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Local Bounty: April 29

Bluespark Baking

By Caron Golden

Pastry chef Tricia Cariffe spent years in the kitchens of some of San Diego’s finest kitchens, from The Lodge at Torrey Pines and Four Seasons Aviara to Waters Fine Catering and Chuao Chocolatier. A year ago she decided to start her own business making hand pies and upscale energy bars, naming the company after a song title by one of her favorite older bands, X. “It stuck because the words create two important images for the company,” she says, “peaceful energy.”

Now you can find her at the Hillcrest and Vista farmers markets with both savory and sweet baked treats. The pie crust is tender and flaky, thanks to all that butter she uses, the fillings rich and popping with flavor—all in a size that fits easily in your hand. Perfect for snacking or for serving at parties (she can also make two-inch appetizer versions). Cariffe will grill them for you to eat while shopping the market or you can take them home and reheat them for about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

Local Bounty: April 29

Mild curried sweet potato pie

Savory Hand Pies

Cariffe rotates her flavors to stay seasonal and buys ingredients from local producers, including her farmers market stall neighbors, like Archie’s Farms. Currently on the rotation are broccolini; mushroom havarti with mushrooms, onions, fresh herbs, and havarti cheese; mild curried sweet potato with Japanese sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, onion, and mild curry, and the ones I tried: Swiss chard and feta, which has a mellow, comforting combination of Archie’s Farms Swiss chard, garlic, onion, ricotta, and feta; and wild mushroom, with its sublime umami flavor coming from local cremini and maitake mushrooms, English peas, and Meyer lemon relish. $3.50 apiece or 3 for $10

Local Bounty: April 29

Dark chocolate hand pie

Sweet Hand Pies

Great for breakfast, with a cup of afternoon tea, or dessert the sweet hand pies are simply delightful. I’m a big fan of both the 54 percent dark chocolate and the butterscotch—like eating a deep, rich custard sandwiched between perfect crusts—but give a try to the strawberry, lemon ricotta with ricotta and fresh organic lemon curd, almond, and chocolate mint. $3.50 apiece or 3 for $10


Local Bounty: April 29

Sherpa energy squares

Sherpa Energy Squares

I’ve never been much of an energy bar consumer, but I love these vegan, wheat-free squares of goodness, which Cariffe fills with dates, almonds, chia, hemp, and flax seeds. My favorite flavor is the Banana Cocoa, but I’ll be branching out to try the Fruit & Almond Butter, Sesame, and Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate. All that tastiness and omega-3s, too! $8 for an 8-ounce package


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