Whatever the trend spotters say, pie has never been out of style. Sure it's enjoying the spotlight right now, with everyone calling it the new cupcake (another dessert that might wane in popularity but will never actually go away) and the must-have dessert for 2011. But this is America: We'll always love pie.
And since it's popping up everywhere, we predict pie pop-ups to be the new food truck. Kicking things off is the online bakery Crust, which is partnering with The Golden State for the perfect trifecta of pie, beer and Scoops gelato.
In pursuit of all things pastry, Crust's Stephanie Jayne Shaiken dropped out of law school, went to the Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, and worked in Paris and as a pastry chef around town before launching the business with her family in 2010. Shaiken's a traditionalist when it comes to flavors — the apple or cherry are as homey as mom's, each made with the signature flaky, tender crust — and sizes range from large pies to minis, plus hand pies and even pie “shooters” for cocktail parties. She also offers an array of seasonal tarts and crumbles, plus an addictive snack called “cracker brittle,” a salty cracker crust topped with caramel and squiggles of chocolate.
The pies are available for delivery around the greater L.A. area, but Shaiken hopes to open a brick-and-mortar space soon, thus the pop-up. Taking a few cues from Ludovic Lefebvre — Shaiken did the pastries for Ludobites 4.0 — she realized it's the best way to get a feel for different neighborhoods and get the Crust name out there. “We're just testing the waters everywhere,” she says. And we get to reap the rewards.
The Golden State couldn't be more perfect for the inaugural pop-up. First, it's closed on Mondays (so no burgers, sorry), which benefits the pie slingers who can now serve and plate the each slice in style. Second, pie's best friend, ice cream — or in this case, Scoops gelato — is already on hand. And to make it even more interesting, The Golden State's Jason Bernstein will bring in a few special brews to pair with Crust's pies, like Craftman's Honesty Ale, a tart sour cherry ale that should make a great match for cherry pie, and the slightly oaky, bourbon-barrel-aged Allagash Curieux for apple pie.
And for the Campfire S'mores Pie? “You could do a stout or a porter,” says Bernstein. “But I was thinking something spicier, like Lost Abbey's Gift of the Maggi. It's a Belgian-style strong golden ale with frankincense and myrrh, and kind of reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate.”
Crust's pie will be sold by the slice ($5.50), or you can get a flight of three ($15); a scoop of Scoops gelato costs an extra $2.50. There will also be whole pies to take home, plus Crust's Cracker Brittle and jars of caramel sauce. The pop-up goes today, Monday, February 21, from 6 to 10 p.m.