Progressive Grocer

Grocerant February 2017

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32 SOLUTIONS FEBRUARY 2017 O ld-fashioned pie can get lost among trendy bakery items like cake pops, macarons and rainbow bagels. But turn a slice of pie into a portable, portion-controlled treat, and you've got a grab-and-go snack, dessert or mini meal guaran- teed to please convenience-minded shoppers. At Panbury's South African pie shop in Atlanta, the menu hits on classic meat hand pies from once-British colonies. Cracked Black Pepper Steak Pie is a South African favorite of slow-braised beef shoulder in a rich, dark brandy sauce, while the Jamaican Beef Patty is standard street food meld- ing curried ground beef, onion, garlic, Scotch bonnet peppers and herbs in a spicy pastry. Seasonal mini fruit pies bring in local ingredients, like apples and Georgia peaches, encased in sweet short-crust bases. Similarly, Portland, Ore.-based Pacific Pie Co. specializes in British pasties with global fillings, such as Greek spinach and feta or an Indian curried samosa served with cilantro yogurt dipping sauce. In fact, the sky's the limit when it comes to filling small, sturdy pies that are meant to move. The made-just-for-me size also makes them perfect for keeping special dietary needs in mind. New York City-based This Pie Is Nuts creates nut-crusted individual pies filled with fruits or cream fillings and certified vegan, paleo and gluten free. Across the country, a San Francisco-based mini chain called Peas- ant Pies offers hand-held meals "inspired by a favorite meal of 19th century French villagers." Peasant's pies feature crisp bread crusts filled with fresh poultry, beef, seafood or vegan options, such as Spicy Garbanzo Bean Curry Pie, a blend of beans, tomatoes, onions, curry and other spices. In South Portland, Maine, Little BIGS bakery specializes in hand pies and caters to a walk-in crowd that skews to early day parts. Most products are hand-held—no utensils required. Their best-sellers in- clude potato-crusted egg pies; traditional chicken pot pies; Texas Chili Frito pies; Cuban hand pies of pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard in a buttery crust; and sausage rolls with Italian sausage, asiago cheese and herbs, rolled in puff pastry. Chef James Murray Plunkett and baker Pamela Fitzpatrick Plunkett, the husband and wife owners, combine their talents in each creation. "As a classically trained baker, I'm comfortable with flour, sugar and butter, but my husband has helped me get into bolder flavors," says Fitzpatrick Plunkett. G — Kathy Hayden PHOTO COURTESY OF L. SULLIVAN, CRAVE PIE STUDIO PHOTO COURTESY OF PACIFIC PIE The sky's the limit when it comes to filling small, sturdy pies that are meant to move. Global grab-and-go HAND PIES Crave Pie Studio in Duluth, Ga., offers a variety of 5-inch pies daily. Oregon's Pacific Pie Co. specializes in British pasties.

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