Friday, December 9, 2011

Frugal Floozie Friday -- Achatz Handmade Pie Company

Now just where, you may ask, is this place where you'll fall in love at first slice? Why, it's today's Frugal Floozie Friday feature - Achatz Handmade Pie Company.

A new store in Ann Arbor has recently joined the others in this Michigan-based franchise, offering handmade pies that have been showered with praise from Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazines, as well as from the Food Network, the Detroit Free Press, and the American Pie Council.

The Achatz [ACK-itz] family is noted in Southeastern Michigan for its cooking, due its numerous restaurants and catering businesses. The very large extended family is most famously represented by James Beard Award-winning chef Grant Achatz of Chicago's noted Alinea restaurant, which was recently named the best restaurant in North America and 6th best restaurant in the world.

The pedigree is impeccable, and my expectations were very high.

On the evening that my BFF Wendy and I visited, we were warmly greeted and offered samples as we perused the lovely offerings. The Michigan Four Berry Pie is vibrantly flavored, a gorgeous tribute to our state's produce. Achatz uses Michigan ingredients almost exclusively, from the fruit to the flour to the dairy products. The other treat we were able to sample was the Cannoli Pie, creamy and sweet and utterly sublime.

You can buy whole pies or individual slices, which vary in price. For $3.79 - well within our mandatory Frugal Floozie Friday budget of $5 per person - the slice of Cadillac Pie (pictured to the right) that I chose is an obscenely rich and decadent treat. A chocolate cookie crust supports a layer of smooth caramel sprinkled with roasted peanuts, a peanut butter silk layer, and a cream topping that is then drizzled with chocolate and still more peanuts. It is worth every single one of the calories ingested ... and please, don't anyone tell me how many there were!

Wendy ordered the Sweet Potato Pie, and whipped cream was very generously offered and graciously accepted. It cost $3.29, which meant that a large coffee could also be ordered for $1.60 while staying within our limited $5 budget. This smooth, sweet and spicy selection was chosen for its pretense of nutritional value, and it was a delicious treat.

Achatz also offers savory options and an assortment of soups for take-out, as well as selling other fine Michigan products such as Better Made potato chips and Faygo sodas. There are 45 different pies on the menu for ordering, though not every one of these is available each day by the slice.

But whatever is available - from pies featuring fruit or cream, nuts or chocolate, and even combinations thereof - and whether you eat at the shop or take your treats home, a pie from Achatz is a truly seductive indulgence.

Achatz Pies
2643 Plymouth Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

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Unknown said...

Oh, I do love pie.. and the Cadillac pie could definitely be my choice!! Looks decadent!

Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z said...

If I ever get to Ann Arbor, I'm going to be searching out all of these frugal finds! The berry pie looks absolutely fabulous.

Cranberry Morning said...

Wow. There are a lot of places that make pie, but not a lot of them that do it well. Sounds like a great place. By the way, I've never ever eaten (or seen) a cannoli. :-O

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