Baker Emily Irvine says you “can't really compete with nostalgia.” But her pies seek to do just that.
Emily Irvine wanted to work in food because she loved eating it. She remembers the bite that sparked the love affair. “It was a crème brûlée—the cracking of the top and the shards of caramelized sugar and the creamy cool vanilla custard,” recalls the Bexley native.
Irvine’s first job in food was at the Bexley Natural Market. “From there, I went onto farming. I worked on small organic farms for about 10 years,” she says. Despite no baking experience, she began working at local bakeries during winter breaks. With practice, she grew her confidence as a baker. “I had a business card, and I was making pies at home, but I don’t think I ever intended to do anything with it,” she says. In 2017, she launched Ohio Pies from her home full time.
Irvine is passionate about sourcing ingredients from Ohio farms for her pies, which range from maple pecan to blueberry to banana cream. She also uses Ohio grass-fed butter in her flaky crust—the key to which is to “start with really cold butter in larger chunks than you would think.”Meet some of the Central Ohioans who baked their way through 2020.
Why pie? Irvine says that none of the pies she tried locally stood up to the ones her grandparents used to make. “You can’t really compete with nostalgia,” she says.
Plus, she loves the challenge. “It is hard to make a good pie. There’s a lot more involved, because you have to get the crust right and the filling right,” she says. “I feel like I could keep doing this the rest of my life and always be learning new stuff and always keep getting better.”
Look for Ohio Pies every Tuesday at Bexley Natural Market (508 N. Cassady Ave.) or place your order at ohiopies.com.