Local Bakery Serves Up Mouth-Watering Pies

Local Bakery Serves Up Mouth-Watering Pies

A red door with the words "Bakery" above it.
Photo by Mike Armstrong

Local Bakery Serves Up Mouth-Watering Pies

By Joy Eidsor, Guest Writer

Located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Ben the Baker provides great service and mouth-watering treats. They offer take and bake, as well as thaw and serve options. Pies are ordered ahead through the website, benthebaker.com. The ease of preparation for these pies is ideal for anyone who wants or needs simple prep.

Upon entering the bakery, I was cordially greeted and permitted to browse. Pies and pints of ice cream sat stacked in freezers roofed with sliding doors. Though I had not realized that the treats were ordered by appointment, I was allowed to make a purchase. The workers were pleasant and easy to talk to.

Dessert pies made up most of the inventory at the bakery. Fruit pies are made the right way: with fresh fruit. The Peach Pie, with its beautifully crafted crust, proved a wonderful confection. Coarse sugar gave it sparkle. This pie did not have the same level of flavor as the berry pies discussed below, but the slightly syrupy peach filling lent a smooth texture to the dessert. At seven dollars, the price was a little high. Overall, the pie was a rare treat.

The Blueberry Pie emitted a luscious smell as it baked. Upon removal from the oven, dark filling was visible through slanted cuts in the pie’s top. The hand pie packed enough sweetness to satisfy those with a fierce sweet tooth. Whole blueberries scattered generously throughout the filling gave the dessert a pure realism. I could tell the filling did not consist of high fructose corn syrup and canned fruit. This treat certainly measured up to the seven-dollar price.

The Raspberry Pie’s tart, sweet flavor made it my favorite of the fruit pies. I was aware beforehand that there would be seeds. The sheer deliciousness of the pie made up for that small nuisance. As on all the fruit pies, the coarse grain sugar atop this one added extra flavor and a slight crunch. To me, this pie was well worth its price of seven dollars.

A savory treat, the Beef and Potato Pie was absolutely delightful. With the flaky crust deliciously buttery, and the filling made with care, this dish could easily win contests. The ingredients in the filling were not blended together in a mush. They could each be seen, and were distinguishable on the palette. The crust tasted quite rich. It proved to be a bit overpowering without something to cut the richness. Broccoli served that purpose, and paired well with the dish. At nine dollars, this pie was worth what I paid for it.

The Chicken Pot Pie has generated considerable sales for the little bakery. This hand pie lived up to its reputation. Once it had been baked, filling could be seen oozing out between the sections of crust. Chicken, peas and carrots in a light gravy made up that filling. The crust provided a pleasing buttery taste that was not overwhelming to me. Still, this pie didn’t quite seem worth its price of nine dollars.

Ben the Baker stands proudly with four different pies
Photo by Mike Armstrong

The Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream tasted as ice cream should taste: velvety-smooth, and with a clean sweetness. Whole milk contributed to its creaminess. Vanilla beans could be plainly seen in the dessert. The clean ingredients suited my concern for the environment. Many brands of ice cream have palm oil, which is often obtained through deforestation. Ben the Baker’s ice cream does not contain palm oil, so that was a huge plus. The fruit pies also do not have palm oil. The frozen treat went perfectly with those pies. It was worth its seven-dollar price.

The bakery boasts many other treats that I have not had the pleasure of tasting. These include: Key Lime, Tigerstripe Chocolate Cream, Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel, Blueberry Pretzel and Raspberry Pretzel pies. Ben Neumann pointed out that the Raspberry Pretzel is a bestseller. Around Thanksgiving, demand rises for Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie.

Customers are asked to return pie tins and ice cream containers so they can be reused. What an admirable request! Ben the Baker is doing a good turn for the environment.

All things considered, I’m giving Ben the Baker five stars.


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