Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pie Fixes Everything

Taken by Mark Ross at Market Diner on Harry Hines in Dallas, TX. Sent in by Nothing-in-the-House correspondent Stacy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eberly's apples, last days of summer, and pie

Vintage apple sign at Eberly's Orchard, North Liberty, IndianaPhotos by Abbi Hoiles Gee. See more of her photos of Eberly's here.

Every fall growing up, my family would drive out to Eberly's Orchard (previously blogged about when by friends Abbi and Michael made a visit with my parents a few years ago), near my grandparents' house in North Liberty, Indiana. Don Eberly, who still runs the orchard, but on a more limited scale, is a local hero former-school bus driver and a farmer, with a penchant for puns and folksy sayings. His apple barn is full of bags of apple varieties (including some heirloom varieties, like Northern Spies), folk art and handwritten signs with witty political messages and jokes.

Handmade signs at Eberly's Orchard, North Liberty, IN
As I recall, there were old metal toy tractors for kids to ride on, and bins of gourds and pumpkins. My favorite part though, aside from using the straight wooden ladder to reach the high-hanging fruit, was probably watching the apples go through the cider press, and tasting a sample, which Don would give us, straight from the spout. Eberly's is still my favorite orchard, hands down, even after my time in Vermont-- land of apples.

In keeping with our family tradition, my mom, grandma and aunt went out to Eberly's last weekend to pick apples and share stories of the old North Liberty days. This is my grandma Georgette, talking to Don at his cash register.

My mom made a pie from Eberly's apples they collected on this trip. Her apple pies always have the most delicious crumb topping. I've never tried to replicate it, because I'd always just rather eat hers.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Muscadine Hull Pie

Last Saturday a carload of friends and I took a field trip to Herndon Hills Farm in Durham to pick muscadine grapes. A few days later, we got together and turned them into six pints of jam and one and a half pints of muscadine-ginger simple syrup. After we were done canning, we realized that there was a bowl of hulls still left in my refrigerator-- I had forgotten to include them in our sauce pot. So I scoured the internet for "muscadine hull" pie (which is really a thing, and a true nothing-in-the-house pie, at that!) and adapted a few different recipes to create my own.

Muscadine Hull Pie

Nothing in the house pie crust
4 c. muscadine hulls
2 c. juice from the hulls
1.5 c. sugar
1/3-1/2 c. corn starch or arrowroot
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. lemon zest

1. Follow the directions for the Nothing in the House pie crust and refrigerate.

2. Remove the pulp and seeds from the muscadines (use to make jam or simple syrup!). Boil the hulls until tender in enough water to cover them. Drain and reserve the juice, setting the hulls aside.

3. Roll out half of the pie crust and fit into a greased and floured 9-inch pie pan. Return unrolled top crust to the fridge while you prepare the filling.

3. Mix together the sugar, cornstarch/arrowroot, vanilla, ginger, lemon, and juice. Pour this mixture over the reserved hulls and let stand for 20 minutes. Pour the hulls and mixture into the pie crust. Roll out the top crust, cut into strips and weave across the top of the pie to form a lattice top.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 45 minutes more.

I took the pie to the monthly Wednesday Old Time Jam at Nightlight, to be enjoyed by musicians, listeners, and bartenders!

Cranberry Chess Pie

Fig Pistachio Tarte Tatin

Peppermint Pattie Tart

Whiskey & Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

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