We are open daily 7am to 9pm
May 17, 2021
by Rebecca Perrera
Apple Pie, there is perhaps no symbol as American as a slice of this humble dessert. Some people would say you shouldn't change a classic. You might change your mind after you try the Amadio Ranch Caramel Apple Pie!
Full disclosure, I used to hate pie (I know, I was wrong about a lot of things in my youth.) Turns out, I just hadn’t had a good pie yet! I sat down with Christina Amadio (over a slice of Caramel Apple Pie, of course), to find out just what makes her Caramel Apple Pie so good!
Let’s start with the obvious, what took me so long to find a pie I loved?
Our Caramel Apple pie starts like all of our made-from-scratch fruit pies at Amadio Ranch with simple ingredients: oil, flour, milk, and salt for the crust and fruit, sugar, and spices for the filling. That’s it, folks! It’s actually the lack of all those extra ingredients in the recipe that keep the crust perfectly flaky.
Commercially made pies often have extra ingredients including preservatives, juices, water, corn syrup, and chemical thickeners. These added ingredients lead to soggy or tough crust and a goopy and runny filling which turns you off to pie. (See Christina’s blog post with advice for making perfect pie at home).
As the person behind the Amadio Ranch Pie Kitchen, what influences you?
I grew up watching my mom and grandma make homemade pies in the kitchen in Illinois. My Grandparents had a small apple orchard so every Fall we were busy. They would peel apples and make pies for days. Then anytime they needed a pie over the next year, they’d pull one from the freezer
Our pie kitchen is commercially licensed, but we still use small-batch and hand techniques that ensure quality in replicating my family recipes.
But the infamous Caramel Apple Pie recipe has a modern twist?
Right! The apple pie recipe is my Grandma’s, but we invented the caramel sauce to add to it in 2016. We start with tart Granny Smith apples and reduce the sugar in the classic apple pie recipe. We then add the homemade caramel sauce we invented to the pie which is made from half & half, brown sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla. The result is a Carmel Apple Pie that is not overly sweet and has a perfectly balanced flavor.
Author's note: At this point, Christina handed me a mason jar of caramel sauce. It is delicious! I could eat it by the spoonful. If a mason jar of home-made caramel sauce doesn’t scream "made with some old-fashion love", I don’t know what does.
Where can we find your pies?
We sell our Caramel Apple Pie at our honor-system farm stand at 4701 W. Dobbins Road, Laveen. We are also at several farmers markets and locations across the valley. You can check out the Event’s page for specific locations, dates, and times. We also ship nationwide from our website: https://amadioranch.com/.
Thank you, Christina, for sharing your pies with us! Don’t forget the ice cream!
May 03, 2021
Citrus is one of the 5 "Cs" of the early Arizona economy (copper, cattle, cotton, and climate are the other 4). While the economy has changed over time in Arizona, the 5 "C" still hold a lot of cultural significance. When spring is in the air here in Arizona, it means the end of citrus season and bags of lemons, oranges and grapefruit are traded in office breakrooms and between neighbors. The lemon tree in my backyard produces more lemons that I can possible squeeze myself!
I love, love, love lemon squares. With a perfectly buttery crust and a tangy, tart and subtly sweet custard, these treats are perfect with a cup of tea! To throw a new spin on this traditional treat, I like to add dollops of jam which adds a touch of sweetness and flavor. As with a lot of recipes, you want to use a high-quality jam or fruit preserve so that the flavor of the fruit shines through instead of just the added sugar. The best thing about citrus squares is that you can experiment with different citrus flavors! Here are some flavor combinations I suggest using with Amadio Ranch naturally made fruit preserves:
You can use any recipe you like but I am partial to Sally's Baking Addition Lemon Squares with shortbread crust because it does not require you to cook the custard before baking and the recipe can be easily halved for smaller batches.
I think my favorite is still classic lemon but blood oranges (also known as raspberry oranges) are currently in season. I modified the recipe to include crushed pecans in the crust and blood orange juice with the new Very Berry Preserves. My 3-year-old daughter absolutely loved it! What flavor combination would you like to try?
Thanks Rebecca P. for this fun blog and idea.
May 03, 2021
Happy Hour is my jam (pun intended). Using high quality fruit preserves in your cocktails is a fun way to add a complex fruity flavor. In most recipes, jam can be easily swapped out for simple syrup or muddled fresh/frozen fruit. Even better is that you can use whatever you have on hand at home to make a completely customizable drink! Below, I will share a few of my favorite recipes, but you can adjust this formula for your own creations:
Shake with ice, strain and serve over ice. Optional: top with ginger beer, tonic, or prosecco for a fizzy spritzer.
My ABSOLUTE favorite cocktail right now is a twist on Half-baked Harvest's Cherry Bourbon Smash. I have tried it with both Cherry Preservers and Very Berry. I just love cherry because it is tart and not too sweet.
You can easily adopt any of these cocktail recipes to be non-alcoholic! A little trick I have learned is to add a splash more juice to up the flavor when omitting the booze.
My daughter loves this "pink" drink of Very Berry Preserves, citrus juice, and sparkling water!
Cheers --- and thank you to Rebecca P. for some great ideas and blog!
May 03, 2021
May 03, 2021
Did you know that many of the products at the Amadio Ranch make excellent ingredients for marinades and sauces? Marinades are a great way to add flavor and tenderize meat. There are literally thousands if great flavor combinations, but a basic marinade has 3 simple components:
I am not much of a measurement person when it comes to mixing marinades, but a typical ratio is 3:1 fat to acid. Too much acid and your meat may become mushy. I also love a little sweetness in my marinades like honey or brown sugar. Sugar adds a nice caramelization on the grill, but too much will burn! These are some flavor combinations my family loves:
When it comes to kitchen tools, you don’t need anything fancy. A microplane can be helpful for preparing garlic, ginger and citrus zest but any kitchen knife works just as well, albeit a bit longer to mince! A handheld citrus squeezer is also helpful. I like to put my ingredients in a recycled jar and give it a good shake, but you can also use a bowl and whisk! A few more tips to keep in mind:
About Rebecca: Rebecca is an 8-year resident of Laveen along with her husband and 2 kids under 4. When not moonlighting as an amateur cook and blogger, she’s working in a non-partisan role at the Arizona Legislature. As a self-proclaimed Amado Ranch SUPER fan, Rebecca has been buying honey and peaches off the Amadio’s front porch since before there were refrigerated coolers, Venmo, and even before pies!
May 03, 2021
From cartoons to your neighborhood bakery, nothing draws in a crowd like fresh-baked pies! At Amadio, we have always taken special care to bake the best pies we can make. We got together with our chefs for some tips and tricks for baking and are excited to share them with you. A homemade pie is a religious experience, and that's why we're writing this blog.
Today we're going to talk all about homemade pies and what makes them unique. We're also going to break down some tips on how you can make the best pies around. And finally, we will tell you all about the pies we sell every week and how you can get your hands on one of our fresh baked desserts. We love everything about pie and were excited to talk about it with you. So let's get started by talking about making pies from scratch.
Why Try Homemade Pie
Baking pie is no easy task. Depending on your needs, filling, or how complicated your top is, the whole process could take all day if you want to make it perfect. Of course, you can save time by buying pre-made ingredients, but you'll lose the ability to add a personal touch to your creation. Similarly, the perfect pie crust requires some finesse to create, and while some brands are better than other, frozen crust rarely matches up.
While the flavor is one of the main reasons people prefer baking on their own, people also find it enjoyable. Between cubing butter, using your hands to knead the dough, and smelling a pie cooling, there are many things about baking that can be satisfying. But if the process is too involved, never fear; Amadio is always here to provide you with a homemade pie cooked with our local produce! We have several locations where you can come and find Amadio products for sale! But if you are interested in baking a pie, we have some tips for you.
Pie Baking Tips and Tricks
Baking a pie seems more complicated than it typically is. People can be Nervous about over kneading or too wet of a filling, but with a few essential tips, you will always end up with the perfect pie. At the ranch, pies have been a staple of our business from the very beginning. So you can be sure we know a thing or two about how to make a great one!
Keep reading to learn tricks for every part of the pie, from a gooey filling to a flakey crust.
The first step to making a good pie is ensuring that you're keeping the ingredients cold. The perfect pie crust is flakey and golden brown, ensuring butter remains frozen and no water is weeping into the four will help preserve this fluffy crust. If your dough gets too warm and water infects your crust, the result will be chewy and more breadlike. While the key to crust is temperature, the perfect pie filling is all about time.
Making sure your pie comes out perfect is all about nailing the ideal cooking time. For the first section, many recipes will call for a short high-temperature bake to set everything. Similarly, fruit and custard-based pies need vastly different cooking times. Make sure that you've thoroughly read the recipe and strictly adhere to the cooking times.
Amadio vs. The Rest
Not every pie is made equal. If you're looking for the best and freshest pies you can find in Arizona, Amadio Ranch is the place to be. We offer traditional favorites like apple, cherry, peach, and specialty pies like strawberry rhubarb or caramel apples! Our pies are made fresh, and we never ship out a pie that doesn't meet our quality standards. Amadio knows that to ensure your dessert is the best possible, we have to be careful with shipping. So the ranch only sends out pies Monday to Wednesday to ensure freshness.
Our competitors will often bake and store pies for long, which requires additional preservatives or gives the pie a chance to deteriorate. We only sell fresh pastry at the ranch, so you know it will be a hit at any party or event. If you decide to buy a pie, you won't find a better shop than us.
Freshly baked pies are one of our favorite things in the world. And making a pie is a central part of the Amadio Ranch. Today we talked about pie, different baking tips, and why our pies stand out from the competition. The Amadio team has been making pies since day one, so we were excited to talk about the different things we've learned along the way. But of course, we started by talking about what makes a homemade pie special. But we didn't stop there. We also told you two of our favorite baking tips. Amadio is proud to have provided Arizona with fresh homemade pies for many years to come. But you don’t have to take our word for it, check out the Kallen media company spotlight on Amadio for one of our partners’ perspectives. Head over to the Amadio shop today if you're curious about trying a delicious dessert made with local ingredients.
May 03, 2021
There are a lot of popular food terms that you have probably heard. Such as natural, organic, or allergen-free. A term you may not have heard of is Urban Farming. This is a term that you need to learn. Almost 70% of the world’s population is predicted to live in urban areas by 2050.
Due to the increase of the population moving to urban areas. There needs to be a better way to provide these areas with fresh produce. So today we are going to discuss:
Urban farming is also known as urban agriculture or urban gardening. They produce and sell local farm produce to urban areas. These farms can be located directly in an urban area, such as a rooftop garden. They can also be located right outside of an urban area. Like we are here, at Amadio Ranch. Even though we are not directly in an urban area, we provide food for urban areas.
The goal of urban farms is to provide those that are living in an urban area with fresh produce. Even though the community may be far from any farming communities.
Not only do urban farms provide farm-fresh produce to the local urban residence. They also provide community benefits such as job creation, easy access to food the farm sells, and food education.
Jobs are important to any community. To maintain a working farm you need employees. Based on the size of the urban farm and if they have a store set-up. There are numerous jobs that are created for the local community. As well as other needs by the business such as marketing, or retail space that will also help local businesses.
Being in close proximity to restaurants and grocery stores. Businesses that work with urban farms, do not have to worry about produce shipments arriving late due to shipping issues. Since the farm is nearby. Businesses may also save money, cutting out the middle man in purchasing directly from the farm.
Many of these farms sell directly to consumers. This makes it easier and more affordable for those in the community to buy direct from the farm. This reduces the consumer's need to buy so many processed foods. Since there are healthy options available at a comparable price.
Since the urban farms are community-based this gives them outreach potential in the community. Here at Amadio Ranch and many other urban farms. The goal is to educate those on what they are eating. Knowing for example what fruits and vegetables grow during each season.
Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season are fresher and more nutritious than food consumed that are out of season. In addition, produce that is transported, due to transportation time, loses nutrients. Whereas buying direct you can purchase closer to the picking date. Therefore benefiting from the more nutrient-rich produce.
With many located in urban areas which means not a lot of lands available. There have been many innovative solutions that have come out of this farming method. In order to be able to start-up and evolve their farm. Some of these innovations include hydroponics. Which in layman's terms is growing produce without soil and can be grown inside.
Many of these innovations have trickled over and are starting to be used by other people or industries that do not own a farm. For example, there are now even smaller hydroponic set-ups available. For those who want to grow things like herbs in the comfort of their apartment.
Since these farms are there to supply produce for the local community. Innovation also has to occur to allow for those in the community to shop. For example, due to the coronavirus and the need for social distance at Amadio Ranch, we added a contactless shopping and checkout at our Ranch. Which is located outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Also, have online shopping available.
If starting an urban farm in your community is of interest to you. There are numerous resources available to help with your business planning. And at the end of the day, all the work will be worth it for providing such a great resource for your community.
To learn more about Amadion Ranch and our urban farm. Our website provides a lot of information including commonly asked questions. If you are social media savvy, follow us on our Facebook page. For updates about the ranch and interactive videos to show you how to cook up your local produce.
May 03, 2021
At Amadio, we are proud to offer our customers a chance to shake up their daily routine. We will always offer fan favorites, but we also enjoy creating new and incredible things with our local produce. Ever since we opened, we have been pickling different things on the ranch. Over time our customers have told us what they like, and now we have a range of delicious pickled veggies. Today, we're going to talk about our pickling process and the different kinds of pickles.
Traditionally all you need to make a pickle is herbs, spices, brine, and cucumbers. Once you've created pickling liquid by heating the brine and add-ons, you pack, store, and wait. This recipe may sound simple, but little changes in the process can produce dramatically different results. Some pickles are more popular than others, but almost any combination of brine, flavorings, and vegetables can be pickled. The most common kinds of pickles are dill or bread and butter, so we'll start with those.
Dill vs. Bread and Butter Pickles
Dill pickles have a classic sweet and sour flavor profile and a juicy and crunchy texture that people love. Bread and butter pickles tend to be less acidic and saltier than the dill variety. While both come in chips, you can also find whole cucumber or wedge pickles. They are very similar but have distinct differences. The primary additive in bread and butter pickles is sugar, while unsurprisingly, dill pickles' main addition is dill!
These two kinds of pickles are the average pickle you will get with a sandwich or from most grocery stores. Most fast-food restaurants put dill pickle wedges on sandwiches, and bread and butter pickles are an everyday BBQ staple. Dill and sweet are two classic pickle flavors that have a refreshing and tangy taste. And although these pickles dominate the market, they are not the only options available. There are all kinds of different flavored pickles.
There are so many twists on traditional pickles that it can be hard to know where to start! You can change pickles by adding different spices to the brine beforehand, changing the brine, or changing the vegetable itself. one classic example of these changes is kosher dill pickles made with garlic to add a more robust flavor. Spicy pepper can add a hot kick to a dish. Kimchi's distinct crunch brings a layer of unique texture to Korean barbecue. When you start to think about it, here are almost infinite uses for pickles!
At the ranch, our favorite twist on traditional pickles is swapping out vegetables. The pickling liquid is a natural preservative, and pickling dramatically extends the shelf life of vegetables. So if you ever grow too much of something, you can always pickle some for later. Similarly, the pickling process can help break down and soften tougher root vegetables. Pickling is a long process, but the results make it worthwhile no matter what veggies you decide to use. But what if you want a professionally made jar?
We understand that canning and pickling aren't for everyone. But you can still have delicious pickled vegetables if you want! We sell a range of different pickles so that you can try them for yourself! If you are curious about traditional pickles, Amadio has you covered. We always stock some traditional dill pickles and our bread and butter sweet pickles. But we don't stop with our classics; we also sell specialty pickles!
Beyond traditional flavors, we have a range of unique pickles. We offer things like jalapeno dill pickles that bring a kick to the conventional dill profile. And as we have discussed, pickling doesn't stop with sweet and sour cucumbers! With patience and the right spices, vegetables produce a succulent and tasty pickle.
Different Kinds of Pickles
Amadio Ranch knows that our customers enjoy their favorites but also want to shake things up. And our pickles are a perfect example of that philosophy. Pickles come in every shape and size, and they have an extensive range of flavors. But some varieties are more popular than others. The traditional pickle comes in dill or bread and butter, the main difference being the dill and sugar content. But there are all kinds of different pickles out there.
There are many pickled vegetables canned and eaten every day, from spicy kosher dill pickles to kimchi. But if the process of pickling sounds too involved for you, we are here to help. At Amadio, we offer the classic varieties of products you love, like dill and bread and butter. But over the years, we have refined our pickling process, and we've expanded to make different kinds of pickles. We offer varieties for every customer, from hot pickles to pickled okra. Head over to our canned products shop to see what pickles we have in stock and try some local Arizona pickles today!
April 14, 2021
Too often, people overlook mesquite when trying to give a dish an earthy and smokey flavor. And when paired with a similarly earthy but sweet partner, mesquite can develop a unique umami flavor. That's why the team at Amadio thinks mesquite raw honey is the perfect complement to so many dishes! To prove it to you today, we will talk about five ways to use mesquite raw honey in your daily cooking. We're going to give you tips to improve everything from lunch salads to your secret BBQ recipe! But first, let's talk about the honey itself.
March in Arizona is a special time for beekeepers because mesquite trees bloom! The bees who collect pollen from these beautiful flowering trees create a honey that is high in wax content and richly infused with the mesquite nectar. Once gathered, the product spreads like butter and has an intensely complex flavor profile. Because of its sweet but smokey notes, it has a ton of exciting uses.
Spring salads often include bright ingredients like radishes and peas to celebrate the return of the growing season. But your go-to salad dressing might not pair well with this increase in seasonal flavors. A mesquite honey dressing is a perfect complement to the seasonal spring vegetables and can help you balance spring's bright flavors with a sweet undertone. But mesquite honey isn't just good in march!
The earthy and slightly smokey mesquite flavor means it's a perfect complement to any nutty or fatty flavor. This profile means it's the ideal sweetener for tahini or avocado salad dressing. If you're sick of the typical maple flavors associated with fall, mesquite might be the substitute you've been looking for. Mesquite honey is a sweetener at its core, and that means it's useful for a wide range of sugar substitutions!
Honey is a time-honored sugar swap, but mesquite honey adds its unique flavor when you switch it out with sugar. As long as you're using more than a cup, you can do a 1:1 substitution for honey as long as you reduce the liquid appropriately. At the ranch, we've had success with swapping sugar and mesquite honey in a wide range of recipes. one of our favorites was medenjaci, a Croatian gingerbread honey cookie. The cookies have become a holiday stable in some of the staffs' homes. Because honey is a liquid, the raw mesquite honey can complement the caramelization process.
Our mesquite honey has a bold and unique flavor that can enhance any caramelized dish. We've found the smokey honey flavor is delicious if you put a little bit in your onions or carrots seasoning before cooking. The mesquite honey flavor is beneficial when caramelizing because you can develop that rich, toasted flavor faster. Our mesquite honey natural flavor profile complements other kinds of the slow cooking process too.
A honey-glazed ham is a perfect place to start if you're wondering where mesquite honey could help you barbecue. But our product is versatile and has multiple bbq uses. Because mesquite honey has a richer flavor, it can add a profoundly complex umami flavor to any wet bbq rub. a mesquite honey wash will give any cut of meat a unique taste that will have you coming back for more!
Honey glazed barbeque fish is also an excellent use for our honey. Mesquite smoked salmon is a labor-intensive process that generates a lot of excess smoke. But our mesquite honey can impart a similar flavor without setting off the smoke alarms.
Mesquite honey has a sweet and distinctive flavor that can develop in incredible ways throughout the proofing process of bread baking. A simple thing like a sough dough bread can produce a flavor combination that pairs great with any spread or sandwich. Our honey is perfect for baking because a natural high wax content makes it easy to cook with. Adding mesquite honey to a recipe will ensure your next baking project is one for the books.
Raw local honey is a treasure for a lot of people. Ever since beekeepers started harvesting honey, people have recognized the many health benefits it offers. Do you suffer from allergies? Local honey can help expose you to pollens that are causing you problems in a safe environment. are you interested in better hair, skin, and nails? Raw honey can be a soothing additive in skincare treatments. If you think raw honey could help you, we've got a jar with your name on it!
Every year at Amadio Ranch, our bees get to enjoy a mesquite bloom, and later we get tasty mesquite, honey. And while some people overlook this sweetener, we can't get enough of it! Today we gave you five ways to use mesquite raw honey and a few specific ideas for how you can cook with this unique product. We covered everything from Croatian cookies to honey glazed hams, but we also want to hear what you're cooking. Buy a jar of our mesquite raw honey today and let us know what you decide to use it for!