It’s Pie Season

It’s almost the New Year, and nothing tops off a celebratory meal like a piece of pie. Need a hostess gift? How about a lovely dish filled with a home-made treat. An office get-together? Try a pie. Make-ahead meals for when the kids are all at home? Savory pies popped in the oven leave plenty of family time.

There’s no reason to be intimidated by making crust from scratch. Central Farm Markets customer Cathy Barrow, author of upcoming cookbook Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet and Savory Slab Pies, shares her fool-proof recipe for:

Perfect Pie Dough

Makes a top and bottom crust for a 9-inch pie.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and frozen for 20 minutes
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup ice water

Directions:

In the food processor, pulse flour, butter, and salt until the butter is in small pieces coated with flour, about 15 times. Add water all at once and turn the processor on until the mixture almost forms a ball. Form the dough into two six-inch disks using plastic wrap and a scraper to firmly press the dough into a cohesive form. Wrap tightly and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours. (May be frozen for one month. Defrost overnight in refrigerator). Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm slightly. Roll out each piece to an 11-inch disk, draping one of the pie pan and placing the other on a piece of parchment. Refrigerate while making the filling.

Speaking of filling…here’s where you can bake with confidence with Central Farm Markets fruit vendors offering jarred fruits and even pre-made pie fillings. There are also plenty of fresh ingredients for pie – apples, pears, pumpkin, sweet potato, ricotta…and ingredients for savory dishes, such as Shepherd’s Pie abounds!

Speaking of…here’s my basic recipe for Farmer’s Pie. Flavors and ingredients are of your choosing of whatever is available at the markets. The combinations are endless. They are easy to make ahead and freeze well.

Farmer’s Savory Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 9-inch pie crusts
  • 1 pound ground meat or loose sausage
  • 4 cups diced assorted winter vegetables (carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, kale, fennel bulb, mushrooms)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium potato (white or sweet), cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup grated/crumbled cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh herbs
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Brown meat with onion and garlic in skillet. Add butter, vegetables and herbs, sauté until tender and most of liquid has cooked off.

Place one crust in pie dish.

Pour meat mixture in pie crust, add cheese and top with second crust and pinch closed.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

If all this seems like too much for you and you’re still craving pie, there are plenty of bakers at the markets offering several different varieties of pies that can meet your holiday needs.

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