Pie Showdown Pecan Pie

Photo Courtesy of Delight Bakery.

Thanksgiving Pie Showdown: Southern Sweetness


Certain flavors create seasonal taste memories, whether it is a steaming mug of hot chocolate after sledding, sugar cookies made for Santa’s visit or that minty freshness of a candy cane hung on the holiday tree. 

That is why having a pecan pie at any holiday gathering is so important – it is one of the best desserts for creating those sweet, nutty memories of times with family and friends. Its potent combination of pecans, sweet corn syrup and butter mixed together in a flaky pie shell gives you texture and flavor in one bite. 

Pecan pie is considered a Southern tradition, but it likely became popular in Michigan because of the Southern Migration, which occurred in the early part of the 20th century. Workers from around the Southern portion of the United States flocked to Detroit in particular to participate in the city’s economic boom, working in Detroit’s many factories in hopes of building a better life for themselves and their children.

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These so-called newcomers brought their Southern cooking here, elevating Detroit’s taste levels along with it. The pecan pie is the culmination of Southern baking, bringing the pecan to its highest level of perfection. Its subtle flavor adds richness to this pie, filled with nuts, butter, sugar, eggs and, most commonly, Karo Corn Syrup. 

Many local bakeries and confectionery shops sell pecan pie as a seasonal treat while others make it all year long. Smaller stores as well as big-box retailers all take a shot at offering the perfect pie – and you’d be surprised at which ones are hitting it out of the park with Southerners, such as Grosse Pointe Farms mom Jennifer Douglas Whorf. 

“Whole Foods has a seriously good pecan pie,” Douglas Wholf advises. “I am from Tennessee, so I know pecan pie.”

Here are some other suggested locations around Metro Detroit where you can find pecan pie, lovingly made in the Southern style for your guests to enjoy. 

Bert’s Market Place 

Sure, you might know this Eastern Market mainstay for its cool jazz. But did you know they also have wonderful food? After your main dish of ribs or fried pork chops, order the pecan pie for the perfect finish. You can order a whole pie to go as well, but you may not make it home with such lusciousness inside your car waiting to go in your belly. 

On the Rise Bakery 

Prepare yourself for a deep dish kind of experience with this Detroit bakery’s pecan pie. It is a thick filling that has so many nuts in it that it seems decadent from the first forkful. It won’t be hard to finish off the pie in one sitting, but you’ll wish you had purchased a few more once you’ve gotten a taste of its sugary goodness 

Peteet’s Cheese Cakes 

You can get a petite pecan pie at this venerable Oak Park bakery. But try a free sample, and you’ll likely want a larger portion for your plate. Peteet’s cheesecakes are rich and full of traditional goodness, but there are often unique tastes you’ll want to add to your order, including sweet-potato cheesecake or the peach cobbler cheesecake for a full Southern tasting. 

Love’s Custard Pies 

You’ll find Love’s Custard Pie serves a lot more than custard when you visit its stall at Eastern Market or one of its pop-up shops. Its pecan pie draws raves from those who have tried its sweet goodness. It offers full-size pies as well as smaller versions if you want to limit how much you’ll indulge in such a dessert this holiday season. 

Delight Bakery 

Everything at this Grosse Pointe Woods bakery is visually beautiful and delicious at the same time. Definitely try the pecan pie for these reasons. The bakers there are said to place every pecan individually to give the pie an elegant look and taste.

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