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July, 2009, Page 132
Photography by Nicole Roegner
My, oh my, do we love pie. Here are a few of our favorite pie places just in time for Fourth of July.
(Hotel Valley Ho)
6850 E. Main St.,
Hip, trendy Hotel Valley Ho may not strike folks as pie central, but grab a swivel stool at the curving counter overlooking the exposition kitchen, and there it is – a big, stainless-steel, glass-fronted case emblazoned in teal and black retro diner-style letters: PIE.
Peer inside and see what chef Chuck Wiley has in store from his often-changing selection of classics. All are homemade, of course, such as his Mom’s apple pie, in a flaky crust heavy with sweet fruit that you can top with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or a slice of Tillamook cheddar. He’s got lemon meringue, thick and silky under an enormous, billowing cloud of lightly browned fluff. Some days there might be Key Lime or butterscotch bread pudding.
But you must wrap your taste buds (and head) around this delight – a Key Lime Pie Martini. Yep, it looks like a cocktail but tastes like pie. The genius recipe includes vanilla ice cream, vanilla simple syrup, 7UP and lime juice, and the pièce de résistance? It’s served in a graham-cracker-rimmed glass spiked with a wedge of lime.
Scottsdale Bakery and
15090 N. Northsight Blvd.,
Opened last spring by baker Liz Rowenhorst, this cute, pink shop in a strip mall showcases recipes that are mostly family secrets Rowenhorst learned from her great-grandmother, Maxine.
Grandma apparently knew what she was doing. Witness the Minnesota State Fair blue ribbons on display, or better yet, sink your teeth into one of the delicious confections. There is a caveat – pies must be ordered four days in advance to give the bakers time to work their magic. Seasonal choices might feature apple, pumpkin, cherry, blueberry, almond cherry, lemon meringue, strawberry, rhubarb or strawberry-rhubarb. Consistent favorites include coconut cream, banana cream and chocolate cream, or you can always play “stump the baker” with your custom request.
Maxine has created recipes for Pillsbury and had many of her creations published in popular cookbooks. Likely you’ll want your pie to go, but you can also plan a party onsite – the space includes two themed event rooms complete with china and silver service.
5606 E. McKellips Road,
If you’re going to talk pie, you have to include the mother of all pie shops, which opened in 1985 and is currently run by Iowa native Pam Ohsman.
This legendary Valley institution reminds us why we love Midwestern cooking, especially when there’s pastry and sugar involved. There’s literally a wall of pie here, hung with clever little pie-shaped signs designating the many freshly made goodies of the day.
It can be hard to choose from apricot, apple, Dutch apple, apple raisin, sour cream raisin, banana, blueberry, butterscotch, cherry, chocolate cream, chocolate supreme, chocolate peanut butter, coconut, lemon chess, peach, pecan, pumpkin and a variety of seasonal pies offered by the slice or whole. If you insist, there’s even sugar-free apple, which isn’t half bad.
Of course, there’s an à la mode option, but insiders know to go whole hog and pair their pie with an entire chocolate sundae (must be an Iowa thing, but it sure translates well to the desert, too).
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