When it comes to making pies, it seems like a good deal of recipe writers stress the importance of using local fruits for apple pies and local cheese and vegetables for quiche.
What often doesn’t make the list is local flour. Many recipes simply call for pastry, AP or bread flour without a mention to seek out wheat farmers or local millers.
Of course this is totally understandable. Local grain economies have not roared back in any critical mass and are a mixed bag. They are either resurgent, trying to regrow or totally non-existent. So depending on where you live, local fruits (or local apples here in New York State) are likely more readily available than local wheat is.
A big reason we bought our stone mill was to try to fill that gap and be able to offer more local flour to our community and support our wheat farmers: a mini local grain economy on a human scale.
Organic Pastry Flour
Speaking of wheat farmers, ADK Hay & Organic Grains in Essex, NY just bagged us up a few hundred pounds of their 2020 Frederick wheat, a soft white winter wheat variety perfect for pastry flour.
As bakers much more familiar with breads, we came away with great tips for a flaky crust and also a new appreciation for the rustic simplicity of a whole grain pie crust.
Being slightly intimidated by the art of pie, as long as you have good ingredients and keep them on the chilled side, pie crusts need not be overly complicated.
In short, local 🌾 + new skills will equal some yummy pies 🥧.