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The Blackberry Farm Cookbook: Four Seasons of Great Food and the Good Life

( 5 )

Overview

Nestled in the blue mists of Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, the 10,000-acre bucolic refuge of Blackberry Farm houses a top-rated small inn with one of the premier farm-to-table restaurants in the country.  This sumptuous cookbook offers a collection of recipes that are as inspired by the traditional rustic cooking of the mountainous south as they are by a fresh, contemporary, artistic sensibility. Some of the dishes are robust, others are astonishingly light, all are full of heart and surprise and ...

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Overview

Nestled in the blue mists of Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, the 10,000-acre bucolic refuge of Blackberry Farm houses a top-rated small inn with one of the premier farm-to-table restaurants in the country.  This sumptuous cookbook offers a collection of recipes that are as inspired by the traditional rustic cooking of the mountainous south as they are by a fresh, contemporary, artistic sensibility. Some of the dishes are robust, others are astonishingly light, all are full of heart and surprise and flavor — and all are well within the reach of the home cook.

California has the French Laundry, Virginia has the Inn at Little Washington, and Tennessee has Blackberry Farm, where the indulgences of a luxury inn are woven together with odes to nature —  fly-fishing, hiking, foraging, bird watching, and heirloom gardening —  to create a new way of looking at the world, a way in which anything seems possible.

This is particularly true at the Inn's table and in its award-winning wine cellar. To the farm's master gardeners, food artisans and chefs, meals are an opportunity to express not only the earth and the culture of this remote spot, but also its spirit. On a spring day this might mean Rye Whiskey-Cured Trout with Fresh and Pickled Fennel, and the summer garden might inspire a Chilled Corn Soup with Garlic Custard, a papardelle of baby carrots, or a tomato terrine. In the cooler weather, game and traditionally preserved food —  cider-basted venison, a shell-bean and gamebird cassoulet, a dried apple stack cake or  Bourbon Apple Fried Pies —  keep conversation in front of the fire lively. For all its artfulness, however, Blackberry Farm's garden-to-table cooking tends to be an ode to a well-loved cast iron skillet, a backyard smoker or a wood-fired grill.

In the foothills, you don't eat to eat, you eat to talk, to remember and to imagine what you will eat tomorrow. In this book, the stories of the people who practice the traditional mountain food arts —  the bacon man, the heirloom gardener, the cheese maker and sausage man —  are woven together with the recipes, lore and regional history to reflect the spirit of the cooking at Blackberry Farm. Breathtaking photographs capture the magical world that surrounds the table —  the hills and rushing creeks, the lights and shadows of the forest, the moods and moments of the garden.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sam Beall’s heartfelt words and the beautiful images took me back to my first visit—to the Bealls’ incredible hospitality and the delicious meals they nurtured us with. I am excited that Blackberry Farm continues to evolve into an idyllic destination, grounded by its own sense of place and history."
—Thomas Keller, The French Laundry

"Hospitality, generosity, authenticity, quality, family...Life has stopped and our stress disappears at Blackberry Farm. The food and wine reveal the best of nature. Happiness is what can be found here." 
—Alain Ducasse, Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée and Louis XV - Alain Ducasse

"Like Blackberry Farm itself, this book is a celebration of the South and a family dream, deliciously realized. It will take you in, enfold you in a warm embrace and bring you home again to the nurturing hills of Tennessee."
—Patrick O’Connell, The Inn at Little Washington
              
"If the saying 'God is in the details' rings true, then he may reside along the green hills in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains at Blackberry Farm.  The Beall family has created the ultimate destination for lovers of food, wine, gracious service and the infinite 'nice things' that make living grand." 
—Frank Stitt, Highlands Bar and Grill

"I admire the Blackberry Farm ethic — the reverence for place and people, the dedication to artisanal excellence, the trust in long-held tradition, and the belief that, as Wendell Berry once put it, eating is an 'agricultural act.'"
—John T Edge, writer and educator

Publishers Weekly
Big, bold and beautiful, this oversized if pricey title is more than your typical cookbook. California-trained chef Beall (son of the founder of the restaurant-chain Ruby Tuesday, Sandy Beall) takes readers to the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee to his family's Blackberry Inn and farm-to-table restaurant. Through color photos, essays and over 100 recipes inspired by the South, the spirit of this special place and the people involved is conveyed through its well-designed pages. Organized by season and broken down by event, recipes reflect the inn's philosophy of “responsive cooking” and showcase produce grown in the five-acre garden (set on the property's 9,000 acres) including creamed chard; beef carpaccio with summer chanterelles and chives; and Sam's carrot soufflé. Animals raised on the property and caught in their creek are used for such dishes as herb-roasted spring chicken and oven-baked trout with ramps and morels. The stories behind the on-site cheese kitchen and curing house, as well as a celebration of local suppliers such Benton's Smokey Mountain Country Hams, are artisanal inspirations and reiterate the importance of how food is grown, raised and created. With a wine cellar of more than 160,000 bottles, it's no surprise that Beall's astute wine notes round out a title that is most certainly a reflection of “the good life.” (Oct.)
Library Journal
Blackberry Farm is an award-wining luxury inn and restaurant in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee. Beall, the proprietor, apprenticed at Thomas Keller's French Laundry and other fine culinary institutions. His lavishly illustrated volume—part coffee-table travel book, part cookbook—includes over 100 easy-to-follow recipes (Peanut Soup, Roasted Pineapple Upside-Down Cake) with informative notes that blend Appalachian traditional cooking with more refined Southern techniques; there are also recipes for such basics as chicken stock, blackberry vinegar, and black-eyed pea hummus. Although overpriced for small and medium-sized libraries, this may appeal to cooks interested in sophisticated Southern cuisine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307407719
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/20/2009
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 172,382
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

A member of Relais & Chateaux, Blackberry Farm has won dozens of major awards for food, wine, service, and general excellence from Zagat, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and Southern Living, and is frequently ranked the #1 small hotel in the United States.  Proprietor SAM BEALL grew up on Blackberry Farm, which was founded by his parents, Kreis and Sandy Beall. After attending the California Culinary Academy, Sam Beall apprenticed at the French Laundry, the Ritz-Carlton, Cowgirl Creamery, and Chateau Potelle. He oversees the entire farmstead, from its restaurants to its heirloom gardens to its honey house.
 
One of the most recognized and respected food writers today, MOLLY O'NEILL, long the food columnist for the New York Times, is the author of three cookbooks, including the best-selling New York Cookbook, A Well-Seasoned Appetite, and The Pleasure of Your Company, as well as a memoir, Mostly True: Food, Family and Baseball. She hosted the PBS series Great Food and is the editor of the critically-acclaimed "American Food Writing." Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, she has won the Julia Child/IACP Award for cookbooks and was awarded three James Beard citations for books, journalism and television as well as the society's Lifetime Achievement Award.
 

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Read an Excerpt

Fig Tart
serves 8
Fig jam intensifies the fruit flavor in this tart. We make our own jam, but high-quality commercial versions work nicely as well. We like the free-form shape and rustic feel of the tart and have shaped them smaller to make individual tarts and larger to feed a crowd. Whipped cream, slightly sweetened, is a nice addition.
 
1/2 recipe basic pastry 
1/4 cup fig jam
1 pound fresh figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
 
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a baking sheet and set it aside.
 
2. Divide the pastry in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 9-inch circle. Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet; overlapping the two circles a little on one side is okay as the edges will be folded in later. Spread 2 tablespoons of jam evenly over each piece of pastry, leaving a 11/2-inch border. Arrange the figs over the jam. Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and set them aside.
 
3. In a small saucepan, cook 1 ⁄3 cup of the sugar over medium-high heat without stirring until it melts and turns amber in color. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the cream and butter, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Brush the tops of the figs with the caramel mixture. Fold the edge of the pastry over the outer edge of the figs, pleating the dough to hold it in place.
 
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture and then sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the figs are just tender. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into generous wedges.
 
Basic Pastry
make s pastry for two 9 -or 10-inch pie shells or one double-crust 9-inch pie
 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons shortening
1 l arge egg
1/2 cup plus 1 to 3 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
 
1. Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, 1 ⁄3 cup of the ice water, and the vinegar. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a fork just until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

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Recipe

Fig Tart
serves 8
Fig jam intensifies the fruit flavor in this tart. We make our own jam, but high-quality commercial versions work nicely as well. We like the free-form shape and rustic feel of the tart and have shaped them smaller to make individual tarts and larger to feed a crowd. Whipped cream, slightly sweetened, is a nice addition.

½ recipe basic pastry (page 270)
1/4 cup fig jam
1 pound fresh figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 l arge egg
2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a baking sheet and set it aside.

2. Divide the pastry in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 9-inch circle. Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet; overlapping the two circles a little on one side is okay as the edges will be folded in later. Spread 2 tablespoons of jam evenly over each piece of pastry, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Arrange the figs over the jam. Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and set them aside.

3. In a small saucepan, cook 1/3 cup of the sugar over medium-high heat without stirring until it melts and turns amber in color. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the cream and butter, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Brush the tops of the figs with the caramel mixture. Fold the edge of the pastry over the outer edge of the figs, pleating the dough to hold it in place.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture and then sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes, until thepastry is golden brown and the figs are just tender. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into generous wedges.

Basic Pastry
make s pastry for two 9 -or 10-inch pie shells or one double-crust 9-inch pie

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons shortening
1 l arge egg
1/3 cup plus 1 to 3 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

1. Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, 1/3 cup of the ice water, and the vinegar. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir with a fork just until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a ball. Divide the ball in half and flatten each piece into a disk about 1. inches thick. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days; the dough can also be frozen for up to 6 months and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to using.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    Great read and great Food from the Blue Ridge

    Enjoyed the history of the area and the straight forward receipies. Got to try the greens!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    Inspiring combination of great text, great photographs and great cookbook.

    I generally don't "read" a cookbook, but the text makes this cookbook a treat to read. I enjoyed learning about how Sam Beall took his family's farm to the next level. The farm to table recipies are inspiring. If you haven't been to Blackberry Farm, this book will make you want to reserve a room.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    Like Going to Appalachia in Your Kitchen

    This book has wonderful family stories, beautiful pictures and great recipes. This cookbook is well suited as a coffeetable book! You are drawn to the beauty of the seasons which these recipes are inspired by. It reads like a travel brochure that intices you to the hills no matter the time of year.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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