An article about the Pitchfork Pie Stand BHG July 2013 caught my interest. I did a bit of sleuthing to learn more and found the following information fascinating.
The American Gothic House, also known as the Dibble House, is a house in Eldon, Iowa designed in the Gothic Revival style with a distinctive upper window. It was the backdrop of the 1930 painting American Gothic by Grant Wood. It is generally considered Wood's most famous work and among the most recognized paintings in twentieth century American Art. The painting has been the model for hundreds of parodies in every creative medium imaginable since 1930 when it was first painted. Grant Wood, who observed the house only once in his lifetime, made only an initial sketch of the house and then completed American Gothic at his studio in Cedar Rapids.
Wood's painting portrays Wood's sister Nan and his dentist Dr. B.H. McKeeby in front of the Dibble House. The original painting is now housed at the Art Institute of Chicago.
First owned by Eldon resident Charles Dibble after its construction in 1881 and 1882, the home was (with one 1897 exception) a private residence until the late twentieth century. After a thirty-year preservation effort culminated with the donation of the house in 1991 to the State Historical Society of Iowa, the site now includes the original house in its 1930 form and a visitors center.
In 2001 Beth Howard quit a lucrative web producing job to bake pies at a gourmet deli in Malibu, California. While she enjoyed her new found status as “pie baker to the stars” she couldn’t pay her rent on her baker’s salary. Still, she recognized how happy pie made people and watching Robert Downey Jr. devour her apple pie
The Pitchfork Pie Stand is open summer weekends inside the American Gothic House, Saturdays & Sundays, 12 to 5 pm, until Labor Day.
- 3 cups pitted fresh or thawed frozen unsweetened tart cherries with their juices
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2-3 TB. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 2 TB. orange juice
- optional 1 TB cherry preserves and 1 TB cherry brandy
- 3-1/2 cups of blueberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 TB. lemon juice
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 3-1/2 cup chopped peaches
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 TB. cornstarch
- 1 TB. butter
- 1 TB. lemon juice
- 1/4 -1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- optional 1 tsp. peach schnapps
- In a large saucepan combine cornstarch with juice and blend well
- Add rest of ingredients listed under the fruit filling of your choice to cornstarch mixture
- Cook over medium heat till thickened and bubbly
- Remove from heat if adding cherry brandy to cherry filling or peach schnapps to peach filling stir in at this time
- Set aside to cool and pour into a bowl and chill 2 hours before making the pies