I love it when I find something where I least expect it. On a recent free afternoon, I finally got myself to Hoosier Mama Pie Company shop in West Town. I was ready for a good piece of pie, which despite it being such an all-American dessert, can be hard to find. Pie that is baked that day and boasts crust that flakes to a fork. Like many artisanal producers, Paula Haney of Hoosier Mama along with husband Craig Siegelin started selling her pies at Green City Market in 2007, which is where I happily discovered them. Before launching the business, Haney honed her pastry skills in the kitchens of Trio, Pili Pili, and Trotters to Go. But her desire to return to simple creations and Indiana roots is what led her back to pie.
And thank goodness. Hoosier Mama’s pie has seriously good crust—made with butter and not shortening—and is filled with whatever is in season. Given that it wasn’t the height of fruit season on my visit, several cream pies were on offer, so I opted for coffee cream (alas, out of banana cream). Creamy? Yes. Decadent? Absolutely. I could only eat half of the mammoth slice. While the remainder of my pie was getting packaged to go, I snagged the last two chocolate chips scones and a pear-ginger turnover.
What a smart move. Haney (and her now small kitchen staff) goes beyond pie crust in her mastery of making all things dough related flaky. The bronzed scones are at once crusty, chewy, and biscuit-like, studded with generous chunks of dark chocolate. If Hoosier Mama were around the corner from me, I could easily make its scone a regular breakfast routine. And the crunchy sugar-crusted turnovers are equally as divine. Like me, if you can’t make it to the shop often, you can instead find the scones (and pies) all summer long at Green City Market.
For any of the items, customers can always place an order and pick up from this sliver of a shop, whose vintage-decorated interior has a small seating area of three tables and a narrow working kitchen behind the counter. A few savory items, such as tomato-broccoli-cheddar quiche or pork-apple-sage supper pie, offered by the slice or whole, are also available.
Hoosier Mama Pie
1618 1/2 West Chicago Avenue