Sunday, June 10, 2007

A few new items for the market...

Well, I just finished my first full month at the farmers' market (though it feels like it's been longer!). I'm still doing well, but I think for my own sanity--not to mention for the pleasure of my regular customers--I need to mix things up a bit and make some new things to sell. In addition the stuff I usually do, I made two new cakes and two new pies last week. The two cakes were old stand-bys, New York Crumb Cake and Blueberry Buckle. The crumb cake recipe is Sara Foster's from the famous Foster's Market in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. It's one of my very favorites with a thin layer of tender cake topped with more crumb than cake, which is as it should be. The blueberry buckle is a traditional New England recipe made with two whole cups of berries in the batter and a crumbly topping that all bakes up into lovely, sandy-looking hills of cake--definitely a summer favorite, especially when our local wild blueberries are ripe for the picking. Here are those recipes:

New York Crumb Cake
(Source: Sara Foster via

2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for pan
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 325°. Lightly brush a 9-by-12 1/2-inch baking pan with canola oil, dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over flour mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter, and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes. Continue baking until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares, and serve. This cake can be stored, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Makes 1 nine-by-twelve-and-a-half-inch cake (or two eight-by-eight cakes).

Blueberry Buckle
(Source: adapted from

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
at least 2 cups fresh blueberries, preferably wild

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup soft butter or margarine

Combine and blend the sugar and shortening until fluffy. Blend in the egg and vanilla. Add the milk, alternating with the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt). Carefully fold in the blueberries. Place the mixture in a sprayed cake pan, 8 inches square. Separately combine the topping ingredients (I did this in the food processor), and sprinkle them on top. Bake 45 - 50 minutes at 375°.

In addition to these cakes, I also made a couple of new pies for this week's market. One was a special order for a shoofly pie, which is an old Pennsylvania Dutch favorite made with molasses. I would describe it as sort of like a very dark pecan pie without the nuts. Unfortunately, the woman never showed up to pick it up--boo hiss! However, my neighbor Ken will enjoy it, as he loves Quebecois sugar pie, which is a close cousin to the shoofly pie.

And even though it's HORRIBLY un-seasonal, I decided to make a sweet potato pie. It turned out SO beautiful, perfectly level and just set, with a gorgeous orangey color and a divine aroma. To make it truly spectacular, I added a thick praline layer on top. I only made one of these pies to see if people would go for it, and my little protege, Anna, and her mom, Martie, very wisely snapped it right up! So now I'll have to wait for their review. But I am confident that it was as delicious as it was lovely. Here are those two recipes from my beloved pie mentor, Ken Haedrich, who has never once let me down.

Shoofly Pie
(Source: Pie, Ken Haedrich)

1 single-crust pastry
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
½ cup molasses
¾ cup boiling water
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine the flour, ½ cup brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a fine meal and forms small clumps when you pinch it together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combining the remaining ½ cup of brown sugar and the molasses. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Whisk in the baking soda, vanilla, and egg. For a “wet-bottom” shoofly pie, pour the molasses mixture into the prepare pie shell and top with all of the crumbs without tamping down. For a “dry-bottom” shoofly pie, spread half of the crumbs in the bottom of the crust, pour the molasses mixture over that, and then top with the remaining crumbs.

Bake for ten minutes at 425 degrees then reduce the oven to 350, rotate the pie, and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until the filling is set and wobbles together as a whole (the center should not be soupy). Let cool thoroughly on a wire rack before serving.

Sweet Potato Pie with Praline Topping
(Source: adapted from Pie, Ken Haedrich)

single-crust pastry, partially baked
2 large sweet potatoes, baked
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
scant ½ teaspoon salt

Pierce the sweet potatoes deeply several times and bake for about at hour at 400 degrees (you could boil, steam or microwave them, but baking concentrates the flavor and sweetness). Let cool enough to handle then peel. Puree the flesh of the sweet potatoes until smooth. Measure out 1 ½ cups into bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugars, eggs and yolk, then the cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and spices and blend until very smooth. Pour mixture into cooled pie shell and bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating once after about 30 minutes, until filling is just set and the edge has risen slightly. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Or better yet, add this praline topping.
1 ¼ cups chopped pecans
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Combine ingredients and place on top of cooled pie and place under broiler for less than a minute until topping is melted and bubbly. (I recommend using foil or a pie shield to keep the crust from scorching.) Let pie cool completely again and/or refrigerate.


gabby said...

I meant to write you on your post about the old man at the farmer's market who complained about the price of a pie--you have my sympathies! Many people don't realize the cost & effort that go into homemade baked goods. My husband & I are planning to move from Albany to Plattsburgh (because we like it & want to be nr Montreal, not because we have jobs or anything!) and I can't wait to be able to buy your stuff, as I'm not a baker. I really enjoy your blog and recipes, and you've inspired me to both move and try baking more.

JoyBugaloo said...

Hi, Gabby! (Love your name, by the way.) THANKS SO MUCH for your very kind words--truly, the nicest compliments I've received since starting this blog. And how cool that you're moving up to my neck of the woods! It's a lovely area, and the best part is being so close to Quebec--like having a little France in your back yard! :-)

The farmers' market is in downtown Plattsburgh (hard to miss it) on Saturdays from 9-2. Make sure to say "hi" when you come by!

Thanks again--Gina