I could not disagree more with this question! Recently, I read an article about the American Pie council 2019 national pie championships from Florida. A reporter interviewed the amateur 'Best in Show' winner, Rhonda Hull about her award winning 'Denali Caribou Crunch Pie'. This superstar baker walked away with 6 awards in fruit and cream categories on top of 'Best in Show'! What a feat!
Miss Hull was asked why she thought that pie baking was not as popular as it used to be? This question assumes that there is some kind of drought in pie-baking in America... which could not be further from the truth, especially in the Midwest!
Maybe it is because my nickname is Pie Baker Lady... but, from my viewpoint, Pie making in the Midwest is alive and well and I would even say thriving!
Case in point... you see in pictures proceeding, an annual Pie-Luck (potluck serving only pie and ice cream) in Lindsborg, KS. Its a pie lovers paradise with a large collection of home-made pies from this area. A couple of my favorites were fruit pies harvested from this area by the ladies that baked them... gooseberry and wild blackberry! Super yum! Proceeding the pie party is a pie contest based on crust, filling/taste and presentation. I was honored to serve as a pie judge last year and it was really fun and humbling to be in the presence of so many fantastic bakers!
I also have had the privilege of being invited to an event coined, 'Pie Sunday', at a friend's home. A close-knit group of artists and art lovers gathers once a month on a Sunday morning for fellowship, eat pie and talk about art. And, I can tell you, there is always something different and amazing to tempt your taste buds. The recipe swapping is not bad either! See below for a close-up of the pie presented one Sunday...
Back in Kansas City, when you want a really great pie, or a slice... you head to old Overland Park to the Upper Crust Bakery. Two sisters run this location and call themselves 'pie hustlers'. They really make a beautiful selection of pies and they are so delicious! Hailing from western Kansas, the ladies still use their grandmother's recipes (just like me!). Last summer we made a partnership where I was able to display my pie paintings inside the shop for a couple of months and we had several events around that Pie Art display! They have a night for Pie and Wine and also an evening for Pie flights - 3 slices for under $10. Please check them out if you are in the area!
For all you pie fans that are depressed about the lack of good pie these days or think that the art of pie baking is dying, I hope you will visit the Midwest and try a slice of our special pie obsession! We LOVE Pie! It is alive and well in Kansas!