Thursday, July 21, 2011

Farm Mail from Gail

I must say, I don’t remember such a long heat wave!   But we know this too shall pass, right?  And on the up-side – the shop is cool, and stocked up, AND we’re serving icy tea to make your walk in the garden more pleasant.  (because there are a lot of things blooming!)  And inside, you’ll find quite a few things marked down to make way for new goodies.  So, grab a friend or two, maybe plan for lunch at Morningstar, and come on out! 

Regular Hours – Tue thru Sat, 10-5  
Phone – 217-632-2888
Facebook - Visit The Farm

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fruit Pie

How long has it been since you're had real, home-made strawberry pie?  Too Long??  Yeah, here too.

This was made with a combination of an old old recipe from a church cookbook--still one of the best places we know to find a tried-and-true recipe--along with a new crust  & topping recipe from Cook's Illustrated.  CI always has gorgeous recipes that tell you exactly why you should follow the directions they give.   But try as they might, some of us are going to have our way with the recipe and make it our own way :)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tblsp sugar
1/4 teasp salt
8 Tblesp unsalted butter  (confession:  the above crust was made with salted butter, so the added salt was omitted)
2 ounces cream cheese
Coat a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
Beat butter and cream cheese in a large bowl about 2 minutes.  Add flour and combine on medium-low speed until mixture resembles course cornmeal, about 20 seconds.Scrape down sides of bowl and increase mixer speed to medium high and beat til dough begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.
Save about 3 Tbls of the dough for the rim of the crust. Roll out  into a long thin rope and place it around the rim of  crust, pinching to make a fluted edge.   (A good idea, which turned into a bit of a mess, so this step was also omitted.) Press dough evenly over bottom of pie plate towards sides, using heel of your hand, working up the sides to evenly distribute.  If you use the reserve-rope method, good for you!  If not, pinch around the edge to make a little flute for the edge.  Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for one hour.
Heat oven to 325 degrees and pierce bottom of crust several times with a fork.  Bake til golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool. 

Strawberry Filling
1 cup mashed strawberries
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
red food coloring
1 1/2 qt fresh strawberries. hulled and sliced
Blend the mashed strawberries with sugar and cornstarch.  Add water and cook until desired thickness.  Add lemon juice and a few drops food coloring; cool.  If too thick, add a little water.  Put fresh berries in the pie shell and pour mixture over top.   Refrigerate til ready to serve.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Wtih mixer running, add cream and whip until stiff peaks form.

And there you have a really really good strawberry pie.  And even though local strawberry season is over, we're heading into blueberry season and how long has it been since you've had real, home-made blueberry pie?  :)