Quintessential NC Pie

I’ve started a new adventure: I’m making a pie for the state fair! The contest calls for the use of NC pecans, which is sort of funny, because pecan season starts after the fair is over. No matter; there’s a man at my neighborhood farmer’s market who grows his own and freezes them, and then sells them year round. They taste fresh to me! The contest also calls for creative use of ingredients. I got to thinking: what could be more creative than inventing a recipe to fit what is fresh and available at my local farmer’s market? The quintessential North Carolina pecan pie.

Initally, I wanted to use my grandma’s Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe, but I don’t have a local source for two of those three signature ingredients. Rather, there is no local chocolate (bummer) and the local supply of bourbon isn’t exactly above board, so we can rule it out too. But I have found local pumpkin, sourwood honey, and jam, all of which I’m hoping can spice up my pecan pie for the fair! Local eggs and butter were also easy to find; although flour was a smidge more difficult, asking around at the farmer’s market did the trick, and now I know where to find locally grown and milled whole wheat flour. This pie adventure has left me asking advice from all of the farmers, getting to know the people at the farmers’ market better than I ever have. It’s also led to a whole slew of e-mails from friends volunteering to be taste testers. The tasting is tomorrow; maybe I’ll post a few photos afterward!

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