Dining Chicago

Sweet of the Week: Persimmon Pie at Hoosier Mama Pie Company Bakery

Persimmons have long been an elusive fruit to me. Having only ever heard of them (and most importantly, persimmon pie), I wasn't convinced they weren't just myth. But then Paula Haney, owner of Hoosier Mama Pie Company, told me that persimmons were one of her favorite ingredients, and thus persimmon pie was one of her favorite pies. Coming from Chicago's Queen of Pie, this was a hefty accolade for persimmons. Still, I never really learned that much about them, or even really when they were in season, so I didn't know when to look for them. But then I recently came across persimmon pie on a visit to Hoosier Mama Pie Company. It was like casually stumbling across a pot of gold. Without even inquiring about details of the pie, I ordered a slice. And the rest is history.

Persimmon pie at Hoosier Mama Pie Company
(Persimmon pie at Hoosier Mama Pie Company)

Persimmon pie can best be described as a spicier, more citrusy version of pumpkin pie. It sort of looks the same, albeit a tinge less orange. It's basically the best of both worlds, because I get the desirable texture of a good pumpkin pie without the cloying clove-y pumpkin flavor. Persimmon evidently toes the line between citrus and spice, providing a flavor akin to orange-meets-cinnamon, an interesting combo indeed, but it works so well. The two balance each other out like yin and yang, and the results are a pie that is delicious, not overly indulgent, rich, smooth, and divine. Set over Hoosier Mama's signature flaky pie crust, it's a dessert of the gods. Who is your favorite bakery?

- Matt Kirouac


Neighborhoods: West Town

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