Hoosier Mama's pecan pie a southern treat

January 19, 2013 8:27:10 PM PST
As good as the pecan pie is at the tiny Hoosier Mama Pie Company in West Town, it's surprisingly not flying off of the shelves.

"Pecan pie is not our top seller, but the pecan pie fans are very dedicated," said Hoosier Mama owner Paula Haney.

Most of those fans probably have Southern roots.

"Southern pecan pies are just better. They don't use corn syrup, they use cane syrup that is sweet but not too sweet and has a lot of flavor, and really lets the pecan flavor come through," she said.

She begins by melting some butter in a double boiler. Granulated white and brown sugar are mixed together by hand, to fully incorporate each other. They're added to the melted butter and combined well. Haney then cracks in about a half-dozen eggs, whisking them up pretty vigorously. Since she's not in the South, and doesn't use cane syrup, she substitutes maple syrup instead.

"The maple syrup is actually from Indiana, as unlikely as that seems, Southern Indiana, and the pecans are from Missouri," said Haney.

The syrup, egg, sugar and butter mixture are heated over a double boiler, just to the point where the eggs are barely cooked. She then pours the pie filling through a strainer, to make sure there are no cooked pieces of egg, and finally, into the pecan-filled-and-baked pie crust. The pies are baked for about 20-30 minutes, until they're set.

"Our standard day in and day out is the straight maple pecan. Then we make a chocolate pecan pie, and we also make a maple pecan pie with bourbon and chocolate chips...that sells like crazy," she said.

Now whenever historians talk about Dr. King or Chicago or food, usually revolves around Edna's, which is now known as Ruby's on West Madison, however, had Hoosier Mama been around in the 60s, I'm pretty sure he would have been a fan of this place.

Pies go quickly at the shop, so best to call ahead and place your order, if you know you want a whole pie. They always sell slices for walk-in traffic too.

Hoosier Mama Pie Co.
1618 W. Chicago Ave.