Emporium Pies: Where Crusts That Don't Suck Make For Damn Good Desserts

Megan Wilkes can't help herself. When talking business, every word she utters that contains a long "I" is fodder for another pie pun. She calls herself a pie-oneer for instance. She's always looking for her next great pie-dea.

Fortunately her baking skills outdo her saccharine one-liners.

A mutual friend paired Wilkes up with Mary Gauntt, a freckle-faced pixie with a warm smile and a knack for pie baking. Then the two turned to family recipes, scaffolding what would become a collection of innovative desserts and the birth of Emporium Pies.

Seeking to create pies with personality that don't stray too far from tradition, they focus on honing and perfecting conventional pie fillings. Then they get innovative with their crusts.

French Silk Pie filling gets a crumbled organic pretzel crust. A boozy pecan pie lounges in a chocolate shortbread crust. A smooth pumpkin pie custard sits on a crumbled gingersnap crust, and apple pie is capped in puffed pastry they turn in-house. The pair operate out of a leased commercial kitchen space in the Cedars and, aside from those pretzels, they fashion everything by hand, focusing on organic, preservative-free cooking.

Wrapped in parchment, tied in twine and boxed in brown cardboard, the pies present as well as they taste. Check out their snazzy website if you want to order one for the holiday, or stop by Corner Market and Urban Acres on Saturday morning for a taste.

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