Above: A good day of picking might just result in an apple crisp pie. Photography by Douglas Merriam.
Farm stands all around the state have the raw materials to make sweet treats and other homemade delectables. Growers are often delighted to suggest favorite recipes. We asked four of them for these.
Heidi’s Raspberry Farm
600 Andrews Lane, Corrales; (505) 898-1784; heidisraspberryfarm.com
Although Heidi Eleftheriou spent a few years running a U-pick raspberry plot in Los Lunas, in 2016 she reopened her original field in Corrales for the short berry season, usually mid-August to mid-October. She also sells berries and jams at farmers’ markets in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Corrales. Buy the jams year-round through her website and at grocery stores in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Kansas.
Heidi’s Raspberry Lavender Shrub
This sweet-tart elixir shows off the fruity, floral notes of the jam and follows them with a pleasant zing. Serves 1
- 2 tablespoons Heidi’s Raspberry Lavender Jam
- 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brandy or rum (optional)
- Sparkling water or sparkling wine
- Mint leaves Lemon wedge
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the jam, vinegar, and brandy or rum. Add crushed ice and shake vigorously.
- Strain the mixture into a martini glass or a rocks glass (with ice cubes if you like).
- Top off with sparkling water or sparkling wine.
- Garnish with mint and lemon.
Old Windmill Dairy
52 Paso Ranch Road, Estancia; (505) 384-0033; theoldwindmilldairy.com
Come for the baby goat cuddling, stay for a flick. Oh, also there’s cheese. Estancia’s Old Windmill Dairy sells yummy cheddar, gouda, and blue cheeses, plus a creamy chèvre, at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and at stores that include La Montañita Co-op and Whole Foods. But if you visit the dairy, you can also get up close and personal with the cuties responsible for the cheese.
Turn it into a fun weekend jaunt with cheese-making classes, farm tours, and family-friendly movie nights. Bring your own chairs, blankets, flashlights, and food. They’ll provide the pint-size Nubian goats.
Goat Cheese Pizza with Figs
- 1 small onion
- 1 5-ounce container Figs n Cream (the dairy’s own chèvre with fig preserves)
- 1 ounce arugula leaves
- Splashes of balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 premade pizza crust, about 8 inches
- In a skillet, sauté the sliced onions in olive oil.
- Roll out the pizza dough on a large piece of aluminum foil.
- Spread the sautéed onions onto the dough. Stir the fig preserve into the chèvre (the fruit is at bottom) and drop spoonfuls of cheese all over the dough.
- Slide the pizza and the foil onto a preheated pizza stone or cookie sheet and bake at 500° for around 10 minutes or until the crust is just turning golden brown.
- Remove pizza from oven, sprinkle arugula over the top, and return it to the oven to bake for about 5 more minutes.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar over it before serving.
Mesilla Valley Maze
3855 W. Picacho Ave., Las Cruces; (575) 526-1919; mesillavalleymaze.com
A visit to Mesilla Valley Maze is a tradition for Las Cruces families. But the maze (this year’s theme is Critters in the Corn) is just one of the kid-friendly activities at the park-like destination. Oversize Gulliver’s Games like checkers and ring toss join the hayrides, super-slides, and rubber duck races this year. In the pumpkin patch, kids can pick out gourds, from itty-bitty 50-cent size to what owner Anna Lyle describes as “$25 for oh-my-gosh-it-takes-three-of-us-to-pick-it-up” size. Don’t miss the family-friendly fall festival October 7–8.
The maze’s Aunt Mary’s Kitchen snack bar offers pumpkin, pecan, and berry pies by the scrumptious slice. The apple butter used in this pie is sold in the farm shop and creates a more complex and flavorful pumpkin pie. A local farmer’s wife supplied it many years ago. “It’s tried and tested,” Lyle promises.
Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 eggs 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 cup apple butter
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon each ground ginger, clove, and nutmeg
- 1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
- Whipped cream and toasted chopped pecan pieces for garnish
- In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and cornstarch, then add next 5 ingredients and stir well. Whisk in salt and spices until well blended. Pour into pastry shell.
- Bake at 400° for 50–55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cover edges loosely with foil during the last 20 minutes if necessary.
- Cool the pie on wire rack. Garnish with whipped cream and pecans if desired.
Cadwallader Mountain Farms
13 Mountain Park Road, High Rolls Mountain Park; (575) 682-2351; cadwalladermountainfarms.com
The Cadwalladers’ century-old farm is nestled in cool, green Mountain Park, part of what was the historic Fruit Basket of New Mexico, about halfway between Alamogordo and Cloudcroft. It is best known for early-summer sweet and sour cherries, which visitors have been picking straight from the trees since the early 1940s. But later in summer come crisp apples and juicy peaches, ripening on the easy-to-reach branches of dwarf trees.
If you don’t feel up to picking your own apples, you can buy them at the farm stand. Either way, the first ones are usually ready by mid-August, and the last ones are gone by mid-October. Angie Cadwallader likes to use Jonathan or Rome apples for this pie because they hold their shape better than varieties like Red Delicious.
Apple Crisp Pie
For crumb topping:
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup oatmeal (regular, not quick-cooking)
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into -inch cubes
- 6 large apples
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and oatmeal.
- Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work it into the flour mixture. Chill.
- Core, peel, and slice the apples.
- Toss the apples with the sugar, cinnamon, and flour, then pour them into the prepared crust. Sprinkle with the crumb topping.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until the apples are tender but not mushy.