Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chicago Pie: Hoosier Mama Pie Company

Vanilla Cream with Strawberries
As a lover of pie and annual host of a Pi(e) Day party, my travels often include a stop to see the different bakers of round pastry. But in my own city, there is no lack of notable spots: Bang Bang, First Slice and this one. In this series, I will cover the wonder that is Chicago pie.
• • •

Hoosier Mama Pie Company, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. First off, there's your name: a clever and functional pun, celebrating both female entrepreneurship and boasting Indiana roots in the ever-competitive Chicago. Second, there is your charismatic owner/chef, who is a winner at all speaking engagements and authored the Hoosier Mama Book of Pie. Third...actually, counting off by number is already a little tiresome. Onward!

Boasting the largest pie menu, both savory and sweet, one could argue that their biggest contribution to the Chicago pie community is their savory pies. While I've never been disappointed with the meal portion of my visits to Hoosier Mama, I feel the Pork, Apple and Sage offers the biggest revelation to the taste buds. (Meanwhile, First Slice offers zero savory pies and Bang Bang Pie Shop offers two versions of the same savory pie.) The savory pies may not actually be the best part of the Hoosier Mama experience, but they are so good that one could argue it's a tie race.

Over on the sweet side of the menu, one can find fruit pies a-plenty, cream pies, chess pies, custard pies and, for the gluttonous indecisive, there is the Pie Flight, three half slices so you can catch 'em all. You'll be safe ordering based on your personal preferences at Hoosier Mama, but in my opinion is they are masters of both the cream and custard pie. My personal favorite are their sour cream Dutch fruit pies with Sour Cream Dutch Apple Pie leading the bunch. Second place goes to the Coconut Cream, tied with whichever custard pie I am currently consuming, be it the Horchata Pie (exclusive to Dove's Luncheonette) or the Ginger Custard Pie.

The only downside of Hoosier Mama Pie Company is also one of their greatest strengths: their rotating menu. Sure, you can't always find your favorite on the menu, but happily you can almost always try something new, whether their pie of the week, a new recipe or one from the recipe vault.

Stay tuned for the final installment of Chicago Pie Week!

No comments: