Go Nuts for These Five Bakeries That Specialize in Pecan Pie

By: Karen Dybis | July 12, 2021

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Potato Sensations.

One of the best dessert delivery systems is the pie – a crust with a luscious filling and, sometimes, decadent toppings. But if you want that savory and sweet mix with a touch of crunch, then a pecan pie is the right choice, especially with all of the offerings around Metro Detroit. 

With National Pecan Pie Day approaching on Monday, July 12, you could make a pecan pie for yourself. It’s a great date for a pie some people think of as a Thanksgiving Day treat, but it really is a year-around dessert that the whole family can appreciate. 

If you want to make it at home, it’s as easy as a short trip to the local grocery store. The pie only needs simple ingredients – pecans, eggs, dark corn syrup, dark brown sugar, vanilla and butter along with spices of your choice. Metro Detroit bakers that have made this pie their specialty will have lots to share this National Pecan Pie Day.

How did the original pecan pie become a national sensation? Well, it starts with the nut itself. Pecans are the only nut that is native to the United States, so it truly is an American food. According to some experts, “pecan” comes from an Algonquin term meaning “nut,” according to some. Others say the word means “uts requiring a nut to crack.” Either way, pecans became commercially cultivated as far back as the 1880s. 

The pie itself? That history is a bit more challenging to track. According to food website Eater, some of the earliest recipes for pecan pie sprang up in the South. Some recipes date back as far as the 1870s and the 1880s in Texan cookbooks, while one was found in St. Louis toward the turn of the 20th century, Eater reported. The pecan pie took off in the 1920s, the website said, mostly with the explosion of Karo syrup as a popular sweetener. 

If you’re longing for a bite, consider checking out the pecan pies at these Metro Detroit pie shops, bakeries and restaurants. 

Sweet Potato Sensations

Granted, most of the recipes at Sweet Potato Sensations include the enviable ingredient of sweet potatoes. But that combination of the sweet potato and the pecan is rich and hearty. It also brings a new taste to your dessert table any time of the year, so try a pie and support this Black-owned bakery in Detroit.

 

Lush Yummies Pie Co.

The four generations of Lyle family have been making pies, and it shows. This Detroit-based pie company with Jennifer Lyle, a Le Cordon Blue Culinary School in Miami graduate, is best known for its “Butta” pie, but its pecan is a genuine Detroit tradition that needs to be tried, perhaps again and again. Order ahead because its pecan pies will sell out. 

Sister Pie

It depends on the time of year whether Sister Pie, which is known for its seasonal option, will have pecan pie. But this Detroit bakery literally wrote the book on this pie – or, more accurately, included a great recipe for the pie in its lauded cookbook. Either way, check in during the week of National Pecan Pie Day to see if the bakers are stocking this semi-regular treat. 

Achatz

Some people chop their pecans into tiny bits, which can create a nice texture. But the expert pie makers at Achatz Handmade Pie Company keep their pecans as halves, creating a huge crunch and big impact. They cover those pecans with a “sweet and sticky” brown sugar filling and top it off with a light and flaky pastry crush. Each of its 10-inch pies serve between 7-10 people. 

Southern Smokehouse

On West McNichols just two blocks east of Hubbell is one of Detroit’s best barbecue restaurants known for its Southern cuisine and catering. Its dessert menu, which is full of delightful local favorites such as banana pudding, tomato cobbler and 7-Up pound cake, also features a tasty cheesecake pecan pie, blending smooth cheesecake with the pecan and brown sugar. It’s guaranteed to have you coming back again.