Rustic Pluot Galette


1 1/2 pounds pluots, sliced into eighths*
1/2 cup sugar (or less, depending on sweetness of pluots)
1/3 cup apricot or plum preserves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
1 homemade pie crust or 1/2 package (15-oz.) refrigerated pie crust
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon sugar
Yogurt or Creme Fraiche


Line baking sheet with parchment paper; spray parchment paper with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine pluots, preserves, vanilla extract, and allspice (if using) in a large bowl. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine pluots, preserves, vanilla extract, and allspice (if using) in a large bowl. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place piecrust on prepared baking sheet. Roll into a 12-inch circle.

Drain pluot mixture, reserving liquid. Toss plums in flour.

Mound pluot mixture in center of piecrust, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold over pie crust border up and over pluots, pleating crust as you go, leaving an opening about 5 inches wide in center.

Stir together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush piecrust with egg mixture, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden. Transfer tart on parchment paper to a wire rack; cool 20 minutes.

Bring reserved fruit mixture liquid to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook 1 to 2 minutes to reduce until slightly thickened. Let cool slightly. Brush or drizzle 1 – 2 tablespoons of hot plum liquid over exposed fruit in center of tart. Serve immediately with remaining fruit syrup, and  if desired, a dollop of yogurt or creme fraiche.


Other fruits can be substituted for pluots – apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines.


Sarah’s Pumpkin Pie

Sarah's-Pumpkin-Pie-1One of our plant vendors, Sarah Machado from Upstarts Organic Seedlings, is a also a very fine baker and cook. Sarah shared her favorite pumpkin pie recipe. “This recipe is my twist on Libby’s famous pumpkin pie. The recipe makes two 9-inch pumpkin pies. If you have time, instead of using canned pumpkin, make your own pumpkin purée. I like to use Winter Luxury or Rouge Vif D’Etampes (AKA Cinderella Pumpkin) for pies — both have rich flavor and a smooth, velvety texture.”


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or two heaping teaspoons)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 large can (29 oz. can) pumpkin
2-3 tablespoons dark rum (my secret ingredient, optional)
2 cans (12 oz. can) evaporated milk
2 unbaked 9-inch pie shells


Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, and spices; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, using low setting of mixer (or by hand), beat eggs. Then, add pumpkin, sugar mixture, and rum mix until combined well. By hand, gradually stir in evaporated milk by hand.

Place pies in preheated oven and bake for for 15 minutes. Then, reduce heat to 350° and continue baking 45-60 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted near center comes out clean. (It will set even if it seems not quite done.)

Watch that your crust doesn’t get too brown. Sometimes I reduce the heat to 340-345° in order to protect the crust, or use foil strips on the crust which is a pain. But no pain, no gain!

Cool pies for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Pies can be unrefrigerated for up to 24 hours, if weather is cool.

YIELD: Two 9-inch pumpkin pies

SOURCE: Recipe and photo courtesy of Sarah Machado, Upstarts Organic Seedlings

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie


1 lb. sweet potatoes, cooked (preferably baked). peeled and quartered

1/4 cup butter
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla  
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
9″ pie shell, unbaked

Pecan Topping
1 egg, beaten  

3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, chopped   


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In bowl of food processor, place warm sweet potatoes chunks and pulse a few times to break up the potatoes. Add butter and process until smooth. Add condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, spices and salt. Process until smooth, scraping down sides. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

While pie is baking, prepare pecan topping. In small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter and maple flavoring and vanilla extract. Stir in chopped pecans.

After pie has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven and carefully spoon on pecan topping evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes longer, or until golden brown.

Serve warm or chilled.

Pumpkin Pie



1 deep dish 9 inch pie crust, unbaked
2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin (see How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Purée)
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place oven rack in lower third of oven.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mashed pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt and spices. Pour mixture into blender jar. Process until the mixture is very smooth and silky. This step will ensure that you have a smooth textured pie.

Pour the pie mixture into the unbaked pie crust, making sure not to overfill it.

Bake the pie at 425°F for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Rotate the pie after 25 minutes. Start testing for doneness after 40 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the middle. The pie is done when toothpick comes out clean. Cool pie on rack.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Ground Cherry Pie

This is a very popular Mennonite pie recipe using ground cherries. Ground cherries are available in the early fall at Webb’s Organics at the Aptos Farmers Markets.


Pie Filling
1 (9 inch) pie shell, unbaked

2 1/2 cups ground cherries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water

Streusel Topping
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Husk and wash ground cherries and place in an unbaked pie shell. Mix brown sugar and 1 tablespoon flour and sprinkle over cherries. Sprinkle water over top.

For the topping, combine 3 tablespoons flour and 3 tablespoons sugar. Cut butter in until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of cherry mixture with crumbs.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 375°F and continue to bake for 25 minutes.


Ukrainian Apple Squares

Ukrainian apple squares are traditionally made around the holidays to make use of stored apples that have become too soft for eating. Since apples are available at the markets virtually year round in the US, this European pastry can be made and enjoyed any time.


4-6 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup dates or golden raisins, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.

Mix the diced apples with the dates (or raisins), 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and cinnamon.

Mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar and baking powder together in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in the butter with two knives or a pastry cutter. The resulting mixture should look like small peas.

Whisk together sour cream, eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a separate bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly incorporated.

Spread roughly half the pastry dough in the bottom of your greased baking pan. Bake the bottom pastry in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Remove the pan from the oven.

Spread the apple mixture over the bottom crust. Spread the rest of the pastry dough over the apples, making sure to cover them entirely.

Put the baking pan back in the oven and cook at 350°F for another 30 to 35 minutes. The top should be golden brown around the edges.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

YIELD: 16 squares.

SOURCE: Recipe adapted from Ukrainian Traditional Cuisine.

Apricot-Prune Pie

When Elsie Bozzo married the love of her life, Emil Rossi, they farmed orchards of walnuts, prunes and apricots in Hollister, California. She wondered, “What’s a girl supposed to do with all these harvests?” Although she did not have a recipe to follow, she was a great baker and worked on perfecting a very special dessert with her husband’s orchards in mind.

This simple but delicious apricot-prune pie became Emil’s all time favorite dessert. Elsie still makes it once in awhile for her family and has handed down the recipe to her great grandchildren and now passes it on you!

This open faced pie is delicious served warm with pure vanilla ice cream or topped with whipped cream, the way Emil liked it. Enjoy and carry on this heritage recipe with your family.


1 1/2 cups B & R Farms dried Blenheim apricots
1 1/2 cup dried pitted prunes
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pie shell recipe
1 cup heavy cream, lightly sweetened and whipped


Place apricots and prunes in a stainless steel saucepan and add enough water to cover fruit by one inch. Bring to a boil and continue to cook over high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until fruit is softened. Drain liquid from fruit. (Reserve cooking liquid for another use, if desired.)

Place drained fruit in large mixing bowl. Add sugar, nuts, sugar, zest and vanilla to fruit and stir to combine. Stir in melted butter, mixing thoroughly.

Spoon filling into prepared pie shell. Bake 1 hour at 350°F. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream.

SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Elsie Rossi, B & R Farms

Rhubarb Custard Pie

“This pie is typical of the country cooking found throughout the rural South—simple, pure, and rustic.”


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup chilled lard or Crisco, or a combination of 1/4 cup Crisco and 1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream


For the pastry:
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in lard until mixture resembles a coarse meal. With a fork, stir in 1/4 cup ice water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until dough barely holds together. Add 1 or 2 tbsp. more water if dough is still dry. Knead 3 times and gather into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. On a well-floured surface, roll dough into a 9″ circle. Press into pie pan and bake 15 minutes.

For the filling:
In a medium bowl, toss rhubarb with 1 cup of the sugar. Let sit until fruit has released its juices, about 1 hour. Strain, reserving juice.

To make custard, beat eggs with cream and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in rhubarb juice.

Scatter rhubarb in crust and pour in custard. Bake until custard is set but loose, about 30 minutes. Do not overbake.

SOURCE: Saveur

Shelley Family Rhubarb Pie


Start the rhubarb filling a couple of hours before you plan to assemble the pie.


Pie Crust
3 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup soft butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup shortening (Crisco)
4-5 tablespoons water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vinegar

Rhubarb Pie Filling
5 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into small pieces
3 cups sugar, divided
1 cup flour


Pie Crust:

Place flour and salt in large mixing bowl. Add soft butter and Crisco and cut into flour mixture with pastry cutter until crumbly.

In a small bowl, whisk together water, egg and vinegar. Add to flour mixture and mix lightly until a ball forms. Gather dough together, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Rhubarb Filling:

In large mixing bowl, combine rhubarb with sugar and mix well. Set aside for 2 hours.

In a mixing bowl, combine remaining 2 cups sugar and 1 cup flour. With a slotted spoon, remove rhubarb and place it in the bowl with sugar-flour mixture. Mix until rhubarb is well coated.

To Assemble Pie:

Roll out half of the pie dough and place in bottom of pie pan. Place the rhubarb filling inside the pie pan. Place several small pats of butter on top of the mixture.

Roll out the other half of the dough and place on top of the filling.  Crimp the edges. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on top.

In a preheated 450°F oven, bake pie for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for another 55 minutes.

Note: To avoid messy spills, place the pie on a rimmed cookie sheet.

SOURCE: Catherine Barr

Sweet Elena’s Summer Fruit Kuchen

With the abundance of fruits at the summer markets, I like to make kuchen. It is always much appreciated among my customers. I started making it with apricots and then went on using the other various fruits coming up during the summer. For my last kuchen, I mixed cherries and apricots but you could use raspberries, strawberries and plums — I especially love the Santa Rosa plums.” — Elena Salsedo, Sweet Elena’s Bakery & Cafe


2 cups Turbinado or raw sugar
1 cup sweet butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat organic pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 cups fruit of your choice, pitted and sliced


Brush a 9 x 12 inch baking dish with melted butter. Set aside.

Cream butter with sugar till light and fluffy.

Add eggs one by one, until fully incorporated.

Sift together pastry flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, slowly. Do not overmix.

Spread mixture evenly in the baking dish with a spatula. Arrange fruit over it.

Bake about 30 to 35 minutes at 350°F. Serve slightly warm or cooled.

SOURCE: Elena Salsedo, Pastry Chef and Owner of Sweet Elena’s Bakery & Cafe