Eat Drink Local Profile #6: Homemade Pie

Make this: Cathy Erway's Concord Grape-Apple Pie, from NotEatingOutinNY.com

From September 26th to October 6th Edible Manhattan, Edible East End and Edible Brooklyn — in conjunction with Edibles statewide and GrowNYC — present Eat Drink Local week, our celebration of the local food chain through heirloom vegetable auctions, wine tastings, DIY challenges, lectures, garden tours, farm to table dinners and countless other events. Over the next few weeks we’re highlighting a few of the restaurants, wine shops and wineries, breweries and beer bars, farms and food artisans and cultural institutions that the week is meant to celebrate.

The Product:

Pie.

Who Makes It:

You do.  We don’t know why National Pie Day is January 23rd, because Eat Drink Local week is smack in the middle of some prime pie time: The last few white peaches, tons of fat purple President plums, pink-tinged pears and the first fresh fall crop of crisp new season apples like Galas and Ginger Golds and McIntosh, just a drop in the bushel of the 29.5 million apples our State produces each year. (Check this handy list of three dozen New York State-grown varieties right  here, and this list of when they are harvested here.)

Heck, you could even make a Concord grape-apple pie, like the one above from Cathy Erway, the city’s go-to gal for seasonally inspired home cooking, thanks to her blog Not Eating Out in New York. And don’t forget the savories, either: like rosemary-sweet potato, green tomato, basil and ricotta or good-old pot pie, filled with carrots, onions, and the bits of your Sunday roast chicken.  (You do roast chicken on Sundays, too, right?) Also note that all of the above can be excellent — for meat-eaters, that is — when made with the lard pie crusts Flying Pigs Farms sells at Union Square Greenmarket.

Why We Love It:

No matter how crumbly your crust, or raggedy your lattice-work — or whether you use butter or lard or Crisco — a homemade pie is pretty much a supper-time scene stealer no matter the occasion. (For proof, just visit the Flickr Pie Club page.) Fresh pears and plums and apples are stellar, of course, but they reveal a deeper, earthier side entirely when baked with a bit of cinnamon and cardamom into a warm state of bliss, made all the better topped with a bit of whipped Ronnybrook cream or scoop of vanilla. Plus, we like to think of pie as the lazy locavore’s way to put things by. You’ve got all that fall fruit going ripe at the same time, but no time, space or stash of Ball jars and double -lids to pickle, preserve or jam. The solution, of course, is pie.

Where You Can Find It:

Cooling on your windowsill soon, with any luck. But for fillings fixings, happily, there’s a Greenmarket every single day in this city, all of which have at least one vendor selling fruits and vegetables. Many also have fresh butter or lard for your crusts, and a few (Check Blew Farm and Cayuga Pure Organics at Union Square on Saturdays, for starters) have local flours. And there’s no better fruit pie made, by the way, than one with fruit you’ve plucked yourself. Plenty of farms within about an hour’s drive of the city let you pick your own, and some places even arrange bus tours. The Greenmarket’s got a list of their farmers that do right here.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.