What does Fall mean? Usually, it means celebration.  Crowding around the table with friends and family, traveling from state to state to get those annual visits in, and the on-ramp to the December holidays and New Years. This year, obviously things are different.

      Yet here stands a unique opportunity: To simplify.  Time that was used in prior years to plan traveling, rush to the mall for gifts, or navigate complicated family relationships is now left vacant. The noise in the background is quiet, and we are now home with those we’ve been home with all year. There’s a hint of something new and fresh, rather than the end.  There’s the opportunity for gratefulness. 

Autumn is upon us and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. At Castle Valley Mill, the scenery changes from the vibrancy of greens and blues to the calm tones of oranges, reds, golds, browns… the softer colors of the season emerge that make us want to snuggle into cozy blankets, sip tea and hot chocolate by the fire, and visit with family while looking forward to Thanksgiving. In our family, Mom starts prepping for Thanksgiving in the few days prior. Homemade cranberry sauce, apple and pumpkin pies, a turkey, grown on Castle Valley Mill grains for us by a good friend… On the great awaited day there’s a centerpiece of wild ivy and evergreens, with a flower placed on each person’s plate. Everybody sits at the table, and going from oldest to youngest, we all say what we’re thankful for and add our flower to the centerpiece. This year more than any other, we are thankful for close friends and family.  With the pandemic, we’ve had to dial in on who and what matters most to us, to choose who we spend our time with… keeping in sight those small things we are ever so grateful for. This year, we invite you to bring home the colors of fall with the flavors of Castle Valley Mill.  From our hearts to yours, we hope you enjoy the beautiful season ahead.

Browngold’s Homemade Apple Pie

1 Double Pie Crust:

2 ½ cups Castle Valley Mill Spelt flour

2 egg yokes

½ lb. Cold, cubed unsalted butter

Ice water

Put flour, salt and butter in Cuisinart. Pulse 4-5 times. Add 2 egg yokes pulse 3 times. Pulse and drizzle water simultaneously until mixture looks crumbly. This step is usually where panic sets in.  Put in less water than you think. Test the mixture by squeezing a handful. If it sticks together, it’s ready. If not, add a little more water. The dough should NOT look like a ball in the Cuisinart. It should look like a bowl of clumpy coarse sand. Empty contents on sheet of plastic wrap. Form a ball by hand and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 hrs. if you have the time. If not, 1 hour will do.


10 med Granny Smith apples

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup lemon juice

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp. Vanilla extract

4 Tbsp. Spelt Flour

1 egg or egg white for egg wash (whisk slightly with a fork)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel, core and slice apples. Fresh squeezed lemon juice. Mix the sliced apples with the remaining ingredients except the egg whites. Let sit for 5 mins. Put apples in roasting pan. Cover with foil and place in oven to cook for 15-20 mins or until the apples are firm but easily skewered with a knife. Refrigerate apple mixture until completely cooled. Get ready to roll! Cut crust in half. We like those clumps of butter. Makes for flakiness. Make steam holes in top crust. When apples are cooled place in a double crust, trim edges and make sure there are steam holes in the top. Pinch the bottom and top crusts together. Then tightly crimp. Place in 450 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes for crust to “set”. This step cooks the bottom crust and firms the top crust. After ten minutes, cover pie with foil, turn oven to 375 degrees and bake for another 40-50 minutes. Pull off foil and brush pie with egg whites leftover from double crust recipe. Or, you could whisk a whole egg and brush with that. Bake pie uncovered for 5-10 mins or until golden brown. Let pie sit 15 minutes before slicing.

By Liesel Fischer