Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tippin's vs. You Say Tomato cherry pie

Posted By on Thu, May 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge Can You Say Tomato unseat Tippin's in a battle of cherry pies?
  • Can You Say Tomato unseat Tippin's in a battle of cherry pies?

I've met a lot of pie bakers in Kansas City -- just not a lot who are making pies for restaurants.

Even the folks at Pryde's Old Westport were stumped when I asked where I could get a slice of pie in the middle of the week -- the Upper Crust Bakery at Prydes is only open on Fridays and Saturdays. The only name that consistently came to people's lips was Tippin's (or as it was first known, Pippin's).

Tippin's is Kansas City's pie-flag bearer. Although the restaurant closed in 2004, Hen House Markets purchased the brand and the recipes so the pies are still available. Nostalgia alone is enough for them to transcend the category of store-bought pies.

You Say Tomato, meanwhile, is one of the few places in the city where you can get a slice of rhubarb pie. That and the fact that the folks there bake their own pies make them a contender for this challenge. The cellophane-wrapped dessert plates at the counter might be the ultimate impulse buy at this popular brunch spot on Holmes. 

In the battle of Tippin's versus You Say Tomato cherry pies, I alternated forkfuls with a palate cleanser of water.

A simple baking tin can't contain the cherry filling of a Tippin's Pie.
  • A simple baking tin can't contain the cherry filling of a Tippin's Pie.

Appearance: The Tippin's mini pie is light golden with that classic red filling practically bursting from the sides. You Say Tomato serves a much more compact slice of pie. The crust is slightly darker and the slice is taller, a triangular monolith. Tippin's feels more like the kind of pie you'd find in a display case. Edge: Tippin's  

Tippin's pie is a heap of cherries beneath a light, flaky crust.
  • Tippin's pie is a heap of cherries beneath a light, flaky crust.
Forkability: Pie needs to have some semblance of order on the fork. The thicker filling in the You Say Tomato slice meant that I wasn't dropping cherry pie on my shirt, at least not too much pie. Edge: You Say Tomato

You Say Tomato dishes up a serious slice.
  • You Say Tomato dishes up a serious slice.
Filling: Tippin's pie is goosh-y. Perfectly round cherries in a bright red jelly, begging for a scoop of vanilla ice cream to tone down the sweetness. You Say Tomato has that tart quality, almost like sour cherries, that was perfect on a rainy day. Edge: You Say Tomato  

Crust: Tippin's crust is perfectly golden and flaky -- soft from start to finish. You Say Tomato has a light crust in the body of the slice and a hard, slightly darker shell; it was a bit too dry without a glass of milk. Edge: Tippin's

The winner? Though each had an equal number of category wins, You Say Tomato -- with its tart filling that blended well with the crust -- is the piece of cherry pie I want in display cases around the city.

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