Eyes on the Pies: A Sweet Alternative to Traditional Wedding Cakes
Celebrate your wedding by serving a classic Lone Star State dessert: pie!
“Many couples today are moving away from traditional, tiered wedding cakes and choosing desserts that highlight local flavors and personal taste,” says Amanda Wadsworth Bates, co-owner of Austin’s Tiny Pies (tinypies.com), which created all the delectable confections (not just the tiny ones!) on these pages. “Pie is a great alternative to wedding cake.”
These three-inch handheld beauties are perfect for a grooms’ table or pie bar and can be prepared in endless varieties and styles. Discuss your favorite flavors, wedding theme, and reception logistics with a baker. “Think closely about your pie menu in terms of whether or not they’ll sit outside in the heat for a long time before serving,” says Bates of Tiny Pies. “Cream pies will need to be refrigerated until served. Make sure there’s enough refrigeration at the venue to accommodate a large pie order.”
Serving multiple flavors of pie is a fun way to showcase different family recipes and satisfy every taste. This artful tiered pie tower contains layers of pecan, cherry, apple, and key lime topped with a cloud of torched-brown meringue. For a local touch, “feature pies with truly Texas-centric flavors, using ingredients sourced seasonally from local farms,” Bates says. “For instance, Hill Country peach pie is available June through August; mixed berry, blueberry, and strawberry are at their prime May through August; and cranberry-apple pies are delicious in late fall and early winter.”
“Our mason jar pies make memorable favors. You can decorate the jar with a personalized message on top,” Bates says. They’re also great desserts for a reception—guests can easily eat them right out of the jar. Handmade graham cracker, house-made marshmallows, and chocolate cream fill these nostalgic s’mores pies. Feeling whimsical? ““Pie pops on a stick can be die-cut to match just about any wedding theme. They’re perfect for favors, centerpiece bouquets, and place-card holders at sit-down dinners.”
“A traditional-size pie makes a beautiful centerpiece on the dessert table and also creates an opportunity for the traditional photo of sharing a slice together,” Bates says. Locally sourced nuts from San Saba’s Oliver Pecan Company are the secret ingredient in Tiny Pies’ version, one beloved by generations of Texans. But whatever flavor you choose, don’t overlook the importance of a great piecrust, which is no small reason for Tiny Pies’ success, according to Bates. “It’s a super-secret recipe,” she says, revealing only that European butter is an integral ingredient. ““The crust literally melts in your mouth!”