Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dark Days Week 17: White Branch Sugar Cream Pie (et al)

Isn't that a lovely name for a pie? The recipe comes from the White Branch Church of the Brethren in Indiana, courtesy of my friend Rebecca. My father-in-law, who stopped by at dinnertime, said it tastes like pecan pie without the pecans. The local part was whole wheat pastry flour crust and local cream (plus the usual non-local suspects: sugar and salt). I have found through frustrating trials, that to use whole wheat pastry flour in a pie crust means I have to use shortening, not lard; lard + pastry flour = too fragile to handle. But I can use lard successfully if I use all purpose flour.

However, we didn't just have pie for our dark days dinner. I made polenta with milk, mushrooms, a bit of sharp cheddar, and scallions (all local, organic) and then fried it in my own tallow. I was disappointed that the polenta was still rather bland after those additions (the recipe came from Simply in Season). We garnished it with some homemade marinara from the freezer.

Plus we had a spinach and watercress salad with hard boiled eggs and shredded turnips (all local, organic). I've made this salad dressing three times in less than a week now, I love it so much. The dressing is not terribly local, although I did use a local scallion, but it's so so so good that you must make it. I begged it from my cousin's wife Beth after eating it at a Christmas family gathering.

Beth's Dressing

In a blender, combine:
1/2 c. salad oil
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbs. vinegar
1-3 Tbs. onion, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard

Blend until thick and syrupy and the sugar is dissolved. Make a spinach salad with one pound of spinach and other stuff: mushrooms, bacon, hard boiled eggs, shredded carrots, etc. etc, whatever you like. When you're ready the serve the salad, zap the dressing one more time and then pour it over the salad, tossing gently to distribute. Like any dressed salad, this one will not keep for later, but it's an easy job to eat it up!


Jennifer Jo said...

I use canola oil for my half whole wheat-half white flour crusts---it has no trouble holding together that way.

Salad...I can't wait.

Margo said...

Jennifer Jo, thanks for the tip!