I took a road trip last week, with a friend enjoys random drives to beautiful places (not to be confused with a shopping or strip mall). My mission was to pick up fruit butter to stock my online and local Pure Food Pantry (locally at Allison’s Clothing Co. in West Reading and Junk to Jazz in Shillington). I was not expecting to find so many beautiful destinations along the way. Isn’t that what life is all about, I suppose?
We often think of summer as the only colorful, bountiful season. We passed half a dozen farms, in the hills of Boyertown and Gilbertsville, brimming with crazy looking pumpkins you could not dream up (edible too), nearly a dozen apple varieties and perennials you can still get in the ground for a lovely 2015 spring surprise.
Apple cider donuts have been on my radar. I’ve been sampling my fair share of local cider donuts and a stop at Frecon Farms was required. In addition to a mouthful of cider donut, I also shopped for other fresh baked goods.
After only one wrong turn, not bad for this driver, we made it to Bauman’s. Is it weird or is just me that the Bauman’s sign reads, “custom cider making & log sawing?” I forgot to ask about that… the log sawing, that is. I was quickly distracted by the local apples making their way up a shoot, on their way to the cider press.
Bauman’s Apple Butter factory is in it’s 3rd generation of family operation. The cider press is original to Bauman’s, as in 1892 original. A copy of the cider press bill of sale hangs in the shop’s wall. With only a few modifications (it originally operated with the help of a steam engine) it’s still squeezing apple juice to this day. Did I mention they sell cider slushies too?
Why did I choose to stock Bauman’s in my pantry? They source local fruits when available and use no additives or preservatives. It doesn’t hurt their fruit butter is a spoonful of something sweet, thick and fruit concentrated kind of amazing. There is a generous selection of no-sugar added or fruit juice sweetened butters. Their quality isn’t just a local secret. Bauman’s is delivered to boutique shops in New York City.
The Bauman’s share recipes for the use of their fruit butters. I spotted a hanging sheet where customers also share their recipe suggestions. If you have never had a fruit butter you should start with apple butter but don’t stop there! My favorite is strawberry, blueberry and honey peach butter. I love fruit butter on warm biscuits. It’s perfect for a homemade dressing too.
Stop by Allison’s Clothing Co. or Junk to Jazz and pick up a jar. You’ll fall in fast love with the beautiful things Bauman’s has been crafting since … well, a long time ago. Happy cooking! Here are two recipes to get you started.
- Marshmallow Pumpkin Butter Dip
- ¾ cup Bauman’s Pumpkin Butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup marshmallow cream
- Whipped Pumpkin Butter Dip
- 1 cup Bauman’s Pumpkin Butter
- 8 ounces Cool Whip®
- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- Mix all the ingredients until creamy and smooth.