Great Bakes: Pie

Whether you’re looking for savory or sweet, these pies are so good they’ll bring a tear to your eye.
Photography by Tony Valainis

Pots & Pans Pie Co.
With its reputation for creative spins on traditional favorites, Pots & Pans delights in pushing the boundaries of pie. The lineup of sweet creations changes monthly to reflect seasonality, although Sugar Creme Brulee and apple crumble remain constants year-round, boasting thick, flaky crusts made with European butter and lard from Gunthorp Farms. These babies aren’t strictly for dessert, either—savory take-and-bake pot pies include classic chicken, Thai Chicken Curry, and Green Chile Pork variations. Seek them out at farmers markets or browse the wares at the brick-and-mortar SoBro shop. Just try not to drool. 4915 N. College Ave., 317-600-3475

Bread Basket Cafe & Bakery
This charming Danville eatery sources produce and ingredients locally for its solid collection of baked beauties. The coconut cream and the peanut butter are year-round bestsellers, but seasonal rivals like Pumpkin Crunch and pecan give them a run for their money during the winter. Strawberry rhubarb rules in springtime, and Lemon Sour Cream stands out as a summer favorite. Owner Jinayla Bollman and staff roll out all the crusts by hand, lovingly crimping the edges and weaving lattices before brushing with egg and sprinkling on turbinado sugar for a little extra sweetness. “It takes a tremendous amount of effort and care to create a pie,” she says. “It’s that care that you taste in the end.” 46 S. Tennessee St., Danville, 317-718-4800

Gray Brothers Cafeteria
In a genius marketing move, Gray Brothers positions all of its pies at the front of the cafeteria line to tempt hungry customers right off the bat, making it virtually impossible to pass up a slice of dreamy chocolate cream or tart blackberry before you get to the fried chicken and mashed potatoes. No matter the season, the gorgeous glazed strawberry is always a showstopper, heady with whole berries in clingy syrup and topped with pillowy poofs of whipped cream. Thoughtful sugar-free apple and cherry pies are also available, along with an old-fashioned raisin recipe you don’t see every day. 555 S. Indiana St., Mooresville, 317-790-2191

My Sugar Pie
Loyal customers line up for owner Kelly Maucere’s scratch-made classics, like “Mom’s Original” Dutch Apple filled with tart Granny Smiths (the pie that got the Zionsville business rolling 16 years ago), Hoosier Sugar Cream, and pumpkin. But the more unusual offerings, like pineapple, red velvet, Confetti Birthday, and My Elvis PB & Banana Cream, also boast their own fan followings. Among an inventory that claims more than 40 different recipes, Pumpkin Praline makes an appearance in the fall, and Girl Scout cookie season ushers in Thin Mint Madness as February segues into March. You’ll also find slices on dessert menus at several northside eateries. 40 E. Pine St., Zionsville, 317-733-8717

Generations Pie Company
Maria Johnson uses recipes passed down through the women in her family to turn out traditional pies in her Fortville commercial kitchen, sold on-site and at farmers markets. And let’s just say, Grandma Hattie Leota and Grannie Suk really knew what they were doing. Rustic, buttery-crusted fruit options like Maria’s Strawberry Rhubarb, lemon chess, blueberry, peach, and Sherry’s Cherry prove popular during the summer, while fall tends to bring perfectly spiced pumpkin, sweet potato, Winston’s Bourbon Chocolate Pecan, and Salted Caramel Apple variations to the forefront. 230 S. Main St., Fortville, 317-605-9568

Taylor’s Bakery
In addition to serving donuts, cookies, petit fours, custom cakes, butter flake rolls, and other mouthwatering confections, this humble 100-year-old legacy bakes up 9-inch apple and cherry pies daily, branding each with a “T” cut into the top crust. Tart and tangy key lime pies join the lineup in the spring and summer, and Thanksgiving-perfect pumpkin and pecan show up in the fall. Bonus: Customers can find Taylor’s own hand-packed ice cream in the freezer case for one-stop a la mode. P.S. National Pie Day is January 23. 6216 Allisonville Rd., 317-251-9575; 8395 E. 116th St., Fishers, 317-596-2253