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If you could teleport to the Iowa State Fair circa 1953, it's a good bet that you'd savor desserts like those at the Little Pie Company. Latticed and glazed, these fruit, cream, and meringue confections tempt buyers year round via seasonal specialties (summer peaches, autumn pears). The sour cream apple pie has a butter-cinnamon crust that would be please even without the filling; non-pie treats such as dense applesauce-carrot cake and tart lemon-poppy bread rival a fantasy Grandma's best efforts. All the bakery’s goods are prepared without preservatives or canned, pre-mixed or otherwise adulterated ingredients; berries and cherries are flash-frozen to appear in winter months, long before their season. Although most pie crusts use butter or the dread Crisco as shortening, some, like the old-fashioned apple, employ a touch of snowy lard for flavor and texture. Little Pie Company's bakers—clad in chef’s whites and starched toques in the open kitchens—also make a dozen varieties of quiches, croissants, and brioche as well as special-order cakes for weddings or other occasions. Most business is takeout, but a few tables and counter stools are available.Extra
Pumpkin, apple-cranberry and mincemeat pies are big sellers from November through December—and require early orders. Year-round, sugar-free fruit pies can be ordered a day ahead, as long as it's before 3 p.m.