Day Eight • 12 Tastes of Brooklyn
SAVORY PIES BRING YOU A WHOLE NUTRITIOUS MEAL in one perfect packet, which could come in mighty handy as the house fills up with guests and you have more meals than just that one Big Holiday Dinner to plan. Turkey, sweet potato and rosemary pie, lamb curry and pea, stout-braised beef, winter greens with white bean, feta and walnut—is your mouth watering yet?—Moroccan beef with chick pea and almond, red wine mushroom pie: Cheryl Perry and Felipa Lopez of Pie Corps hand make them all in their Greenpoint bakery. Specially for the holidays—still my beating Québec ex-pat heart—they are baking tourtières as well. And just as English miners carried Cornish pasties for a perfect portable lunch, we now have Pie Corps’ hand pies. Plus, of course, those irresistible bite-size Pie Pops—maple bacon, pear or apple cinnamon.
Carefully sourced ingredients and creative combos are their trademarks. The pies are all made with organic flour milled in Lancaster, PA, butter from a Vermont cooperative of dairy farmers and fresh produce and meat from their farmer friends all around New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You’ll find the pies at New Amsterdam Market on Sundays, or at their newly opened shop on Driggs Avenue in Greenpoint, where you can grab yourself a cup of Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee as well. Yes, Pie Corps also makes sweet pies—gingerbread custard among them!
And for DIYers, it has just started giving monthly baking classes: January 23 is “Savory Winter Pies,” $65. (At press time, one or two spots are still open in the December 18th class, too.) Hand pies, $6; savory 10-inch pies, $40; sweet 10-inch, $35.
Speaking of sweet, we head over to Red Hook, where, hallelujah, Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies is back in production again, after some serious flooding by Sandy. Baker/owner Steve Tarpin, who grew up in Florida, makes the pies by hand in small batches using 100 percent pure fresh butter for the graham-cracker crust and freshly squeezed key lime juice. Reconstituted juice may be OK “if you’re stripping paint or removing rust, but not not in a food product,” he insists. The key lime (citrus aurantiifolia) is much smaller than the familiar “Persian” lime, about the size of a ping pong or golf ball; he points out it’s not exclusive to the Florida Keys (it’s native to Southeast Asia), but was brought to the Keys and naturalized.
In addition to the elegant and aromatic key lime pies, you’ll want to try a Steve’s Authentic exclusive, the Swingle—a Belgian chocolate–dipped frozen tart on a stick. Wow. Steve delivers his pies around town, including to Union Markets in Brooklyn. Or he’ll sell you one at company headquarters on Pier 41. Walk-in hours vary throughout the week but with more certainty Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and weekends, 11 am–5 pm (at least). Call ahead to be sure. 10-inch pie, $28; 8-inch, $18; 4-inch tart, $5; Swingle, $6.
77 Driggs Avenue, Greenpoint
917-721-3052 / 917-582-2769
Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
204 Van Dyke Street, Pier 41, Red Hook
Photographs by Basia Hellwig. Date stamp typographic design by Joy Makon Design. The font is Shelley Allegro, by Matthew Carter, Linotype, 1972.