Yesterday morning I arrived at Coonamessett Farm in Falmouth at the commence of the work day. Tanned summer farm hands bustled in and out of the farm store and café with armloads of cabbage, kale, leeks, and cauliflower. Horse and rider pairs trotted by a fenced in enclosure outside, and the bray of a spirited donkey echoed across the grass.
I had found the farm first online; as one of the few Cape farms to offer a steady supply of pick-your-own produce, it had been on my list of places to visit for quite some time before my gas tank and I finally mustered to the cause.
We were not disappointed. For a fee of eight dollars, I was allowed to make my way past the shelves of fresh baked bread, through the porch of the busy café, and into the "clubhouse" to pick up picking supplies. I grabbed a flat of pint boxes and headed to the raspberry patch.
The back left hand field of the farm boasted about 15 rows of berries, enough to fill my eight boxes in an hour's time. The conical stems yielded fruit easily. I ate as I picked, crushing juicy red flesh and seed between my teeth and finally making my way with stained hands back through the rows towards the store counter.
As I walked, I couldn't resist pulling up a few bunching leeks. Then a head of cauliflower caught me eye, and one of red cabbage, and finally a few budding eggplant and a handful of green peppers. By the time I made it to the register, I had a few boxes of hothouse tomatoes, too.
By the time I made it home, the raspberries were already beginning to soften. I rolled out a crust and began making a pie. A seventies era version of the Joy of Cooking suggested combining the berries with currants; I tossed in a mixed cup of the small red fruit and gooseberries, and crushed all three together. The pie emerged an hour later, filling the room with a sweet red steam and begging for a fork.
I was happy to oblige.
RASPBERRY, GOOSEBERRY, CURRANT PIE
Makes one pie
Mix 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons chilled butter; mix well with a pastry cutter. Add 4-5 tablespoons ice cold water until the dough forms a ball. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and roll out dough for crust bottom. Cut off edges and set aside for lattice top.
In a separate bowl, mix 3 cups raspberries and 1 cup mixed gooseberries and currants with 2/3 cup sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, and 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice. Mix well until all sugar and flour are absorbed. Pour into pie bottom. Roll out remaining dough and cut into strips; weave into lattice top.
Bake 30 minutes at 425 and then turn temperature down to 350. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling has set. Enjoy hot or cold with vanilla ice cream.