I recently took a day trip to the King Arthur Flour company located in Norwich, Vermont. Their beautiful building is located just over the Connecticut River from Hanover, NH and boasts a state-of-the-art cooking school, an amazing bakery and store. The day I visited, I lucked out and was able to snag the last seat in the Winter Pies and Tarts class which was a four hour class on making the perfect pie crust and an elegant chocolate tart. I learned a few tips and tricks to help make my pie crusts flakier and walked out with a 9 inch apple pie and chocolate tart. Dinner for us that night was warm apple pie followed by a slice of chocolate tart!
I managed to take time to snap a picture of the pie before it disappeared! By the way, the yummy pie is sitting on top of one of Matt Mead’s lovely European style table runners. My mom, sister and I attended Matt’s Holiday Open House in Concord and purchased some beautiful items from his personal collection as well as the table runner. Stop by his blog for inspiration, great recipes, and to pre-order his new book, Recycled Style. Shop local when you can!
King Arthur Apple Pie
5 firm medium apples
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon(King Arthur used a Vietnamese Cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pastry for one 9-inch double crust pie
Peel, core and slice apples and place them in a medium bowl.
Sprinkle the sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt over the apples and toss lightly until the apples are completely coated.
Roll out half the pastry dough and place in a 9-inch pie plate.
Spoon filling into pastry shell
Roll out the remaining dough and place it over the apples. Seal and crimp the crust and vent the top of the pie.
Bake the pie in a pre-heated 375 degree oven, until it is golden brown and bubbly, about an hour.
Pie Pastry Recipe
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and divided in half
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl
Cut in half the chilled butter using a pastry blender or your fingers. For a tender result, the fat particles should be worked in quickly and remain about the size of currants.
Cut in the remaining butter, this time leaving larger shards, about the size of dried cranberries
Sprinkle about three tablespoons of the ice water over the flour/fat mixture and mix just until the dough begins to mass. You may need to add the additional tablespoon of ice water for this to occur
Remove the dough mass to a work surface, divide into two equal portions and press into flattened rounds about six inches in diameter. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1/2 hour.
Try a 50/50 ratio of all-purpose flour and pastry flour for a softer crust
Roll dough from center out and use the plastic wrap on top of dough so it will not stick to the roller
To add sweetness to the dough, add 4 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar to dry ingredients and 1 teaspoon of vanilla with the water
Santa’s elves are working overtime at the farm this week baking, decorating and pruning blueberry bushes (ugh!) Join us Saturday, December 1 from 9 to 4 for a day of shopping at our farmhouse and also in the town of Strafford for artisan wares at Christmas in Strafford. Below are a few photos of the items for sale on Saturday and check out this easy easy recipe at the end of the post for a quick holiday treat using fresh local honey and goat cheese.
Fresh Figs With Goat Cheese and Honey
Pre-heat broiler. Halve the figs and place on cookie sheet. Place a small dollop of goat cheese on each fig and drizzle with honey. Place in oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt…yummy!
We are happy to announce that Berrybogg Farm will hold a Holiday Open House at the farm on December 1 from 9am to 4pm. The Farmhouse will be decorated for the holidays and filled to the brim with jams, honey and delicious baked goods. Sip hot mulled cider while shopping for charming gifts of antiques, handcrafted quilts, holiday decorations and scrumptious gift baskets. In addition, we will have gift certificates for purchase to use towards the 2013 Blueberry Season.
During this same weekend, the town of Strafford will be holding their 23rd Annual Christmas in Strafford Craft Fair with over 20 homes of artisans open for holiday shopping. Visit christmasinstraffordnh.com for maps and more information.
We also wanted to add that our ship’s bell was returned to the farm last week in good condition. Thanks to everyone who spread the word and hung up posters for us.
Not the movie…the new cookbook recently written by Fifi O’Neill titled The Romantic Prairie Cookbook
which features many great farms and their recipes including two recipes from Berrybogg Farm. Fifi and Mark Lohman came to the farm back in June of 2011 and we had a great time watching a photo shoot evolve during a 90 degree day which culminated with a huge thunderstorm and a power outage! Despite the obstacles, the results are fantastic and the entire book is a work of art. I can’t wait to try the Dark Chocolate Chip Raspberry cookies from Raspberry Fields Farm, the Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Lizzie McGraw, and Fifi’s own Tourtiere recipe which is a staple at the holidays in our neck of the woods.
March has been a busy month of pruning at the farm in temperatures sometimes 40 degrees above the norm for this time of year. Time will tell what the increased temperatures will do to the plants this season but when we had a similar warm spring two years ago it pushed up our opening date by 10 days. However, warm temperatures or not, we will still hold our annual plant sale on May 5 and May 6 with lots of blueberry, raspberry, blackberry plants and peach trees for sale. Stay tuned for more information.
This year we are planning on holding cooking classes in the new farm kitchen during the summer and fall with help from local caterer extraordinaire Chef Randy Brisson. We will be updating the website with more information on these events but we hope to offer a wide range of classes using local ingredients and of course blueberries!
2011 has been a great year for blueberries. We are in the midst of our 5th week of picking so make sure you come out soon for the best berries. We anticipate having fruit through the end of August but will probably have to close near the end of the month to wait for ripening of our late variety. Blackberries have been slow to ripen but we have many of them and hope to be picking those yummy berries until the end of August.
Our hats have arrived and are for sale at the screen house for $12 along with canvas bags with our logo on them for $10. Below is a picture of Matt who has been our super blueberry picker for the farm this year. He was gracious enough to model his hat!
We have had so many great customers come out this year but we were so pleased to see Bud and Eli last week who have been coming to the farm from Dover for many years. They have been married for over 70 years and love to pick blueberries.
Thanks to everyone who has come out to pick their blueberries and blackberries this year at the farm…don’t delay if you haven’t come to pick yet…the season won’t last much longer!
Below are some pictures of our redesigned Screen House which our friend Dennis organized and pulled together. So many people have commented on it and thought we had built it new this year…nope! It was just an ugly old building that no one would enter…now it houses a freezer with frozen goodies, our jams and jellies, fresh produce and cookbooks all on a lovely antique farm table. Check it out!
Thanks to everyone who came out today to start the blueberry season with a bang! Lots of great blueberries and lots of great people! The fruit is coming in fast with the heat of the past few days so we expect all three fields to be open and going strong by the beginning of next week. The early fruit crop is the best we have seen in years and we’re sure you’ll be happy with the picking conditions. Here are a few pictures of opening day.
Yummy strawberries! New Hampshire is nearing the end of the strawberry season but there is still time to grab some of these before your 4th of July celebration. Check out your local farmer’s market or head to a local farm to pick your own. I picked these at the Monahan Farm in East Kingston and made delicious strawberry and strawberry rhubarb jam for the farm this summer. Check out the website Pick Your Own. Org for a listing of farms by county or head over to Seacoast Eat Local for additional farm and farmer’s market listings.
The blueberry crop for the coming season is looking great and there are tons of berries forming on the bushes but they are still green. Hopefully we will be open for picking around the second week in July but in the meantime we are busy trying to keep up with the maintenance of the fields. One of the new projects we have been working on is to update our screen house adjacent to the check out shack. When we added the screen house six years ago, out plan was to sell the jams, baked goods, veggies and honey from here as our check out shack was too small to add these items. However, it was never very inviting and most customers were puzzled as to its purpose. So we have enlisted the help of our good friend Dennis Johnson who has owned and operated a successful florist business in Boston and is the current owner of Zinnia Cottage and an Etsy storefront specializing in antique and home decor. Dennis has a great merchandising background and with his help and guidance we are slowly transforming the screen house into the new fabulous farm store. Here are some of the before and in transition photos. I’ll post the grand reveal soon.
Finally, we had a special guest who visited us at the farm a few weeks ago. The fabulous Fifi O’Neill and photographer extraordinaire, Mark Lohman were here taking photos for a future project. We managed to provide a spectacular thunderstorm complete with power outages and 90 degree temperatures but Mark and Fifi persevered and the results were spectacular. That’s all I can say about their visit but if you get a chance, check out Fifi and Mark’s latest book, the lovely Romantic Prairie Style.