Cashiers Farmers Market and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with a Fresh Blackberry Sauce
This post is my third in a series of posts about nifty little places in the Highlands, North Carolina area. In addition, I have a recipe that is berry berry good! (I apologize for that, but just couldn’t resist…)
The Cashiers Farmers Market is located in (big surprise!) Cashiers, North Carolina at what is known as the “crossroads.” Cashiers is about 20 minutes east of Highlands on Hwy. 64.
This has been one of my favorite places to stop ever since we have lived in this area. The owners, Tom and Robin Crawford, have expanded the selection of produce and specialty foods over the years. You can find wonderful homemade items here (such as jams, breads and cheeses) as well as some imported products (like pastas and olive oils).
Robin, who is originally from Florida, came to camp in Cashiers as a young girl. She and Tom loved the area so much they decided to start a business here. As with many people who come up to this mountain area as a child, they return as adults and bring their own children and grandchildren to experience life in the mountains. This is a family business that her children are involved in as well.
The market is open from April to December. Robin told me that the produce begins to arrive from Florida when they first open, then from Georgia and of course, they have those fabulous peaches from South Carolina. However, once the summer arrives, more local produce is brought in.
One of the primary reasons I love to stop here is to see B.B. the pig and their Golden Retriever Copper what has come in that is special that day. Their market days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, so I try to stop in on those days to see what goodies they were able to find. In addition to my usual purchases of fresh corn, heirloom tomatoes and fruit, this is the only place where I can purchase haricots verts, baby vegetables and micro greens.
I bought these fabulous local blackberries last Saturday at the Cashiers Farmers Market. They were just beautiful, so they had to come home with me. They truly are one of Summer’s special gifts! There is a recipe with them at the end of the post.
I seriously do like to stop and see the pig. What can I say…I am easily amused.
Some of my favorite specialty foods that they sell are Charleston Favorites Stone Ground Grits (which I used in my Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with a Bourbon Glaze and Old Amsterdam Grits), local goat cheese by Dark Cove Pottery and Farm (a highly sought after local favorite) and the gorgeous desserts from Caroletta’s Cakes (which are not on my diet plan, but are fun to drool over!).
Larry operates Charleston Seafood (which was a new addition a few years ago). He brings in fresh seafood from the East Coast on the weekends. Good, fresh seafood is difficult to find in the mountains, so it’s nice to have access to it while in town. Besides, Larry is really neat to chat with.
Robin says that every year as the produce begins to arrive, the people come as well and then as the produce fades away, so do the people with the changing of the seasons. The arrival of pumpkins in the fall marks the beginning of the end of their season and the local people really do not like the passing of fall because it means that hinter is not far behind. The Highlands-Cashiers plateau is home to many seasonal businesses such as this farmers market, so everything changes here when the colder months set in.
I hope that you will stop by this little gem in the mountains of North Carolina if you ever head this way. This truly is a special spot that is unlike any other farmers market that I have seen.
I also hope that you enjoy this incredibly delicious dessert recipe. I made a fresh, no-cook blackberry sauce with these beautiful, fresh berries that I picked up at the Cashiers Farmers Market. I then made homemade vanilla ice cream to go along with it. Oh my, this might just be one of the best desserts ever!
I was not planning to make ice cream, but Roger refused to eat the low-fat Haagen-Dazs frozen yogurt that I bought requested homemade ice cream. I didn’t have whole milk (as I usually make it with), so I substituted skim milk with a little heavy cream for the whole milk and it turned out beautifully. In fact, we thought this was the best version of this particular recipe that I have made.
How can any homemade ice cream not be awesome, especially with a fresh fruit sauce?!
Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh No-cook Blackberry Sauce
Makes 1 quart ice cream
Makes 1 quart ice cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus enough skim milk to equal 1 2/3 cups
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Fresh No-cook Blackberry Sauce
1 pint fresh blackberries
Sugar to taste
For ice cream:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until thick and pale yellow. Beat in the flour and salt and set aside.
Bring the 1 2/3 cups of heavy cream and skim milk mixture to a simmer in a medium heavy saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until the custard thickens slightly (it should coat the back of a spoon). Do not let the mixture boil or you will have scrambled eggs.
Pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly. Add the cream and vanilla. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled or overnight. I prefer to let mine chill overnight.
Stir the chilled custard mixture and then freeze in your ice cream machine, according to the manufacturer’s directions. This ice cream is delicious when it is at soft-serve stage. You can also freeze the ice cream for a firmer texture.
For blackberry sauce:
Process the blackberries in a food processor until smooth. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh sieve. Be sure to push as much fruit through as possible with a spatula or the back of a spoon, just leaving behind the seeds. Sweeten to taste. I only used a heaping teaspoon of sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use. This will hold for several days in the refrigerator. It is a delicious topping for ice cream and pancakes. It is also delightful mixed in with fruit smoothies.