Easy as pie
Order ahead for a ‘homemade’ dessert
By Lisa Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t have to make the pie yourself.
If you don’t have time to roll out crusts and labor over fillings, plenty of places are still taking orders for your Thanksgiving dessert.
At New England Country Pies, Home of the Mile High Apple Pie, 736 Milford Road in Merrimack, 883-7111, where they are famous for their Mile High Apple Pie, the cafe portion of the operation will shut down the day before Thanksgiving to allow for crowd control.
“We’ll have a stream of people, Tuesday is not too bad, but Wednesday, its a steady stream going out the door, we have a pretty good system,” said Joe Lannan, owner of New England Country Pie.
“We make 5,000-plus pies a day, we supply the supermarket chains ... like Shaw’s, Stop & Shop and Market Basket,” Lannan said. While it is just as easy to pick up one of Lannan’s pies in a grocery store, many people like to come in and place orders.
“Our lemon meringue pie is nice and high and if you call ahead, we’ll make one up,” Lannan said.
The line forms early in Salem outside the doors of The Pie Guy, 8B Industrial Way in Salem (898-8868). The pie wholesaler gets a variance from the town that allows the company to open for commercial business during the week of Thanksgiving.
“There’s a line of paid customers and non-paid customers. The customers who ordered and paid go quickly; if you haven’t, you wait in line and hopefully you will get [the pie of choice] if it’s not too late in the day,” said Jim Withrow, whose brother, Mike and his wife, Lisa Withrow, own The Pie Guy.
The Salem bakery is famous for its cream pies in nearly 20 different flavor combinations.
“Our chocolate cream is the flagship number-one pie, then we have the key lime, banana cream, pumpkin pie — which we make with whole milk on a graham cracker crust,” Withrow said. “Our apple cream pie is old fashioned apple pie with a big hole cut out of the top which we fill with whipped cream, and once you cut in to it it looks beautiful with the contrast of the apples ... it’s the best you’ll ever have. We only make it one week a year.”
New England Country Pies and The Pie Guy both recommend ordering in advance — at least by Monday, Nov. 19, if not sooner.
At Crosby’s Bakery, 51 E. Pearl St. in Nashua, 882-1851, where the Crosby family has been baking pies for more than 60 years, current and former employees will gather in the kitchen two days before Thanksgiving for a marathon bake-off.
“We don’t start making them until Monday afternoon and they have to be ready by Wednesday morning,” said Gail Crosby Cummings, co-owner of Crosby Bakery
Crosby says she expects to turn out about 1,000 pies, in 19 different flavors. She wants people to get their orders in by Friday, Nov. 16, if possible.
Last-minute pie seekers could find luck on their side if they head over to Lucia’s Portuguese Bakery, 12 Scripture St. in Nashua, 882-1666. Owner Judite Correira says she expects her regular customers to order in advance, but says she understands the person who waits until the last minute.
“I do mention to order ahead to help me serve you better,” Correira said.
In Amherst, Cassie Betro who manages the Black Forest Café and Bakery, 212 Route 101A, 672-0500, said on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, people will begin lining up outside the door at 6 a.m. for the 8 a.m. opening.
Black Forest offers a pumpkin pie with a twist, which is only available during the Thanksgiving week.
“It is pumpkin pie with maple cream cheese and a pecan streusel topping,” Betro said.
In addition to the pumpkin pie, the bakery offers traditional apple, Dutch apple, cranberry apple and pecan pies. For the first time this year, Black Forest Café and Bakery is offering dinner catering for pick-up.
The menu includes corn bread, sausage and pecan cornbread stuffing, maple-glazed carrots and parsnips, sweet and Yukon smashed potatoes and a whole turkey breast that comes pre-stuffed with the cornbread stuffing. Deadline for all orders is Sunday, Nov. 18.
At Kay’s Bakery, 443 Lake Avenue, Manchester, 625-1132, Kay Skilogianis is baking as fast as she talks.
“Thanksgiving is usually a lot of pies, and pork pies, we do a lot of pork pies,” Skilogianis said. In addition, she’ll have her regular assortment of pies — apple, pumpkin, blueberrry, banana cream, chocolate cream, custard and lemon meringue.
If you’re looking for a classic New England mince meat pie, you’ll find it at Michele’s Gourmet Pastries & Deli, 819 Union St. in Manchester, 647-7150. Along with mince meat Michele’s offers traditional favorites including pumpkin, apple, blueberry, lemon meringue, coconut cream, banana cream and key lime pies. All orders should be placed by Friday, Nov. 16.
No need to panic over pie if you live near Farm and Flower Market, 15 Webster St. in Manchester, 625-6700. The store, which offers nearly 20 different kinds of pies, will be open a few hours in the morning on Thanksgiving day. While store manager Kathy Erkkila advises people who want a particular flavor pie to order by Sunday, Nov. 18, she says the store should still have a nice selection on Thanksgiving morning
At Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop, 815 Chestnut St. in Manchester, 625-9544, get those orders in by Saturday, Nov. 17, for pick-up on Wednesday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Offerings include pumpkin cheesecake ($15.95), cream pies ($12.50), apple ($12.95), pumpkin ($12.95), peanut butter and chocolate ($13.95), finikia (butter cookies with orange blossom syrup and nuts, six for $3.95), baklava (six for $6.95), Koulouraki (butter cookies with sesame seeds, 12 for $4.95), Russian tea cakes (six for $3.95), pumpkin whoopee pies ($2.95 each) and pecan sticky buns ($4.95 for a pan). Some of the pies require baking after pick-up. See the whole line-up at www.angelaspastaandcheese.com.
At Bread and Chocolate, 29 S. Main St. in Concord, 228-3330, owner Franz Andlinger will have some pies, but it’s his cakes and tarts that he is famous for. He is asking his customers to order a couple days in advance if they can.
“I’ll be making fruit tarts, a white and dark chocolate mousse cake, pumpkin cake with maple butter cream, absolutely outstanding, it is unbelievable, and I’m making pumpkin tarts with hazelnuts and almond crust that is also wonderful,” Andlinger said.
Up the street at Madeline’s, 124 N. Main St. in Concord, 224-5353,, you won’t find dessert pie but you will find pork pie.
“We have pork pies with or without the potato,” said Trish Hogan, shop manager. Though Madeline’s doesn’t make pie, they do offer several tarts including pecan, fruit and lemon.