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Pies in Southern Wisconsin [+pics]

Pies in Southern Wisconsin [+pics]
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  • Pies in Southern Wisconsin [+pics]

    Post #1 - June 20th, 2005, 9:17 am
    Post #1 - June 20th, 2005, 9:17 am Post #1 - June 20th, 2005, 9:17 am
    Ridin' along in my automobile
    My baby beside me at the wheel
    I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile
    My curiosity runnin' wild

    Cruisin' and playin' the radio
    With no particular place to go.


    Using Chuck Berry as my inspiration, I took the Chow Poodle for a trip through Southern Wisconsin this weekend. Our goal was…well, we had no goal other than to get away for a little break from our recently overloaded schedules.

    Many places to go in the area are outlined in this post, so I won’t mention them again other than to say we hit a few of them and they lived up to their descriptions.

    Some time ago, there was a discussion of out of the way places in Southern Wisconsin and I mentioned an unnamed pie shop that I stumbled across a while ago. Unfortunately at the time I didn’t remember the name or exact location of the place, and now I can’t find the original post to update the thread. I have, however, once again located the pie shop and can report on it in a little more detail. Brass Ball Fruit Market was started in 1951 by Catheryn Lehnert and her husband. The market/pie shop is now run mostly by their son, Connio, although at age 97 Catheryn is still heavily involved in the day to day pie making. It is located on WI Hwy 50, about 5 miles west of The Brat Stop.

    Catheryn Then and Now
    Image

    Brass Ball’s Signage
    Image

    The market has a small selection of (mostly) locally grown produce as well as a selection of juices, including some spectacular peach cider, which I highly recommend. They also sell apple & raspberry juice and cider as well as cranberry, but the peach is unique and well worth the trip to sample (sold in every size from the glass to the gallon).

    Brass Ball Peach Cider
    Image

    As I mentioned, the real reason to make the trek to Brass Ball is for the rustically prepared pies. Pies are baked throughout the day by Connio and his mother and are frequently still hot when you buy them.

    Brass Ball Pie Case
    Image

    The pies are mostly fruit pies, but they also make pecan pies on request. There are always three or four pies in the display case, but if you want something specific, you can call ahead and Connio will bake up what you want had have it waiting for you. On Saturday, there were cherry and blueberry pies ready for sale when we got there. We bought a cherry pie, but ordered a Connio-recommended cherry-blueberry combo pie for pickup the next day to take to my folks’ house for Father’s Day dinner.

    Armed with plastic forks and a knife, the CP and I attacked the cherry pie. Now, I’m not usually a huge fan of cherry pies because often they are so cloyingly sweet. I’ve got to say that this was the best cherry pie I have ever had. It had just the right amount of sweetness, mostly allowing the fruit to speak for itself without too much added sugar. The crust was light and flaky. We ended up heading for Milwaukee for the night to attend the Asian Moon Festival, but by the time we checked out of the hotel the next morning, the cherry pie was history. The cherry-blueberry turned out to be just as good.

    Don’t Forget Your Pie
    Image

    Speaking of the Asian Moon Festival, we stumbled into this when we got to Milwaukee. From the brief description that I read, I expected this festival to be a bunch of churches/community groups from the different countries through out Asia setting up tables to sample their crafts and homemade foods. It turned out to be a festival held at the Summerfest grounds, so the food selection was limited to the usual fest type booth offerings. I will say that the food was a notch or so above what you would expect at such a venue, but that still isn’t saying much. Nothing was all that memorable. There was some interesting entertainment, though.

    Asian Moonies
    Image

    Spinning Plates
    Image

    Spinning 25 Hula Hoops While Blindfolded
    Image

    Brass Ball Fruit Market Distributing Company
    25600 75th Street (Hwy 50)
    Paddock Lake Salem, WI 53168
    262-843-3041
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - June 20th, 2005, 12:56 pm
    Post #2 - June 20th, 2005, 12:56 pm Post #2 - June 20th, 2005, 12:56 pm
    stevez wrote:
    Many places to go in the area are outlined in this post, so I won’t mention them again other than to say we hit a few of them and they lived up to their descriptions.



    Steve, great post (especially as we have our own WI trip planned in a few weeks). Still, I'd love to know where else you hit and what you found. I mean even places I know, well I may not know everything!

    Rob
  • Post #3 - June 26th, 2005, 6:28 pm
    Post #3 - June 26th, 2005, 6:28 pm Post #3 - June 26th, 2005, 6:28 pm
    Steve,

    The pie place that you are referring to is probably the Elegant Farmer that is well known for cherry products and the Apple Pie in a Bag.

    It is located off I-43 roughly 20 miles west of Milwaukee.

    Elegant Farmer
    1545 Main St.
    Highways ES & J
    Mukwonago, WI 53149
  • Post #4 - June 26th, 2005, 9:15 pm
    Post #4 - June 26th, 2005, 9:15 pm Post #4 - June 26th, 2005, 9:15 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:Steve,

    The pie place that you are referring to is probably the Elegant Farmer that is well known for cherry products and the Apple Pie in a Bag.

    It is located off I-43 roughly 20 miles west of Milwaukee.

    Elegant Farmer
    1545 Main St.
    Highways ES & J
    Mukwonago, WI 53149


    No, It's the Brass Ball Fruit Market, in Salem on Rt 50.

    Brass Ball Fruit Market Distributing Company
    25600 75th Street (Hwy 50)
    Paddock Lake Salem, WI 53168
    262-843-3041
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - June 27th, 2005, 2:23 pm
    Post #5 - June 27th, 2005, 2:23 pm Post #5 - June 27th, 2005, 2:23 pm
    Steve Z:

    No, It's the Brass Ball Fruit Market, in Salem on Rt 50.

    ------
    Well then. So *next* time go to the Elegant Farmer, which indeed is famous for its Apple Pie in a Bag--just see their sign at I-43 and the Fox River, westbound. :)

    Elegant Farmer also has some very good 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-yr old WI cheddar, and a number of very high class meat products, inc. an absolutely excellent smoky bacon.

    Door County cherries are *always* available.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #6 - September 23rd, 2005, 7:18 am
    Post #6 - September 23rd, 2005, 7:18 am Post #6 - September 23rd, 2005, 7:18 am
    stevez wrote:No, It's the Brass Ball Fruit Market, in Salem on Rt 50.

    Brass Ball Fruit Market Distributing Company
    25600 75th Street (Hwy 50)
    Paddock Lake Salem, WI 53168
    262-843-3041


    Have had ths post in mind for a while. Quick question, though - is it a
    year-round operation? Is the peach cider only a summer thing? Open on
    weekdays as well as weekends?

    If its still open (and open over winter too), Id love to go sometime - hope I havent
    missed it already for the year. Only about 5 miles off the i-94, right?

    c8w
  • Post #7 - March 16th, 2008, 6:00 pm
    Post #7 - March 16th, 2008, 6:00 pm Post #7 - March 16th, 2008, 6:00 pm
    Hi,

    Stopped in to Brass Ball today to see what I could see. I met the son Steve encountered on his first visit:

    Image

    They were out of most fruit juices except for 1/2 gallons of tart cherry juice at almost $11 per container and gallons of apple juice around $6-7 per container. The had cherry and apple pies like those Steve pictured.

    The son and I sort of had a testy conversation that seemed to be more his reaction than my egging him on. I was asking him if how he drinks and uses his cherry juice. At almost $11 for a half gallon I was trying to learn how to best use it. When I inquired if it needed any sugar, he look quite horrified. I was already thinking of added soda water or apple juice to stretch the experience further. He finally gave me a drink recipe to utilize the cherry juice well:

    20 ounces cherry juice
    Several scoops vanilla ice cream
    2 shots brandy* if you are going out later or 4 shots brandy if you are staying home.

    Mix together in a blender and enjoy.

    *Brandy is very popular in Wisconsin.

    I don't have the impression they have a winter shutdown, though I would call first to guarantee they're open on the off season.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #8 - March 16th, 2008, 8:40 pm
    Post #8 - March 16th, 2008, 8:40 pm Post #8 - March 16th, 2008, 8:40 pm
    Is the Brass Ball east or west of Hwy 50 and its intersection with 45? I am counting the days until I put my boat in the water. A new (for me) pie joint in the neighborhood will greatly add to the quality of life.
  • Post #9 - March 16th, 2008, 9:12 pm
    Post #9 - March 16th, 2008, 9:12 pm Post #9 - March 16th, 2008, 9:12 pm
    iblock9 wrote:Is the Brass Ball east or west of Hwy 50 and its intersection with 45? I am counting the days until I put my boat in the water. A new (for me) pie joint in the neighborhood will greatly add to the quality of life.


    It is west of 45, in fact, it is just west of 83 on the north side of Hwy 50.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - March 26th, 2008, 10:02 pm
    Post #10 - March 26th, 2008, 10:02 pm Post #10 - March 26th, 2008, 10:02 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    The had cherry and apple pies like those Steve pictured.

    Regards,


    So any opinions on those pies Cathy2? I drove past this place hundreds of times in the 70s and 80s, without ever stopping and now wonder what I missed. Not that I doubt stevez, but always believe the more the merrier, especially when contemplating a $3.50 a gallon trip.
  • Post #11 - March 26th, 2008, 11:12 pm
    Post #11 - March 26th, 2008, 11:12 pm Post #11 - March 26th, 2008, 11:12 pm
    Hi,

    I have never had their pies. They were very clearly hand made. While I was willing to buy 1/2 gallon of cherry juice for $10. I wasn't so keen to buy a pie at over $10. The price struck me as a bit high for something I could make myself. Of course that doesn't necessarily stop me, but I just wasn't in the mood, too.

    Sorry I wasn't much help.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - March 29th, 2008, 2:25 pm
    Post #12 - March 29th, 2008, 2:25 pm Post #12 - March 29th, 2008, 2:25 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    Stopped in to Brass Ball today to see what I could see. I met the son Steve encountered on his first visit:

    The son and I sort of had a testy conversation that seemed to be more his reaction than my egging him on. I was asking him if how he drinks and uses his cherry juice. At almost $11 for a half gallon I was trying to learn how to best use it. When I inquired if it needed any sugar, he look quite horrified. I was already thinking of added soda water or apple juice to stretch the experience furtherRegards,


    Heh :-) Ive stopped in to the Brass Ball a couple three times too - usually on
    the way to Whitewater/Madison (94 up north, then 50 west - its actually
    quicker than most other ways). Conversations with Connie can be
    testy in general somtimes - he can be a little short :-) (However, he did
    start chattnig with me about German food in Chicago once, out of the
    blue - and he's been less short since :-)

    The prices are kind of high, and Ive never picked up a pie yet (mostly because
    Ive been on my way to be outdoors all day, so keeping a pie in a car in
    summer didnt seem like a good idea). However I *have* picked up the
    Peach Cider, and can heartily recommend it - its a quite excellent drink.
    At worst you can pick up a glass of peach cider and drink it while
    driving - a wonderful refreshing morning beverage (with the prospect
    of breakfast at Mickie's in Madison on the far horizon :-)... but you'll
    probably like it enough to get a pint or half-gallon I'll bet.

    c8w
  • Post #13 - July 4th, 2008, 10:44 am
    Post #13 - July 4th, 2008, 10:44 am Post #13 - July 4th, 2008, 10:44 am
    I purchased a peach/nectarine pie on monday and an apple and cherry pie hot out of the oven yesterday. All three were excellent with the peach and cherry being a particular highlight. I am going back for a blueberry, peach and more apple and cherry for my fourth of july party today. All of the pie were between $13-15, obviously steep. The proprietor will bake whatever you like with a days notice, ill try and post a list after my trip there today.
  • Post #14 - April 5th, 2009, 10:16 am
    Post #14 - April 5th, 2009, 10:16 am Post #14 - April 5th, 2009, 10:16 am
    On a business trip up to Wisconsin on Friday we made a stop @ the Elegant Farmer to purchase some of their pies.

    I got 2 pies a 4" carmel apple pie, and a 4" apple crisp. Both baked in a bag, and both fresh and excellent. I preferred the pie with carmel if I was to pick my favorite

    Image

    Elegant Farmer
    1545 Main Street
    Mukawonago, WI.

    www.elegantfarmer.com
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #15 - September 8th, 2009, 6:47 pm
    Post #15 - September 8th, 2009, 6:47 pm Post #15 - September 8th, 2009, 6:47 pm
    too lazy to take pics, but stopped by the Elegant Farmer while I was up in Wisconsin on business today. Boss bought me a 8" rhubarb/apple pie, and a ghost cookie for my daughter(both were awesome, especially the rhubarb apple pie baked in a brown paper bag). too bad Elegant Farmer doesnt sell New Glarus beer, althought with how ridiculus their prices are for anything other than the pie it would be $12 a six pack if they did sell it..


    Had lunch @ a small town diner near Alpine Valley, a roasted turkey plate(sliced turkey served over a piece of dumpling type bread, and next to a mound of mashed, topped with alot of gravy. really nice. Nothing sounded good for a dinner stop coming down 294 back south so we didnt stop.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #16 - September 8th, 2009, 8:46 pm
    Post #16 - September 8th, 2009, 8:46 pm Post #16 - September 8th, 2009, 8:46 pm
    Although lacking the charm of heading up to Wisconsin for pie, Happy Foods carries some of their pies.
  • Post #17 - October 6th, 2010, 2:47 pm
    Post #17 - October 6th, 2010, 2:47 pm Post #17 - October 6th, 2010, 2:47 pm
    We stopped at the Elegant Farmer this past weekend. Autumn weekends from mid-September through the end of October are part of the Autumn Harvest Festival with apple picking, hay rides, trolley rides, make your own caramel apples and more. The property was teeming with people enjoying the festival. Wow, was it crowded! We didn't partake of the Harvest Festival options, choosing only to browse the store. We ended up with one of the famous apple pies in a bag that we ate later. It might have been better heated, but I can't say I was impressed. It almost needed more apples to go with the amount of crust. I'm glad we went, but I don't ever need to go back on a fall weekend day.
    -Mary
  • Post #18 - October 6th, 2010, 3:03 pm
    Post #18 - October 6th, 2010, 3:03 pm Post #18 - October 6th, 2010, 3:03 pm
    If you ever want to pick up an elegant farmer pie AND New Glarus beer in one stop-
    Go to the Mars Cheese Castle!
    They have got them both!
    They also have kringles...
    and Point beer
    and some very interesting wine
    and Bea's Ho-made chopped cherry jam from Door County
    plus fresh brats
    I just seem to drop a ton of $ every time I stop there...
    it's all so good....
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #19 - October 6th, 2010, 3:16 pm
    Post #19 - October 6th, 2010, 3:16 pm Post #19 - October 6th, 2010, 3:16 pm
    irisarbor wrote:If you ever want to pick up an elegant farmer pie AND New Glarus beer in one stop-
    Go to the Mars Cheese Castle!
    They have got them both!
    They also have kringles...
    and Point beer
    and some very interesting wine
    and Bea's Ho-made chopped cherry jam from Door County
    plus fresh brats
    I just seem to drop a ton of $ every time I stop there...
    it's all so good....


    And keep rolling south past the Castle on the same frontage road. Just before the entrance back to 94, go to Bobby Nelson's (Mit or Mitout) for some excellent brats (to my taste MUCH better than the ones from Mars Cheese Castle) and a beef stick for the road. Bobby Nelson's also carries Bea's Ho-Made products, but is a much smaller operation than the Cheese Castle. It's worth a stop for the brats, though.

    P.S. To keep this on topic, there's no pie at Bobby Nelson's.

    Bobby Nelson's
    2924 120th Ave
    Kenosha, WI 53144
    262-859-2232
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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