck. We hope that you are ready to dig in to some delicious treats. We can’t wait to get baking. See you at the farm!