Hoosier Mama Pie Company (Bakery, Ukrainian Village)

Photo Credit: Fuzzy Gerdes

Dear Hoosier Mama Pie Company,

Stop making me fat. It’s not your fault I have no willpower, but it is your fault that you make the greatest pies in existence.


P.S. I’ll see you Sunday.

Seriously though, I can’t get enough. This place is no secret as it is one of the most popular stops at the Green City Market and maintains a constant line outside their Ukrainian Village bakery. But if you haven’t tried one of their pies then forget the hype and just go, like right now. Even if you think you don’t like pie you should challenge yourself to a visit, chances are you’ll find something that will melt your senses and trigger a body shaking addiction.

Their small retail front is quite simply just a pastry kitchen with stacks and stacks of cooling pies and swift workers, indicating their demand far exceeds their facility. With the look of grandma’s kitchen one would expect a little old lady conducting operations with a waggling wrinkled finger. But alas, this place is merely an ode to the old fashioned pie company, unexpectedly run by the former pastry chef of Trio (Paula Haney) where she worked alongside the mad scientist (Grant Alchatz) behind Alinea. One would think her pies would be made of foam and hung from a stick knowing that, but instead these sweet and savory pies are so basic and pure they remind you why people like pie in the first place.

I was overwhelmed the first time I arrived so I went with their classic, the Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie, a depression era recipe that’s so basic and powerfully creamy it might make your heart stop. I’ve always loved lemon meringue pie but generally find lemon curd too sweet — not at Hoosier Mama with a meringue so perfect each pie is a work of art. They make Chess pies (a sugary southern tradition) and Cream pies that are so fluffy it’s no wonder why they insist on serving their pies the day they’re baked. The Espresso Cream is made with Metropolis’s Red Line Espresso and would replace my nightly double shot if not for the calorie intake. The banana chips lining their Banana Cream make your eyes water, and if the state of Michigan knew how good the Michigan Cherry Pie was at Hoosier Mama they’d file a lawsuit in the federal court of jurisdiction. And it doesn’t stop at the sweet — their quiches and pot pies give me every excuse to crunch that delectable pie crust even before dessert.

I know what you’re thinking; he likes pie, we get it. But the funny thing is I don’t like pie, I like Hoosier Mama. Maybe this means I’ve never actually had a great pie before but I’ll chalk that up to an industry of weakened standards over any culinary inexperience on my part. Are you still reading? Stop and go get yourself a pie. You won’t regret it even if your scale does.

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David Frankel McLean

About David Frankel McLean

I’ve been thinking philosophically about Chicago since I was jaywalking the streets at the age of 10. I don’t root for both baseball teams and I don’t put Ketchup on my hot dogs. When someone says they’re a Chicagoan they are speaking of a heritage and a doctrine, not just a location. What that doctrine is I’m not entirely sure, it’s constantly changing with the growth of the city and I’ll spend my entire life trying to figure it out.

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