Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Peach fried at Hilltop Travel Center.

Here's a great unexpected find.  Traveling over the July 4th holiday, we stopped in at the Hilltop Travel Center north of I-40 on I-540 to catch a drink and a snack for the road.  These big nine inch long fried pies were on a rack right by the register.  Turns out the girl who works in the little deli there gets up and makes them each morning.  The peach pie was full of fresh, stringy peaches... and was gone before we could photograph it out of the package.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cushaw pie at William's Tavern Restaurant.

Here's a south Arkansas delicacy called Cushaw Pie. It's made from a goose-necked squash that's green with white or yellow stripes. What memories that evoked! So, for you pie lovers, here's a recipe.

And if you want a slice like this, head to William's Tavern Restaurant at Historic Washington State Park near Hope.

Cushaw Pie.  (Kat Robinson)
Cushaw Pie

2 cups prepared cushaw squash puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces evaporated milk
Single pie crust 

Combine cushaw squash puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla then beat lightly with a whisk. Stir in evaporated milk. Mix well. Pour into a pastry-lined pie plate. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 375-degrees for 50-60 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Chill before serving.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Peach at Ventris Trail's End Resort.

It may not be even close to the beaten path, but the folks at Ventris Trail's End Resort on Beaver Lake know what they're doing. Six years ago they opened a little cafe inside the main lodge of the resort. Decorated in white and red, the place sports burgers and lunches and even wine and beer.

But your goal, should you choose to accept it, is to drive out down the peninsula from Garfield, off the paved road and out onto the tendril of a peninsula, climb the stairs and eat here. And when you go, get a pie. The crust is delicate and handmade, and the pies come in a variety of sorts -- from coconut cream and banana cream to delights such as those posted here.

The upper photo shows the peach pie and the strawberry rhubarb pie. The lower one showcases the peach pie. This isn't from a can, that's for sure. It's seasonal peaches. How can you tell? One is by texture -- there's a certain slight stringy consistency to local handpicked peaches you don't get from cling peaches. Two is by color -- look at the pinking. That comes from the bit around the pit.

How's it taste? Heavenly. A perfect early summer pie.