More than 50 people gathered at Weaver’s Orchard yesterday to hear Phoebe Canakis of Phoebe’s Pure Foods share her wisdom on how to make fruit pies in a jar.
Phoebe began her session by encouraging participants to “think outside the pie box” and not to be afraid of tweaking recipes as you bake. She then went on to explain how to add extra flavor to your dishes (sometimes in lieu of extra sugar) through extracts, zests and fragrant flowers or herbs. Lemon zest, orange zest, tea bags, dried lavender, fresh roses, almond extract, ginger extract, limoncello were just a few examples she gave of ways to infuse your pies with flavor, taking them from average to extraordinary.
Next came talk of the different options for crusts. “When baking pies in jars I think it’s more visually appealing to see the filling not a jar lined with crust.” Phoebe explained. “If using a dough crust, get creative and bake it on top, cutting out fun shapes.”
Then Phoebe discussed the different options for fillings. She had two baked fillings and one no-bake filling, perfect for the dog days of summer. The baked fillings included a cherry-almond and a triple berry mixture. Eager children volunteered to help Phoebe pit cherries, mash raspberries and add sugar or extracts to her concoctions, which were then brought to a low simmer for a few minutes. Once the mixture was hot is when it would be transferred to a jar. After adding the baked filling and before adding the topping, the jars could either be refrigerated, frozen or even canned according to these directions.
The toppings used in her demonstrations included a lemon cookie crust, a crumb topping and a shortbread topping. The cookie crust was made just like you would make a graham cracker or Oreo crust, and can incorporate any of your favorite cookies. “I can’t think of a cookie you couldn’t use as crust,” Phoebe told the crowd. Just crush the cookies, mix them with butter, bake and then crumble on top of the pie. More information on how to make crusts can be found in her full article.
After everyone had sampled both of the baked fillings, Phoebe moved on to the no-bake filling. This recipe included Pequea Valley raspberry yogurt, fresh raspberries, vanilla pudding and whipped topping, plus a few extra ingredients. She recommended making your own whipped topping with heavy cream and extra fine (not powdered) sugar. Once these ingredients were whipped together, they were topped with the lemon-cooking crumbles.
This class certainly piqued the interest of many of our customers and generated many curious phone calls, so we wanted to be sure to give a recap of the event to anyone who missed it. For all of Phoebe’s tips and recipes, be sure to read her article on her website. Plus, don’t forget to take a look at her new digital magazine, featuring the best recipes from farms around Southeastern Pennsylvania.