It’s July! Bring on the Pie!
Homemade Pies for Beach Coast Fans
By Barbara Voris Eastman
Even accomplished cooks may find making a piecrust a little daunting. A tried and true recipe (tried by someone else, we presume) and careful measuring will certainly increase your chances of success, but there are factors over which you have no control, like heat and humidity. Even the most experienced baker will be frustrated when their perfectly rolled out crust shreds into ribbons when they transfer it from counter to pie pan. How ironic that berries and peaches come into season when pastry-making conditions are at their worst!
Lucky for you, The Beach Coast has several resources for the host or hostess who love pie, but have neither the desire nor the skills to make one from scratch.
Market & Deli
Beach Coasters in the know have been buying homemade pies from the Sawyer Deli & Market for years. Long famous for its pies, the market was purchased recently by Prakash and Hina Patel and is managed by their son, Divyong. When they bought the market, all the recipes and baking equipment were part of the deal, so Beach Coasters can continue to enjoy all the pies they’ve grown to love. Surrounded by a flaky crust, these pies are fabulous and if you ditch the box, your guests will never guess that you didn’t whip it up yourself. Add a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream and you’ve got yourself something really special. Varieties include fruits of the forest (a mixed berry pie with a little apple thrown in), caramel apple nut, blueberry, peach-berry, apple, cherry, pecan, pumpkin, and more. During the summer months they are baked daily, and after mid-September, all you have to do is pick up the phone and they’ll make whatever you want to order.
If you’re from the western part of The Beach Coast you live in Marilyn country. Johnson’s Farm Produce has provided Lake County folks with fresh produce for five generations. Growing up in the business, it is no surprise that one of the Johnson daughters would grow up with a love of pie making. Marilyn Johnson Pearson began selling pies out of a little corner of the produce stand 26 years ago. And from that modest beginning the business has grown into a full-service bakery. Marilyn’s Bakery may still be best known for its pies and annual production is around 50,000 homemade pies. Pies come in 9” and 6” sizes and the varieties are endless—every fruit and fruit combination you can imagine, plus a large menu of custard pies and cream pies like coconut cream, lemon meringue. French silk, peanut butter, and Indiana’s state pie (who knew we had one?), sugar cream. Every Marilyn’s pie is made with love and fresh frozen fruit. What it’s not made with is artificial color or flavoring, animal fat, or preservatives. Even if you’re not close to Hobart you may find Marilyn’s pies at The European Market in Chesterton and other farmers’ markets.
La Porte, IN
While Garwood Orchard may be best known to La Porte County residents (and other Beach Coast devotees) for apples, sweet corn, its wonderful pumpkin patch, and U-pick family fun, it also grows a wide variety of other fruits. In a country setting in rural La Porte, the farm draws tens of thousands of visitors each year and many don’t leave the parking lot without a freshly baked pie. Pie varieties vary by season and right now you’ll find strawberry, rhubarb, raspberry, and blueberry pies. Although apples are not in season now, they always have some apple pies on hand made from frozen apples grown at Garwood. You’ll find their pies at the Michigan City and La Porte farmers’ markets on Saturdays and at the Community Market Place at Bethany Church (La Porte) on Sundays. If you have a hankering for a certain pie made with fruit that’s not in season, Garwood carries a selection of other frozen fruit so you can make your own!
Pies Have It
Do you have a favorite Beach Coast source for fresh-baked pies? Go to our Facebook page and sing the praises of your favorite pie makers. We love to learn from our readers.
5911 W. 50 N.
La Porte, IN 46530
8960 Ridge Road
Hobart, IN 46342
Market and Deli
Barbara Voris Eastman grew up in Michigan City and moved back to the area after spending nearly 35 years working in Chicago. She is both the editor and a regular contributor to www.thebeachcoast.com.