To eat really beautiful produce and the tastiest of meats you have to travel a thousand miles from the heartland to the coasts of this country.
There people are willing to pay what it costs to grow fruits and vegetables for quality, not quantity.
Not to mention the weather permits year-round harvesting and more delicate varietals.
Before all you dedicated organic farmers get in a tizzy, I don’t mean to say there is nothing good to be had in the middle of America (I grow some pretty fantastic heirloom tomatoes in my own backyard).
I’m just saying it always boggles my mind that I eat better further from the field.
Example A: this pie.
Fresh-picked wild blackberries.
Lard from a locally-raised Berkshire pig—I’ll admit that lard was ridiculously expensive, but my it tasted good.
These are the things easily accessible in San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles.
I live in North Dakota, fresh lard should not be hard to find. I know someone is raising a pig somewhere around here.
Maybe I just don’t know where to find it. I’d be forever grateful to the person who would let me in on the lard stash.
Good thing this pie can be reproduced using homegrown raspberries (which I can get here) and vegetable shortening or butter.
Even better this pie is extra fantastic due to something not grown in the ground at all—anise extract.
You must from this day forward add anise extract to any pie, cobbler, or crisp containing berries, you will never regret it.
And lastly a word about making the pie crust.
I like to divide the ingredients in half and make the dough in two batches.
I think it is much easier to handle this way, but you can absolutely make one big batch and divide the dough into two pieces after mixing it together.