Pie Preparations Part One

New England Farm Pie is in process!  When my friends at Eat Boston and the Grand in Somerville invited me to Pi Daypalooza I decided to make a New England Farm pie.  I tried to use as many ingredients from local companies and farms as possible which is a bit of a challenge at the end of a long New England winter. I allowed myself some white sugar and salt but everything else needed to be made or grown in New England.   

I have made delicious beet and chocolate cupcakes in the past and so I decided that since winter stored beets are good and available and since Somerville is the home of the fabulous Taza chocolate company, I would make a beet and chocolate pie.

I grabbed the last few beets that I had stored from Winter Moon Farm in Hadley, MA and bought more from Deep Root Farm at Cityfeed in Jamaica Plain.  I also bought some eggs from Allandale farm in Brookline, MA at Cityfeed.  I found some Vermont bacon at Sherman Market along with butter and heavy cream from High Lawn Dairy in Lee, MA.  In my pantry I always have King Arthur which is a Vermont-based company and the only flour I like to use.  I also had buckwheat honey left from a fall farmers market at a Mass Pike rest stop (believe it or not you can stop for gas, coffee, and local produce and products in season!) and, stashed in the freezer, were some Cape Cod cranberries. 

First step was candying the bacon.  I cooked spread the bacon strips out on a rack and placed the rack on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven.  After about 30 minutes, I slathered the almost crisp bacon with buckwheat honey and cooked for another 10 minutes.  Then I turned up the oven to 400 degrees and set to roasting the beets.  I then chopped them up and ran them through the food mill.  At the same time I cooked a cup of cranberries with a third of a cup each of water and sugar.  When they were very soft, I passed the fruit through a course sieve. 

The next step was making the chocolate curd.  I beat eggs and sugar over simmering water until they were very thick and then added melted chocolate and butter.  Finally I mixed in some of the beet and cranberry purees.  I left this to set in the refrigerator.

Tomorrow is crust time and pie finishing and eating.

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