Welcome Guest Chef Brandon Johns! Chef and Owner of the Grange Kitchen and Bar 118 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor.
Before founding the Grange which serves all local all the time, Chef Brandon did a “100 Mile Dinner” night….and except for the olive oil and spices, the food he prepared was all sourced from farms within ~ 25 miles of Ann Arbor. Brandon sources for the restaurant from farms and producers many folks know and love in this area: Tantre Farm, Garden Works, Back Forty Acres, Prochaska Farms, Ernst Farm, Four Corners Creamery, Calder Dairy, Wasem Fruit Farm, Kapnick Orchards, Almar Orchards, Jennings Brothers Stone Ground Grains, Snows Maple Syrup, and Turk Farms. Now I will fess up that I didn’t make it to that local dinner event, but ever since hearing about it, I had hoped to talk to Brandon about local food. Then he stopped by during our distribution at the Corner Brewery / Downtown Ypsi Holiday Farmers Market. Score! Brandon agreed to share with us what he would cook from the Locavorious January share. To start things off, he recommended a peach custard pie. You can make this pie a truly Michivore pie – everything except the vanilla extract.
I baked this pie for myself for my birthday last weekend, for the finale of what turned out to be quite the tasty local meal. Friends showed up bearing Zingerman’s creamery cheeses, bread and wine. My husband pulled off a spicy lamb, dried fruit and parsnip stew with lamb from Old Pine Farm. With couscous and a side of Locavorious frozen broccoli from Tantre Farm sautéed in garlic and olive oil, we were good to go. After polishing off all that good food, the four of us ate the peach custard pie. I mean we ate the whole pie. Hey, shouldn’t birthday girls get to have another piece of their pie the next day?? That’s OK because I’m going to make another one of these, maybe when no one is coming over for dinner, ….and I’m home alone.
Brandon’s Peach Custard Pie
Ingredients for Pie Crust:
1 1/3 cups flour
¼ pound plus 2 Tablespoons cold butter, chipped
1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup ice water, or as needed
In a food processor equipped with a metal blade, combine flour, butter and sugar. Pulse 1 minute or until texture of mixture resembles coarse meal. Continuing to pulse, slowly add a little water at a time, until dough forms into a ball. Remove and place on a floured surface. Roll dough out. Firmly press into a 9-inch pie or tart pan. Chill and set aside.
Ingredients for Filling:
16 oz Locavorious frozen peaches
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
~ 1/8 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut peaches into ¼-inch slices. Arrange slices neatly around dough until all have been used. Place pie on bottom oven rack and bake approximately 20 minutes to render juices from fruit. While pie is baking, combine all remaining ingredients, except powdered sugar, in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Remove pie from oven, spoon off excess water, and then pour egg mixture evenly over baked peaches. Return pie to oven and bake 20 minutes or until custard is set. Remove from oven and dust generously with powdered sugar.