M’s request for the pie of the month was a Lemon Shaker Pie (aka Ohio Shaker Pie). We live in Ohio now and this custard pie with slices of whole lemons is something of a regional specialty. However, once we added a picture of our pie to our Instagram we got a lot of bewildered comments. Turns out, most people had never heard of this type of pie! One unusual part of this recipe is that it is attributed to the near-extinct fringe religious sect, The Shakers. Another is that it uses whole lemons – rinds and all. According to legend, the Shakers were prolific pie-makers and gardeners, and could make almost any kind of fruit grow in Ohio, except lemons, which were the first fruit they had to purchase. Being famously frugal, the Shakers then made sure to use literally the entire lemon for their pies. That still doesn’t really answer why this version, above all of the Shakers’ pies, now persists, but indeed it does. Cut to 2020, when this old-fashioned pie is now only really found in Ohio, or in home cooks’ kitchens.
We enjoyed the version we made, using the Joy of Cooking’s recipe for filling, and Smitten Kitchen’s Ultra flaky all-butter crust. We sliced organic lemons extra-thin on a mandolin for the pie and let them sit with sugar for over 24 hours to remove some of the bitterness. According to the Joy of Cooking, the longer, the better. This still produced a super-tangy pie (which we like), so if that is not your cup of tea, we imagine that this pie would also be great with Meyer lemons, as some more modern recipes call for. Or if you want to go old school, check out this vintage recipe from a former Shaker community in Kentucky.
Happy Pi(e) Day! In honor of this auspicious day, we are revisiting one of our favorite places for pie, Honeypie (2643 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207) in Milwaukee. Our two favorite things about Honeypie are 1. the PIE and 2. the fact that there is something for everyone. The restaurant is decorated with a classic Wisconsin Northwoods theme, with clapboard walls, reclaimed wooded booths, maps and vintage Wisconsin-y ephemera.
Most importantly, there is a dessert case in the back with a variety of pies, biscuits, sweet breads and cupcakes. Over the years, we have sampled a number of Honeypie’s pies, and we have never been let down. Some of our favorites include the black bottom banana cream pie (below), blueberry (below), Milwaukee mud pie, strawberry rhubarb and ginger chai cream. You can order a whole pie in advance ($29 or $32) or by the slice ($6). You can also ship miniature Honeypie pies anywhere in the nation through their Piegram service. To take the pie love to another level, they even host pie-making classes.
Black bottom banana cream pie and blueberry pie.
There is also a large food menu, with Midwestern classics like mac and cheese ($14), grilled cheese with tomato soup ($11), a classic Friday Fish Fry ($16) and – a treat unique to the upper Midwest – the Cornish pasty ($10). There is also more elevated fare like scallop ceviche ($15) and confit chicken ($24). Honeypie is an all-day restaurant and you can also get brunch or a drink off of their full menu of drinks and local beers. So whether you are in the mood for pie, a Bloody Mary or mac and cheese, you will find just what you want at Honeypie.
Happy Pi Day Everyone! In honor of this auspicious day, we are covering one of our favorite pie places, Dangerously Delicious Pies, which has few stores scattered across the US, including DC, Baltimore and Detroit. We visited the Washington DC store (1339 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002), which was pretty tiny, but had enough counter space for 4 people to eat in. Dangerously Delicious pies has an assortment of sweet pies, savory pies and quiches. At the DC store, you can choose from a selection of half a dozen or so pies by the slice, which are available in-store, but there are many more flavors available if you call ahead and order a whole pie for pick up. A whole sweet pie will run you $30, a whole quiche ($32) and a whole savory ($35) pie; and if you are going by the slice, sweet slices are $6.50, quiche and savory slices are $7.50.
What we enjoyed most about DDP was the huge variety of different pie varieties (we are sweet pie purists). Among the dozens of pie flavors available, you can get typical varieties like Apple Mixed Berry and Key Lime. However, we were more intrigued by flavors like Chocolate peanut butter chess, Caramel Apple Crumb, Mobtown brown (pecan pie topped with a layer of melted chocolate ganache and caramel) and the Baltimore Bomb (Baltimore-native Berger cookies in a vanilla chess filling). When we visited, there was a tempting variety of seasonal winter sweet pies. We sampled the chocolate pecan pie and the winter berry pie (apples and mixed berries with winter spices like cinnamon and cardamom). Both were delicious! M also liked that you could order a glass of milk to wash down your pie (plus the heaping helping of whipped cream)!
Happy Pi(e) Day everyone! When we are traveling in the US we love to give a visit to the local pie shops in the area, and sample some of the regional favorites. Fireman Derek’s (2818 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL), is known particularly for its key lime pie. Fireman Derek’s is a tiny storefront opened in 2014 by actual Miami Fireman Derek Kaplan. There are only two tables inside the shop, but many take their orders to go. You can order a whole pie ($25-30) or pie by the slice ($5-6). There are seasonal flavors like pumpkin, and pies always available include the signature Krack pie (salted caramel custard that was named one of the best pies in Miami), key lime, apple, pecan and s’mores. You can also get some tasty coffee drinks made with Panther beans, cheesecake, milkshakes made with Azucar ice cream, as well as savory pies and quiches.
On our visit, we sampled the coconut custard and the key lime, trying to keep with the tropical vibe of our surroundings. The key lime pie had a perfect graham cracker crust and was light and tangy – so good! The coconut cream was equally delicious and was light and fluffy and packed full of real coconut flavor. We highly recommend stopping into Derek’s if you are looking for key lime pie in Miami. Part of the fun is checking out the awesome pie mural on the side of the tiny shop (seen above), good preparation for all of the other amazing murals in Wynwood.
Pie Drawing from Cakespy
Happy Pi Day everyone (3.14) – hope you get to celebrate with a nice piece of pie. We will be seeking one out in Rio de Janeiro – which is actually a somewhat difficult task. If we were home we would be making Sour Cherry Pie, Chocolate Coconut Pie or Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chess Pie. What kind of pie is your favorite?
If you’re in the mood to celebrate with some actual pie, check out Serious Eats’ list of the best pies in America. Though I’m a tad disappointed they don’t have many Midwest listings, only including Hoosier Mama from Chicago. The Sun Times made a compilation a few years back including gems from all across Chicagoland.