Last Thursday four members of the North Iowa Bloggers and I road-tripped about two hours, just south of Des Moines, to accept an invitation to bake pies with award-winning cook and baker Cristen Clark. Talk about a fun day! Not only did we spend a therapeutic day baking, but we got to try one of Iowa’s best tenderloins. Click here for blogger Jeni Flaa’s great recap of our adventures, complete with a list of Cristen’s best pie baking tips.
“Some of my most-treasured childhood memories stem from time in the kitchen,” said Cristen, who produces corn and soybeans with her father. “Learning about food is so engrained in how I was raised that I often take for granted my ability to be trusting — not fearful — in the food choices I make.”
You’ll soon have a chance to meet Cristen, too! This Food and Swine blogger is teaming up with Iowa Girl Eats blogger Kristin Porter to “cook up” conversations about today’s farm and food system.
Starting this month, Cristen and Kristen will connect food-minded Iowans with the people who provide, prepare and serve food. They will partner with farmers and a dedicated team of chefs and dietitians from Hy-Vee, Inc. to share information about production methods, health information and food preparation.
Watch for more information about these upcoming activities:
Iowa Food and Family (Iowa FFP) Cookbook: This recipe book features nearly 60 recipes from Cristen and Kristen, as well as from farmers like yours truly at Enchanted Acres. (Words alone cannot express how excited I am to be included in this cookbook!) Complimentary copies of this cookbook will be distributed during in-store events at Hy-Vee, the Des Moines and Beaverdale Farmers’ Markets and the Iowa State Fair.
Recipe Refresh: You’ll have the opportunity to win a makeover and shopping experience — with food! Winners of “Recipe Refresh” events will be chosen statewide and will join Hy-Vee dietitians, area farmers and bloggers as they shop for ingredients to prepare their favorite recipes in-store while also stocking their carts with groceries courtesy of the Iowa FFP.
Make it & Take It: This dinner club event welcomes food-minded Iowans to participate in an informational, hands-on cooking demonstration alongside farm group leaders, a Hy-Vee chef and dietitian.
Dates for each of the above listed events will be forthcoming. In the meantime, I’m sharing with you the recipe I used to make blueberry pie last Thursday with Cristen. Each blogger made a different kind of pie, and I confess that I was quite envious as I watched Val Plagge of Corn, Bean, Pigs & Kids assemble a Pear Pie! Click here for Cristen’s recipe for pie crust and Pear Pie.
In a large bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Add blueberries, squeeze lemon juice over them and then toss gently. Let stand for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a 9-inche pie plate crust. Add filling. Dot with butter; flute edges.
Cover edges loosely with foil ring.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake 40 minutes longer or until set.
Cool on a wire rack for four hours before serving pie.
COOK’S TIP: Use the remaining pie crust dough to make cinnamon sugar strips. Simply roll out the dough like you would for the lattice top; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.