When the golden arches threatened to land on Italy’s terrain, specifically to land near the Spanish Steps in Rome, Carlo Petrini reacted. He founded the Slow Food Movement to oppose the growing trend of fast food chain restaurants. As a girl who typically has one arm in the arm of a dirty, dusty urban farmer, I, not surprisingly, find myself on the Slow Food Movement’s side. However, recently, I’ve been thinking about how “Slow Food” might be a bit of a misnomer.
Maybe we should call it “Hustle Food?”
When said dusty, dirty urban farmer and I hit our two-year mark, I showed my love through time-intensive food: Pickle Brined Fried Chicken, Bánh Mì Style Deviled Eggs, Whole Grain Zucchini Cornbread and this Whole Grain Cherry Pie. Planning the menu took time. Sourcing the menu took time- a combination of farm ingredients and grocery shopping.
The whole process of planning and executing that menu was a far cry from driving your honey to a window, ordering off a board, pulling up a few more feet and receiving the food. I understand why “slow” seems to describe my anniversary versus the hypothetical.
However, when I think of “slow food,” I see images of men and women delicately adding floral garnishes, digging peacefully in the dirt, chatting while pouring a refreshingly chilled rosé. [Admittedly, we bloggers are at fault for this all too pristine depiction of setting a slow-food style feast, and I acknowledge my guilt.] When I think of “slow food,” I don’t think of me running around the kitchen in a dirty-ass apron, sweat matting my hair to my face, an already hot kitchen reaching sweltering new temperatures that threaten to rot the hard-earned tomatoes from my beloved’s farm. This, my friends, is why I am proposing a new campaign- “Hustle Foods.”
Our forefathers and foremothers were not sitting around basking in picnics. Even if they were gathered for a summer picnic, they were still predicting weather patterns, comparing notes, exchanging produce and planning canning sessions. Back then, they were HUSTLING. Life was a constant cycle of planting, harvesting and preserving.
Our forefathers and foremothers were planning constantly. They wouldn’t think about a bowl full of green peppers while eating a Chipotle dinner because you know, they were just “so tired.” They were thinking about those green peppers while using those green peppers to prepare that night’s dinner, while simultaneously canning pickled peppers and oh, I don’t know, rearing 12 kids in the background. They were HUSTLING!
So as much as I am pro- the Slow Food Movement, and as much as I am acknowledge certain modern conveniences are necessary, I am still proposing a new term. As much as I am moving toward more sustainable models for using the Urban Farmer’s hard-earned produce, I am still failing. Too much is still landing in the compost bin, and I am still shy about canning (do the jars really need to be sanitized that much?), but with each sweet cherry bite, I’m aiming to hustle harder. Care to join my movement?
Cherry Pie with a Whole Grain Basil Flower Crust
Adapted from Bon Appétit
About This Recipe: The combination of almond flour and white whole wheat flour give this crust a toasty look and a nutty flower. I added flowers from a Sweet Basil plant for a floral accent to the crust. Alternately, use fresh basil or sweet basil for an herbal accent.
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, plus more for surface (King Arthur Flour)
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup organic coconut palm sugar
1 small bunch sweet basil flowers (or sweet basil)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces (recommended: Kerrygold)
2 large egg yolks (non-gmo/free-range)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, chilled
Filling And Assembly
flour for surface
1 cup organic coconut palm sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3 Tablespoons organic cornstarch
pinch of kosher salt
6 cups pitted cherries
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Coconut sugar or raw cane sugar (for sprinkling)
For the Crust:
Pulse flour, almond flour, sugar, salt, and basil flowers in a food processor.
Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Whisk egg yolks and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and drizzle over flour mixture. Pulse, drizzling in more ice water as needed, until dough just comes together (a few dry spots are okay).
Gently knead dough on a lightly floured surface until no dry spots remain, about 1 minute. Divide dough in half and pat each piece into a disk; wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.
Note: Dough can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.
For the Filling And Assembly:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Let dough sit at room temperature to soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12” round. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
Combine sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl, rubbing together with your fingertips to release oils in zest. Whisk in cornstarch and salt until there are no lumps in cornstarch. Add cherries and toss to coat.
Carefully transfer 1 crust to a 9” pie dish. Lift up edges and allow dough to slump down into dish. Trim edges to even out crust if needed. Scrape in cherry filling.
Place the remaining crust over the filling. Fold edge of top crust underneath edge of bottom crust and press together to seal. Crimp as desired.
Note: I freehanded the heart cutouts before applying the top layer of crust. Use extra egg wash to secure the cutout shapes to the crust.
Brush crust with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Chill pie until crust is firm, 20–30 minutes.
Place pie on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet (because it will ooze!).
Bake until crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake, tenting with foil if crust is browning too quickly, until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown, 50–60 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before slicing.
Note: Pie can be baked 1 day ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.