I've been spending a lot of time in the last few weeks researching pie recipes. I went to the local library and took out all the pie books they had. Not a difficult task as there were precisely two pie books on shelf. Either my library doesn't carry pie books or they're in such hot demand that they weren't on the shelf.
I came across a great little book called "Perfect Pies" by Michele Stuart. I found several recipes I wanted to try, including my first pie. After reading through the recipes, I finally read the introduction and realized the author has two pie stores within a half hour drive of my house.
So we packed up the family and headed to her Westport store. It was a very cute little place with lots of pie and little tables in case you'd like to try your pie right there. The girls enjoyed pressing their faces up against the glass case where the pies were housed (leaving a lovely collage of fingerprints) and ringing the jingle bells on the door.. for 20 minutes. I'm sure they loved us.
I, of course, had a hundred questions for the people behind the counter. Sadly, the pie I plan to make is special order so I couldn't try it. I had hoped to taste what the real thing was like and see how close (or far off) mine was.
Instead of slices, Michele's Pies sells "little pies" and "big pies". The little pies are two generous servings and the big pies are regular sized. We bought one little coconut cream for ourselves and one big apple raspberry to bring over a friend's house the next day.
According to my husband, the coconut cream was a "d--n good pie." And it was. I loved it. The crust was a little crumbly, but I know from reading the book that it's a Crisco crust. I've always thought shortening crusts have a weird texture but we'll see if that proves true this year. Aside from that it was a pretty awesome pie- really creamy and rich with tons of coconut flavor.
The apple raspberry pie was more of a crumb pie and we all really enjoyed it- I definitely preferred the coconut cream, but both were really good. This bodes well for using her recipe.
In case you are interested, here's the link to Michele's Pies. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the Westport/Norwalk CT area.
Link to Michele's Pie
BTW, researching pie is possibly one of the most fun things I have ever done. I highly recommend :)