November is a great month. Already, Halloween has passed, the air has changed and the holiday season is officially upon us.
Everywhere, families are decorating their homes, putting the last-minute touches on their vacations and baking their holiday treats.
For many, the pie is a staple during this time of year. What would Thanksgiving be without a fresh pumpkin or apple pie? Of course, cooking and baking can be time-consuming, especially if you’re busy working or spending your days entertaining your kids in between their holiday breaks. But fear not, you can still enjoy delicious, freshly made pies this holiday season without doing any of the baking yourself.
Joan Flavin, owner of and head baker at Joan’s Perfect Pie, is passionate about baking; specifically, about baking pies. Her pies are made fresh daily, so if you can’t make one yourself this year, don’t stress. With one of Joan’s perfect pies, you will be able to get the taste of home and the holidays you are so desperately craving. We sat down with Flavin to talk a bit more about her shop and her history with baking.
When did Joan’s Perfect Pie open? Was the shop always in EGAD?
I’ve been in business for about ten years. I started my business out in Suntree at a commissary kitchen. After being there for a few months I moved to my present location in EGAD.
Why the decision to focus on pies? Is there a family history with baking pie?
I like the simplicity of pies. A pie is just crust and filling. Both of those things must be perfect, or the pie won’t be good. The crust must be light, flaky and hinting of butter. The filling must keep its separateness but compliment the crust as you eat.
I’m pretty much self-taught in pie baking. Neither my mother nor grandmother were great bakers. The one pie my mom did make every summer was blueberry and that’s still my personal favorite. The recipe we use in the shop now is pretty much her recipe.
What has been your favorite part about owning your own shop? What do you love most about baking?
My favorite part of owning my own pie shop is the people who come to the shop. It’s hard for people not to be happy when they come in. It smells good, they can see us working and sometimes we have free samples! Lots of people are reminded of their moms’ baking pies when they smell our pies baking in the shop. I’m also proud and happy as a small business owner that I can provide jobs for four people.
What are your best-sellers? Do you have any seasonal specials?
Our best-selling pie is always apple. Chocolate peanut butter is a close second. Another very popular pie is our strawberry rhubarb. That pie brings back a lot of delicious memories for many of our customers.
During the holidays we offer two seasonal specialty pies. Those pies are apple cranberry with a crumb/nut topping and traditional mince pie.
Pies are baked fresh each day, right? When do you begin baking?
We bake our pies fresh every day. We can do a lot of prep work the day before, but we start baking about six every morning. That all changes at holiday time! We pretty much work round the clock and our three big ovens don’t cool down.
Why do you think pie has become such a popular dessert for the holidays?
I think Pie is THE dessert when it comes to Christmas and Thanksgiving. There is definitely a nostalgia factor when it comes to pie. It is kind of comforting and homey; just what we all want to feel at those times. In the past few years though, we’ve noticed more people buying pies for all sorts of holidays and special days. Lots of folks choosing pie for birthdays now instead of cake.