SUMMER is here and so is DAIRY MONTH! In fact, did you know that National Dairy Month was established in 1937 as a means to promote the distribution of extra milk during the hot summer months? Yep! There is no better way to utilize extra #MILK than a homemade COCONUT CREAM PIE. This recipe features straight-from-the-farm TEXAS MILK locally sourced from Volleman's Family Farm in Gustine, TX.
I believe in real ingredients, real moments, and real food, so everything I make at b. marie bakery is made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients straight from the FARM whenever possible. Regardless if you prefer traditional or something with an extra TWIST, this recipe is the perfect combination of SWEET, CREAMY, & REFRESHING. Not to mention, this nostalgic, OLD FASHIONED favorite is ideal for any SUMMER celebration or family gathering coming up!
Earlier this month I caught up with David and Andrew Volleman for a tour of Volleman's Family Farm. However, this isn't my first visit to Volleman's Family Farm. A little throwback here -- my last visit was during graduate school when I was working on my thesis project "Efficacy of embryo transfer in lactating dairy cows during summer using fresh or vitrified embryos produced in vitro with sex-sorted semen". That season of life was filled with early days spent with the ladies of the farm, the cows, and long nights in the laboratory. It was a challenging season, to say the least, but it wouldn't have been possible without people like Frank and Annette Volleman. They were extremely gracious then and the Volleman family core values of family and education still hold true and are shown through their children. That part of my educational journey seems like a lifetime ago, (I won't say exactly WHEN), but I can honestly say that I wouldn't be where I am today without the Volleman family. It was great to be back on the farm and have the opportunity to reminisce and reflect. The best part was seeing the growth and vision in person.
If you're wanting to learn more about the Volleman's Farm (which I highly suggest!), then keep reading below for the inside scoop!
WHY DO YOU FARM?
"We love working outdoors with our family and our cows. Dairying is in our blood and we have a passion to provide the most sustainable animal friendly agricultural products. We love feeding the world and providing customers with fresh wholesome milk!" - Andrew Volleman
"Our family has been involved with agriculture from as far as we can trace back. As kids helping on the dairy, to finding our role in the family operation, we love being a part of our family farm." - Andrew Volleman
VOLLEMAN'S FAMILY FARM
Volleman's Family Farm has a strong farming heritage that started in Europe and can be traced back to 1890. In 1993 Frank and Annette Volleman made the journey to Texas to live out their American Dream. Their vision is carried on by their sons Benjamin, David, Andrew, and Daniel who work daily to provide Texas families with fresh local milk. Education is invaluable and each of the boys have either attended Texas A&M University (#WHOOP!) or Tarleton State University, which are two of the TOP agriculture programs in the state. After college each of the boys eventually ended up back home and have each taken on specific roles in the family farming operation.
"Growing up in agriculture creates a drive and passion to continue the family legacy." - Andrew Volleman
Benjamin manages the farm and crops, David and his wife Anna manage the dairy, Andrew and his wife Shelby run the creamery, and Daniel is responsible for the baby calves. Their vision of a family farm that practices sustainable agriculture while still providing the highest quality product with complete transparency and traceability is what sets Volleman's Family Farm apart.
Currently, Volleman's Family Farm offers Farm Fresh Milk in returnable glass bottles through local grocery stores. They have Whole, 2%, Chocolate, and Strawberry milk flavors in both the 64 oz, half gallon and 32 oz, quart-sized bottles. All flavors are not available everywhere, but they are working on availability. **So be sure to tell your local grocery store that you want Volleman's on the shelves!** Seasonal flavors and additional dairy products will also be available in the future.
"We feel that our unique returnable glass bottles make our milk taste better while also allowing us to reduce plastic waste. Our family has always focused on sustainable environmentally friendly practices and now we can offer that to our customers through our fresh bottled milk. Also, since we are in control of the grass in the field to the milk in the glass, we can ensure we offer only the highest quality products." ~Andrew Volleman
Volleman's Family Farm glass bottled milk has no added hormones and is antibiotic free.
If you'd like to have Volleman's Family Farm glass bottled milk at a grocery store near you follow Andrew's recommendation.
"We encourage everyone to reach out to their grocery store managers and request our products." ~Andrew Volleman
FARMING DURING A PANDEMIC
Farming during any season is a challenge that isn't suitable for everyone, but farming amid a pandemic has its own unique obstacles.
"The current pandemic situation has made us a bit more careful in everything we do as we have our families and employees to care for. Being an essential business, everyday operations continue, so we have implemented safety procedures to follow the recommendations for social distancing." ~Andrew Volleman
Despite what you see on the news or social media, we live in a country with the safest and most affordable food supply in the world. Educate yourself regarding common farming practices and why they're used. The easiest thing you can do is talk to your local farmers.
"As agricultural producers, we love showing consumers our family farm and educating them on our vision of families working together towards the most sustainable animal-friendly agriculture." ~Andrew Volleman
The future of Volleman's Family Farm is extremely bright. Their clear vision of practicing environmentally friendly sustainable agriculture will leave legacy that will carry on for generations to come. When you buy local you're not only helping support your local economy but you're supporting your friends and community.
THANK A FARMER
During times of uncertainty take comfort knowing it's everyday people in RURAL AMERICA working around the clock who provide the most affordable and safest food supply. They are the unsung HEROES who we often take for granted. Now more than ever, be grateful and thank the hardworking farmers, ranchers, and everyone in-between for ALWAYS providing. They have ALWAYS been there...and they ALWAYS will.
As you enjoy your family dinner from the comfort of your home, take time to reflect on how that food made it to your plate. Or how it made its way from FARM to BAKED. #farmtotable #stillfarming #thankafarmer #coconutcreampie #recipe #glassisclass
Until next time, check out the recipe for Coconut Cream Pie below and remember GLASS IS CLASS. Enjoy!
COCONUT CREAM PIE
RECIPE FROM B. MARIE BAKERY COURTESY OF VOLLEMAN'S FAMILY FARM
Butter Crust - SEE PECAN PIE BARS
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 c milk
3 egg yolks
1 cup flaked coconut
3 tbs butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 c coconut
Whipped Cream - SEE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl combine flour and salt. Cut cold butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly cornmeal texture achieved. Add cold water one tablespoon at a time as needed to bring the mixture together. Form mixture into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator and thaw for 15 minutes. Roll the dough to ~1/8 inch thick and place in the bottom of a pie dish. Press the dough into the dish bringing it 1 inch up each side. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with beans, rice or pie weights. Blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove rice and parchment paper. Use a fork to poke holes in the crust. Place back in the oven and finish baking for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the crust cool completely. *A store-bought crust will work as well.
Using a saucepan combine sugar, salt, and flour. Slowly add milk and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring occasionally. Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks. Add some of the saucepan mixture to the eggs and temper. Slowly add the egg mixture to the saucepan and boil for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, coconut, and butter. Cool completely. Place mixture in the pie shell.
Top the pie with meringue and 1/4 cup of coconut. Bake at 350 until meringue and coconut are golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into slices and ENJOY!