When the snow melts and the birds start to chirp again, Virtue Farm awakes from a restful winter full of fire pits and hot cider. Spring is here and that means the Fruit Belt series is back. 

Our Fruit Belt series, consisting of Michigan Cherry, Blueberry and Peach, is a taste of our region and the perfect companion to your weekend brunch. We’ve put together the perfect brunch menu to pair with our ciders so you don’t have to.

  • 1 ½ lb pound bacon
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup Michigan Cherry cider
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place bacon in an 8-inch square baking dish and rub with pepper. 
  2. In a small saucepan, bring cider and maple syrup to a boil, then pour over bacon.
  3. Cover with foil and braise bacon in oven 55 minutes. Turn bacon over, cover, and braise for another 50 minutes. Remove foil and let bacon cool in liquid.
  4. Remove bacon from braising liquid and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. 
  5. Transfer liquid to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until it is reduced to a glaze (you should have ~1/3 cup).
  6. Toss bacon in glaze to coat and cook in a non-stick pan or pre-heated cast-iron skillet over medium heat, turning once, until deep brown and caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes total.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

    • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cup Michigan Blueberry cider
    • 1 cup frozen blueberries
    • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    1. In a medium bowl combine eggs, melted butter, cider, and sugar. Whisk the mixture until combined.
    2. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add mixture into wet ingredients and stir only until combined. Let the batter sit for ten minutes to thicken.
    3. Add frozen blueberries to the batter.
    4. Heat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat. Once griddle is hot, liberally grease it with oil or butter (about 1 tbsp per 3 pancakes). 
    5. Pour ¼ cup of batter per pancake onto the surface. Cook on one side until holes form around the edges (about 2 minutes) and then flip and cook on the other side for an additional 1-2 minutes. Don’t let the pan get too hot.
    6. Enjoy!

      Bravas Sauce Ingredients
      • 1 tbsp olive oil
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 1 tsp smoked paprika
      • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
      • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
      • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato purée
      • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
      • 2 tbsp Michigan Peach cider
      Aoili Ingredients
      • 4 cloves garlic
      • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
      • 1 cup mayonnaise
      • 1 tbsp good olive oil
      Potatoes Ingredients
      • 2 lbs russet potatoes (about 4 medium)
      • 1 quart vegetable oil, for deep frying
      • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
      • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
      Make the Bravas Sauce:
      1. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. 
      2. Add bay leaf, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and  kosher salt. 
      3. Carefully pour in a can of tomato purée and stir to combine. 
      4. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, then simmer until thickened (about 45 minutes). (This is a good time to make the aioli and cook the potatoes) 
      5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in sherry vinegar and cider.
      Make the aioli:
      1. Finely grate garlic cloves into a small bowl. 
      2. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir to combine. 
      3. Let sit for 30 minutes. 
      4. Add mayonnaise and good olive oil and stir to combine. 
      Cook the potatoes:
      1. Peel and cut the russet potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Place in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. 
      2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until the potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes. (Do not overcook or they will fall apart) 
      3. Drain and transfer to a kitchen towel and arrange the potatoes into a single layer to dry thoroughly.
      4. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until 350°F. Working in batches so as to not overcrowd the pot (there should be some space between each potato), use a spider or slotted spoon to add the potatoes to the oil. 
      5. Fry, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden-brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain briefly, then transfer to a serving dish. 
      6. Sprinkle smoked paprika and kosher salt over the potatoes and toss to coat. Serve with the aioli and bravas sauce for dipping.