Once a staple of restaurant dessert selections in America, pies have fallen off the pastry-tray radar over the last few decades, replaced by ubiquitous European imports tiramisu, creme brulee and flan. Even bread pudding, once a clever way to use up leftover bread and rolls, has become suddenly a sophisticated dessert.
But the all-American pie -- once the beloved sweet finale at hundreds of diners, lunch counters and coffee shops -- is poised to become upper crust all over again.
A story about 2011 food trends in yesterday's online edition of Nation's Restaurant News quoted marketing consultant Andrew Freeman of San Francisco-based Andrew Freeman & Company saying that, if he had to predict just one major trend as the "number one position for 2011," he would choose pies. "I think we're going to make room for pie shops in the next year next year."
So we can hope that pies will at last replace cupcakes as the glamor pastry of the moment. There's something more comforting and substantial -- not to mention less sugary -- about pies.
Kansas City restaurants that already specialize in home-baked pies include the 50-year-old Frontier Steakhouse in Kansas City, Kansas, where owner Mary Laffoon, at age 90, continues to bake the pies. The Weston Tea Room, in historic downtown Weston, Missouri, also makes and sells terrific pies. Rob's Cafe on Highway 40 serves up a wonderful house-baked pie of its own.
(Image via Flickr: cherrylet)