Blood Orange Strawberry Rosemary Crust Fry Pies with Buttermilk Glaze and a drive through Ohio Amish Country with a stop at Miller’s Bakery

by Irvin on April 16, 2012 · 13 comments

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We pulled up to the unassuming building off of the highway and all of us exited our vehicles. We were on day two of our Ohio Amish Country trip, driving from the Inn at Honey Run to our next destination. But since we were food bloggers, on a food press trip, we were incapable of going more than two hours without food. So a stop at Miller’s Bakery in Millersburg, Ohio was in order. It was there that I found my inspiration for these Blood Orange Strawberry Rosemary Crust Fry Pies with Buttermilk Glaze.

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I had woken up early that morning with the air and landscape crisp and sharp, like only a wet Spring morning can be. Looking out the window as we drove down the highway and backroads of Ohio made me feel as if I were in an Andrew Wyeth painting, moody and perpetually in the golden hour. It was a part of America that I was only familiar with via paintings and literature. To experience it first hand was to be transported back to a time when people didn’t have cell phones, computers or digital cameras. It was both surreal and strangely comforting, like the hazy nostalgia of a childhood memory that I never really had, only read about.

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Miller’s Bakery is an Amish bakery, with fresh baked goods done the old fashion way. When I say old fashion, I mean every dough and batter is mixed by the workers, from handwritten recipes pulled from laminated faded index cards. Measuring cups, hand crank mixers and mixing bowls line the walls and shelves and Amish workers bend over tables stirring dough, slathering frosting and dipping baked or fried goods. It was a true feast of the senses when we walked in back to look at their kitchen.

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Of course, I could probably spend hours in the kitchen, running my hands over the dark patina of the well used baking pans and measuring equipment. Something about the history of each item used there, along with spiritual presences of every baker who had passed on her knowledge, worker to worker, made the kitchen resonate as if it had a life of it’s own. Some people go to church to find comfort and a sense of self, but for me, all I need to do is walk into a well loved kitchen to find myself.

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Of course, the baked goods themselves are all wonderful, slightly sweeter than what I’m used to eating. I’ve grown accustomed to the ridiculous baked goods from San Francisco, where each baker is trying to out do the next one with their crazy flavor combinations. Sumac infused foie gras donuts! Sweet potato chai chocolate ice cream! Tobacco crumbled Earl Grey pot de crèmes! It’s hard to parody the food scene in San Francisco as it’s only a half step away from reality, and one only needs to browse through my own blog to find flavor combinations that would probably make the average joe blink twice. But looking around Miller’s Bakery, all I saw was authentic straightforward baked goods as if time has frozen in 1953. Whoopie pies the size of frisbees, cinnamon rolls generously covered in icing and donuts for a mere 85¢ each. If I had room, I would have eaten every single treat there, and still walked out only a few dollars lighter and several pounds heavier.

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When I got back to San Francisco, I couldn’t help but create a more slightly more complicated version of what I saw and tasted at Miller’s Bakery, with seasonal blood oranges, early Spring strawberries and that hint of savory with rosemary in the crust. I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m a product of my environment and I bake what I’m inspired to bake, which usually involves what ever is in season at the market, combined in random but seemingly logical way (at least in my mind). I’m okay with that though, because even though the flavors are very San Francisco, the fact that it’s a handheld fry pie just makes me nostalgic with the very real memory of my trip to Ohio Amish Country in Ohio.

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Special thanks goes to The Inn at Honey Run, The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls and Murphin Ridge Inn for hosting me for this trip to Ohio Amish Country. All travel, accommodations, meals and tours were provided by the hosts. That said, I was not compensated otherwise for what I wrote above and everything I have written is my own opinion. 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa April 16, 2012 at 5:20 am

Fry pies? Blood orange? Looks like a terribly romantic and magical place!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

Wow! These sound fabulous!

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Brian @ A Thought For Food April 16, 2012 at 11:23 am

You recreated the fry pie… you bastard. This recipe is pure torture… because I know how fabulous they must be. Another great recap!

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Julie @Savvy Eats April 16, 2012 at 11:31 am

This is completely and utterly off-topic, but I think I saw you in the new BiRite creamery cookbook, “Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones.” Did you dress up as honey lavender ice cream for Halloween one year? (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!)

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Irvin April 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

Hahahaha! Busted! Yes, that’s my partner and me dressed up for Halloween. Bi-Rite asked me if they could use that photo in their book. Glad it made the final cut!

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baker in disguise April 17, 2012 at 6:26 am

just look at that red peeking out.. am just fixated on it… how delish were they???

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Irvin April 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm

So crazy delish! Really. I wish I had one now.

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Aimee @ ShugarySweets April 18, 2012 at 3:59 am

I’ve often wanted to do an Amish tour, and being here in Ohio you hear about it often. What beautiful treats you have made!

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Irvin April 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Oh thanks! I have to say, the tour of Amish country is amazing and if you live in Ohio, you have to go and do it! So gorgeous. I have a couple of other posts about it coming up so stayed tuned for those…

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Jenny (vintagesugarcube) April 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

oh wow! i would have LOVED to have been on that trip. though i call cali home, I grew up in ohio and have fond memories…the best donuts i’ve ever had were from ohio. and those pies are to DIE for.

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Irvin April 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I grew up in St. Louis actually, though I call San Francisco home now (I’ve lived her 15+ years) but I fond memories of the midwest. But we didn’t have Amish country. And I would agree with you that I can’t find a decent donut here in California at all. *sigh* But at least we have fantastic produce out here in California, nearly year round.

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Eileen April 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

What an exciting combination! I definitely need to pick up some blood oranges before they’re gone fromt he farmer’s market.

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marla May 4, 2012 at 5:29 am

This is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing the link with me. It was so fun to learn about this trip when I saw you last weekend in SF. Well documented photos too! The fry pies sound wonderful!

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