This post is the eleventh in a series on meals prepared from ingredients purchased from the farmers market (previous post: Farmers Market Meal #10 – Poached Salmon with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans.) I’m fairly new to the farmers market scene. I’ve always had good intentions about purchasing local foods but never followed through because I felt lost walking through the stands wondering what to buy. I decided to combat this by coming up with a plan. Before going to the market, I research recipe ideas using seasonal ingredients with the objective of creating one easy meal with as many local ingredients as possible. This way, when I get to the market, I have focus. It definitely helps that my favorite market provides a sign up for weekly email updates about participating vendors and seasonal items.
I decided to make a dessert instead of a meal this week because I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try apple snitz half-moon pies. Apple snitz (also, spelled schnizt) means dried apples and is a staple among the Amish.
A few years ago, while browsing the book section of a discount store, I found a cookbook called Amish Cooks Across America by Kevin Williams and Lovina Eicher. It is a collection of recipes from Amish communities from Maine to Montana. (Who knew the Amish were in so many more states than just Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana?) The book is divided into four regions: East, Midwest, South, and West. In addition to the recipes, which center on ingredients popular to a particular region, the book highlights various Amish communities within each region, which makes it more than just a cookbook.
Since finding this book, I’ve wanted to try the recipe for snitz half-moon pies. Flash forward to the present. I was browsing a farmers market during my lunchtime, when to my delight, I discovered our local fruit farm sells dried apple snitz. The time had come to try this recipe.
The recipe is surprisingly simple. Place the snitz (8 ounces) in a pot with water (1.5 to 2 cups), cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the apples are soft and look like the apples slices in a traditional pie. Drain the snitz and mix with brown sugar (3/4 cup) and little bit of cinnamon (1/4 tsp) and salt (1/4 tsp) to make the filling.
For the crust, any pie dough recipe that makes enough for two 9-inch pie crusts can be used. Cut each crust in half to create four halves and spoon a quarter of the filling on each, leaving enough room to fold the dough over the filling and to seal the edges. (Note: According to the recipe, I should have made six 8-inch circles to ultimately make six half-moons, but I took a shortcut and made four large quarter-moons from the two pie crusts.) Prick the pastry a few times with a fork to allow the steam to escape and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for approximately 15 minutes in a preheated 450 degree oven.
Easy and delicious.