Valley Bounty: Pies

Last week, I won a raffle at the Montague square dance—a maple pecan and sweet potato pie! Following gleeful eating, I began thinking about my Thanksgiving dessert menu. The list of possible local ingredients is long—fruit, squashes, and sweet potatoes; sweeteners like cider or maple syrup and honey; newly ground grains, fresh lard or butter, sweet cream. Our local farmers feed us delicious treats all year long, and Thanksgiving is an opportunity to showcase and pay homage to their stewardship.

By Abby Getman of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA).

Of course, if you don’t want to make your own, plenty of Local Hero farms and restaurants will have delicious pies. Find CISA’s list here.


Here are some recipes from local farmers and food writers that caught my eye:

Happy Valley Locavore’s pear almond galette.

Clarkdale Fruit Farm’s apple dumplings are great for individual servings at smaller gatherings.

Mountain View Farm’s buttermilk & sweet potato pie.

Alana Chernila’s ginger pumpkin pie.

Crust aids!

Don’t be intimidated by crust making. Though there is no shame in getting one from the store, pie crusts are quite easy with a food processor. Below are some instructions on putting together pie crusts with butter, lard or an ancient grain.

The Berkshire-based blog, Eating From The Ground Up, has two worthy posts on crust: step-by-step photos for mixing, cooling, rolling, and cutting a lattice pie, and an adorable pie with a heart crust.

Northampton nutritional consultant Craig Fear offers praise of lard, a secret ingredient in many successful crusts. Heritage grains can be good for the gluten-intolerant bunch, so this spelt pie crust from Shutesbury caterer and cooking teacher Leslie Cerier may be a good fit at your table.