News & Blog


Post date: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 1:31pm

Local Professional Chefs Create recipes tackling some of the more obscure produce you might find in your CSA.

No matter your devotion to eating local and supporting Rhode Island's smaller farmers, if you don't know how to use a veggie it is doomed for the compost. To help with this all too common problem, we have asked some local chefs to create recipes that tackle your CSA mysteries. Our CSA Sleuths are fabulous personal chefs and Urban Greens Members.



Beetroot, Ginger and Garlic Soup from Norbert & Lara of MyChefLara, LLC

Beef Borscht from Norbert & Lara of MyChefLara, LLC

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad BY Chef Deb Fernandez of Home Star Cuisine, LLC


To be honest, I avoided beets for most of my life.  It was not until I traveled to Russia and had Borscht that I started to realize how fabulous this vegetable was.  I am now in love. Not only do they taste great, they are versatile and the color – fabulous!  You have to be careful though – when cooking with beets – the juice of the beets stains everything.  Beets were used to die fabrics for many years.

Another issue with beets that keeps people away from them is that peeling a beet looks like a challenge. Actually it is very easy – just not how you would normally approach it.  The best way to peel a beet is to roast it covered in a little bit of oil in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or so until the skin starts to wrinkle.  Put the hot beets inside a plastic or brown paper bag and let sit for about 10 minutes – allowing them to steam.  Using a paper towel or the bag it steamed in peel the skins away from the beets. This is the same way you would peel roasted peppers. Again, just be careful because the beets will stain anything they come in contact with. If you peel the beets with your hands then I recommend wearing gloves since they will stain your skin.

Once the beets are peeled they are ready to use to make fabulous dishes! You can also simply chop them up at this point and add them to arugula, with goat cheese and hazelnuts and you have a wonderful salad.

Since it is cold outside I am going to share the dish that made me fall in love with beets – Borscht! I am also going to give you a lighter vegetarian option so that everyone can enjoy.  – Your Chef Lara

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

BY Chef Deb Fernandez

Home Star Cuisine, LLC


I have a special fondness for beets as they are one of my mother's favorite vegetables.  When I was growing up she grew a long row of beets and what we didn't eat right away she put up in the form of pickled beets.  They remain my favorite accompaniment to homemade macaroni and cheese to this day.

Beets are naturally sweet, but with the benefit that the naturally occurring sugars that they contain are slow-released into the system, not causing the problems that refined sugars can.  They also contain numerous nutrients, among them potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorous, iron, vitamins A, B, and C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine, and folic acid among them.  Beets may have cancer-fighting properties.  And not only that, they contain boron, which not only helps build strong bones, but also aids in the production of reproductive hormones.  So why not make some beets for your special someone today!

I would like to share a recipe for a simple winter salad that contains beets in a starring role.  If you're like me, you crave some fresh, raw vegetables in the winter, but also wouldn't mind something with a little more oomph and staying power than a light summer salad bowl would contain.  The addition of roasted vegetables, goat cheese, and nuts make this a filling meal in itself.  


 Beef Borscht     

Nothing says comfort food like Borscht. This take on a classic is warm and perfect for the fall or winter.


 10 Servings



1/2 lb bacon, diced


1 lb lean beef chuck, cut into bite-size pieces


1 cup chopped yellow onions


1 carrot, peeled and grated


1 Tbs minced garlic


2 tsp dried oregano


2 tsp dill seeds


2 bay leaves


3 Tbs red wine vinegar, plus more to taste


2 quarts water


1 tsp salt


1 tsp ground black pepper


1 1/2 lbs red beets, greens tops removed, roasted and grated


1 Tbs vegetable oil


1 large russet potato, peeled and diced


6 cups shredded green cabbage


Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 cup sour cream


1/2 cup chopped fresh dill



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Place the bacon in a Dutch oven or stockpot and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the fat begins to render, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.


To the fat in the pan, add the onions and carrots, and stir to coat. Cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, dill seeds, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the red wine vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Return the meat to the pot and add the water, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered until the beef is tender, about 2 hours.


Meanwhile, place the beets on a baking sheet and brush with the oil. Roast until tender and can be pierced easily with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Trim the stem and root ends and remove the skins. Coarsely grate and set aside.


When the meat is tender and falling apart, add the beets, potatoes, and cabbage. Simmer over low heat for another 30 minutes. Season with additional red wine vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.


Ladle borscht into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and pinch of fresh dill.


Beetroot, Ginger and Garlic Soup

Black Quinoa takes longer to cook than the other varieties so you will have to vary the cooking time according to how tender you would prefer the quinoa to be. You can use whichever quinoa you prefer. The recipe calls for black quinoa because the contrast of the blank against the vibrant red of the beetroot looks wonderful.


 6-8 servings



1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


2 red onions, chopped


4 large cloves garlic, chopped


1 small knob ginger, grated to make about 1-2 tablespoons


2 lb 4oz/1kg fresh beetroot, peeled and chopped


Few sprigs of fresh thyme


Zest of 1 lime


Pinch of ground cloves


8 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock


Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


2/3 cup black quinoa, rinsed and drained


Lime juice, to serve


Natural Greek yoghurt or sour cream, to serve



Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions until soft.


Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.


Add the beetroot, thyme, lime zest and cloves and cook for another 2 minutes.


Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 40-45 minutes until the beetroot is tender.


Puree the soup, bring back to the boil then add the quinoa, reduce the heat and simmer on low heat, covered for about 20-25 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Serve garnished with a good squeeze of lime juice and a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream.




Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad


Serves 6


1 bunch of beets, tops removed 

olive oil


6 – 8 cups mesclun salad mix

¼ cup toasted walnuts

4 oz. chevre-style goat cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

Wash beets and coat them with a thin coat of olive oil.  Put them on a baking sheet and place in the oven, roasting until the beets are easily pierced by a fork.  This may take anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour and half depending on the size and age of the beets.

Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.  While the beets are still warm remove their skin.  When completely cool they are ready to go in the salad.

To assemble the salad, place the mesclun in a large salad bowl or platter or on individual salad plates.  Slice the beets and arrange them over the greens.  Sprinkle with walnuts and goat cheese.  Drizzle with Dijon-lime vinaigrette (recipe below) and enjoy!


Dijon-Lime Vinaigrette


2 teaspoons dijon mustard

3 tablespoons lime juice (juice of approximately one plump lime)

1 half shallot, finely minced

large pinch salt

few grindings of black pepper

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil



In a small jar, place mustard, lime juice, shallot, salt and pepper and shake well till blended.  Add olive oil and shake until dressing is emulsified.  This will keep for a couple of days.

2014 Swag Survey

Post date: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 12:00pm


Member Friendly Bylaws

Post date: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 2:40pm

What You Need to Know About Membership


Are there rules governing the co-op?

The Bylaws of Urban Greens lay out the rules that govern the co-op. We encourage all members to carefully read and familiarize themselves with the Bylaws. The Bylaws are a living document, meant to reflect the needs of our cooperative. Should you have any questions or suggestions for changes, please let us know. Below is a summary of some of the key points members should know. We do not intend for this to replace your reading of the Bylaws, but instead it should be a helpful reference that can point you to specific portions of the Bylaws for further 


Membership Eligibility, Rights and Responsibilities


Who is eligible to become a member? (Section 2.1) 

Any individual, household, or organization that wants to utilize the services of the Co-op and accept the responsibilities of ownership is eligible to become a member.


How do you become a member? (Section 2.1) 

All that is required is to fill out an application and purchase a share. That’s it! The price per share differs, depending on your income. The co-op can work with you to create payment plans. Upon your first payment, you become a member.


After becoming a member, what are your rights and responsibilities as a member of Urban Greens? (Sections 2.2 & 2.3)

You have the right to buy groceries and produce from the co-op. Members also have the right to work for the co-op and possibly earn discounts on purchases. This right to work may be limited by the onset of other responsibilities, such as becoming a Council Member or an Officer.

Members have the right to elect members to the council, the leadership body of the co-op. Members have the power to amend the by-laws and call meetings to vote on any business. Members are responsible for keeping up with payments, if you are paying for your membership through a payment plan. Members are also responsible for buying from the co-op, at least occasionally. Members must notify the co-op of any changes in one’s name and/or address.


What types of meetings are members entitled to attend? (Sections 3.1 & 3.2)

The co-op holds two types of meetings: annual meetings and special meetings. The annual meeting occurs 90 days after the close of each fiscal year. At the annual meeting, we discuss general business of the co-op, including operations and finances, policy decisions, review of past and future programs and goals. Members may vote on particular issues at this meeting. Council members are elected during Special meetings may be called by the co-op council at any time. Members may also call for a special meeting. To do so, fifteen percent of the total number of members must sign a petition calling for a special meeting. The petition must state the business that the members want to bring up at the meeting. The chairperson of the council must call a meeting as soon as possible after s/he receives the petition. You should note that matters that come up during the meeting that have not been specified in the petition will not be considered binding, but will only be advisory. Decisions on matters specified in the petition will be binding.


How many votes does a member receive? (Section 3.7)

Each member has one vote no matter how many shares that member owns. All members have the right and responsibility to vote in the best interest of the co-op.


How do members make binding decisions? (Section 3.6) 

In order to have a binding vote on a matter, the co-op must meet quorum, which means that at least 50 owners must vote on a matter (mail and email ballots count towards the quorum).


How can I vote? (Sections 3.8 & 3.9)

Members have the opportunity to vote through several methods. Members may be present at the meeting or can vote by mail or email. The notice of the meeting will give instructions for voting by mail or email.


Become a Council Member or Run for Office!


What is the council? (Section 4.1)

Collectively responsible for the general welfare of the co-op, the council is made up of members elected by the general membership. The council focuses on the mission of the co-op and ensures that the co-op is on track with its goals. The council consists of 13 members. Council members serve a three-year term. 


Who is eligible to be on the council? (Section 4.2)

Any member who is over 18 years old may run for a position on the council. 


What officer positions does the co-op have? (Sections 6.1 - 6.3) 

The officer positions are chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary. The council may designate more as needed. The council elects the officers at the annual meeting. 

Terms vary depending on the position.


Things may change in my life. Once I am a member, am I bound to the co-op forever? (Section 7.3) 

No. Members have the option to terminate their ownership and redeem their shares. 

(But, why would you choose to do that once you sign on to enjoy all the benefits of Urban Greens!)


Prepaired by the Community Economic Development Law Clinic of The Roger Williams Law School in 2013.

2013 Annual Meeting Notes

Post date: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 4:42pm


2013 Annual Meeting Notes


  • Featured guest speaker: Hope Kelley, Equal Exchange

    • A worker/owner of Equal Exchange

    • Everyone who works there also invests in it


  • What are the benefits of investing in a coop?

    • Profit sharing/dividends to investors

    • Fair price paid to farmers

    • benefits the community it works with

      • co-ops

      • supporters of fair trade

    • donates to organizations involved in positive change

    • coop made up of everyday people

      • diverse people and viewpoints

      • investment of time and money to change the world

      • generate benefits for many toward a better world

      • put one’s money where one’s mouth is

    • Worker benefits

      • job creation

      • sustainable economy

      • change occurs over a long period of time, long term, sustainable

    • co-op = good example of democracy


  • Overview of 2013: Urban Greens Project Manager: Delia Kovac

    • Revised/Refined Mission Statement:

      • Urban Greens Food Co-op is a consumer owned & governed cooperative working to open a retail grocery store in Providence, RI. The store will be open to all and will support the health and well-being of our customers by offering nutritious, affordable food that is sustainably sourced, culturally inclusive and supportive of local food production.

    • Refined Core Values:

      • Equal Access

      • Economic Sustainability

      • Cultural Relevancy & Reflection of the Community

      • Environmental Stewardship & Local Agriculture

      • Outreach & Education

      • Cooperative Principles, Cooperative Values

    • Guiding Principles

      • Infrastructure: worked to solidify it, expanding different avenues, new members via community outreach, seeking to fulfill mission before opening

      • 2013: tremendous growth (138 new members), outreach events (600 new subscribers to the mailing list)

      • Evaluation of how people become members

        • Eco-Sign--online membership access

        • email newsletters--articles/events

        • phone bank

        • social media (facebook, twitter)

    • Membership Growth: 46 members in 2006, 527 members in 2013

      • becomes exponential as more people become involved

      • milestone of 500 reached this summer

      • will keep taking members

      • local businesses donated for member drives

      • drawings worked well, planning on doing more in the future (i.e. gondola ride)

    • Community Outreach and Organizations:

      • social services

      • green businesses

      • socially conscious businesses

      • ecclesiastical services

      • Tabling: talk about UG and get members/volunteers

    • Letters of Support: government, organizations, non-profits, national co-op experts, local experts

    • Networking for Technical Assistance

      • Cooperative Development Services (CDS) consulting

      • Neighboring Food Co-ops Association (NFCA)


    • What is UG without a store?

      • working to open a store

      • Oldest part: started as a buying club 13 years ago, ordering bulk natural food at wholesale discounts, help members access this online

      • Spring Equinox Celebration

      • not just about food, but also the food economy

      • making healthy food more accessible to more people

      • Local Green - Meet and Greet: getting together to eat local food and support the local food economy (Trinity Brewhouse 11/20)

      • Cultural Cooking and Local Growing

        • workshops using locally grown items in ethnic dishes, leaders were all members

        • how to make local food last longer

      • Member House Parties

        • invite an UG speaker

        • gain members

        • looking for more people to host parties

        • or 401-267-8432


  • Financial Report: Harry, Treasurer

    • Current Member Equity Balance: $50,205

    • Fundraising (Non-Equity Balance): $5,844

    • At the start of 2013 the member equity rose by 29%


  • Membership Milestone: Philip

    • Member-owners growth of 38%

    • Milestone: 500 members

    • enabled organization to expand focus on every aspect of making a concrete site possible

    • working with a consultant for full financial projections

    • Key: continuing growth of membership

      • 600 by year’s end, 750, 1000 to open store

      • member house parties and drives


  • Market Study: Michelle

    • Inventory of the West Side of Providence

      • any commercial building on a vacant lot (investigated 30 sites, selected 4)

    • Main Criterial/Key Aspects

      • availability of parking

      • visibility

      • access of main corridor

      • 10K sq. feet

      • public transit

    • Debbie Saussana – CDS--professional market study expert

      • CDS consultant

      • looked at 4 sites with the most potential

      • annual sales potential on analysis of 4 sites

      • all had good potential to be viable

      • Urban Greens Council prioritized 2 of the 4 as most promising

    • Market Study analysis of the West side of Providence

      • not usual area for a food co-p

      • sales potential will be based on outreach to non-traditional co-op customers

      • should open a smaller store that 10K sq. ft, more like 7500 sq. ft. and mature into space.

      • sales maturation smaller than a typical co-op


  • Potential Sites:

    • 1. completely new construction from vacant lot

      • advantages: could be idealized vision, exciting partnership and collaboration possibilities

      • challenges: adds an additional year (2015), more expensive, developer needed, extended timeline/grant timeline

    • 2. Retrofitting an existing building

      • Advantages: less expensive, condensed timeline

      • Challenges: No perfect space therefore will need to compromise, probably not fully realized vision,traffic flow, access, and parking will be trickier for a building that is already set

    • Meetings with City officials supporting the project:

      • Mayor’s office

      • Zoning

      • Council Members Solomon, Mates, and Principe

      • Office of Healthy Communities

    • Financial considerations

      • need accurate financial projections to obtain lending options and to know the numbers will work out

      • Balancing sources of funding

      • member equity

      • coop specific funding

      • member investment

      • CDC, CDFI, and EDC specific

      • Grants: CDBG, USDA, etc.


  • Potential Sources of Capital: Fletcher Kent

    • community investment is democratic

    • shopping/supporting local

    • member investment

    • GOAL: to avoid traditional loans

      • investments from members and community

      • campaign possibilities: direct public offering, member loan campaign

      • investment and profit (not a donation)

    • Feasible: many examples of successes from other new co-ops!

      • members lent $1000 to $50,000

      • Will happen in the Spring of 2014

      • consultant on board

      • interviewing securities lawyers for contractual needs

      • store in the community that belongs to the community, growing and sustaining a local economy

      • start to tap into people’s desire to invest into community

      • will serve as example to Business community--another way to fund their businesses

      • makes the store a reality and is a good example for local businesses in RI


  • Year Ahead

    • Will hire a general manager (national search, but hopefully someone local)

    • receive financing

    • pinning down price points/price structure for inventory

    • getting staffing together

    • keep Delia Kovac (Project Manager) employed

    • planning contribution

    • employee handbook

    • fleshing out buying practices


  • Simple Ways to Help

    • host a house party

    • talk about UG

    • pay off your share

    • Like/share on Facebook and Twitter

    • need more people to table/plan events

    • reaching farmers and producers

    • connect to business leaders

    • Join the UG Outreach Committee

    • UG is what you make it, a reflection of your ethics, views, and desires


  • Election

    • Winston: likes local food and local people

    • Matt T: previous council member, farmer

    • Matthew Stone: excited about the coop

    • Antoinetta: CFO of a Social Enterprise Greenhouse

    • Michelle: Southside Community Land Trust Development Associate, believes that food should be open to everybody

  • ByLaw Changes

    • making it easier to operate as a start up.  provide more flexibility to council.

    • Eligibility-language change

      • max of 20 shares is unnecessary (lawyer recommended to remove)

      • Allows for organizational share prices to be raised (no change for individual/households)

    • Electronic balloting--to change with technology

    • Quorum to include electronic balloting (previously only included mail balloting and meeting votes

    • Increase to 13 maximum seats for council members

    • remove six month limitation for council membership for new members

    • Final change: based on expanding number of council members to 13, fewer than half of the terms allowed to expire during the year


Q: How long are the council terms?

A: 3 years, but not everyone will serve for 3 years, therefore the min. time is 1 year


Q: What is the largest number of shares owned by an individual?

A: 7, but it is still only one vote.


Q: Are we going to remain being incorporated out-of-state or locally?

A: Now incorporated in Minnesota, this is difficult in RI. Need policy changes, more supportive statutes--goal overtime will be to support changes to RI statutes of incorporation, and incorporate in state.


Q: Stagger terms based on votes ____

A: I f there were an issue with those elected, those with the least votes get shorter terms


Q: Full term is 3 years so ⅓ of terms should end each year?  Should there be concern about only requiring ‘less than half’ to expire each year?

A: This is a reasonable goal-- but with any council of more than 9 people, it would require extending terms to 4 years, but that is a long-term commitment.  Ideally terms will be divided up so not they expire evenly.  The council has the power to assign shorter than 3 year terms so that there is even distribution for expiration. Keeping fewer than half will ensure that. As our capacity increases, we can review whether this is a need to change this.  There will be more forums.  65 members are here today.


Q: Six-month waiting period--anyone here on the council that worked on original version know a reason for the 6 month waiting period?

A: Attorney we worked with raised it as an option, we said ok. When we revisited it it was deemed unnecessary. At later stage it could be revisited and added back in, but it’s a valuable asset to have people jump on board right away.


Q: Before we vote, we wanted to know how many council members in 2014.

A: 13.


Q: Are there any of the new nominees here for less than 6 months--if the bylaw isn’t passed they won’t get on the council.

A: Everyone has been here for at least 6 months (though tight for one person)


The Vote:

Entertain motion to approve bylaw changes.

Second the motion, anyone opposed?

Motion passed unanimous.

Entertain a motion for council members

Second the motion, anyone opposed?

Motion passed unanimous.


Congrats to new council members!

Notes taken by Barbara Fluery

2013 Pie Contest Winning Recipes from our Annual Meeting

Post date: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 4:09pm


Our expert Pie judges: Dave Dadekian, Chef Kate Jennings, Chef Maria Meza

Grand Jury Prize Winner

Bourbon-Pecan Pie with Chocolate Ganache Drizzle


By Deb Fernandez


makes one pie


1 unbaked pie shell

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

¾ cup corn syrup

¼ cup bourbon 

½ teaspoon salt 

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups pecans, chopped

¼ cup whole pecan halves (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Place butter in a smallish, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat.  When it is beginning to melt, add brown sugar, corn syrup, bourbon, and salt to the pan.  Stir well and heat until butter is thoroughly melted and mixture is very hot but not boiling.


Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl.  Whisk them till well blended.  Then, just a tablespoon at a time, slowly add the hot butter-corn syrup mixture.  Whisk until thoroughly blended.  Stir in vanilla and add pecan pieces.  Mix well and pour into the prepared pie shell.


(You can use whole pecan halves to decorate the edge if you want, but I usually don't because the ganache is decoration enough.)


Place pie in oven on a rack placed in the middle.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn  the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 – 45 minutes, until filling springs back when lightly touched in the middle (it should be about 200 degrees in the center).


Let the pie cool for about an hour.  In the meantime make your ganache:


4 oz. good bittersweet chocolate

½ cup heavy cream 

Chop up the chocolate pretty finely.  Put the heavy cream in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring it to the boiling point.   Remove the cream from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it is blended and smooth.  (You can also do this in a food processor: put the chocolate in the bowl of the processor, pulse until finely chopped.  Bring cream to a boil and pour down the feed tube with the processor running and blend until smooth.

Let the ganache cool somewhat, not till it begins to harden, but so that it isn't too runny, so till it's about 110 degrees.

Use the ganache to drizzle over the cooling pecan pie.  You can use a spoon to do this, or make yourself a little impromptu pastry bag by spooning the ganache into a ziplock bag and cut off a little bit of one of the corners (don't make the hole too big or you will have a hard time controlling the flow).  I like to make a kind of cross-hatch pattern, but be creative and have fun drizzling your pie.




People's Prize

Apple Cream Pie by Phil Trevett




For the third year in a row Council Member Phil Trevvett won the people's prize at the Urban Greens Annual Meeting Pie Contest.


Phil found the original version of this recipe here:


The below version is slightly adjusted to what he used when baking it.



1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice and chilled

3 tablespoons cold milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar



3 cups apple cider boiled down to 1/2 a cup (best done in advance)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Apple thinly sliced (Granny Smith is great!)


1)  In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse in 1-second bursts until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine the milk and vinegar and drizzle it on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather up any crumbs and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

2)  On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch round, a scant 1/4 inch thick; ease it into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Trim the overhanging dough to 1 inch and fold it under itself. Crimp decoratively and chill the crust until firm, about 15 minutes.

3)  Preheat the oven to 425°. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. (Dried beans work great!  Enough to hold the parchment paper down).  Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust is barely set. Remove the parchment and pie weights. Cover the edge of the crust with strips of foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes longer (in middle of over, not lower third), until the crust is just set but not browned.  (Check before 10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t brown). Press the bottom of the crust lightly to deflate it as it puffs; let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 350°.

4)  For the ½ cup boiled cider: In a medium saucepan, boil the cider until it's reduced to 1/2 cup.  Best to start this prior to making the pie, so there’s time for it boil down and cool. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

5) Take the cooled ½ cup cider and whisk in 3/4 cup of the sugar, the sour cream and salt, then whisk in the eggs.

6)  Pour the custard into the pie shell without removing the foil strips. Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is set around the edge but the center is slightly jiggly. Let the pie cool completely.

7) When there are still 15 minutes left for the pie to bake, place the thin apple slices on a baking sheet, and bake, turning apples halfway through baking period.  Remove when pie is removed

8)  In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon until firmly whipped. Mound the cream on the pie, cut into wedges and serve.  Decorate the top with baked apple slices.