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Sugarkist Cakes and Pies

By Megan Tempest in Food on Jan 26, 2010 7:00PM

Sugarkist Cakes and Pies, the heavenly creations of Chicago pastry chef Jane Roberts. Sugarkist is a special order bakery specializing in seasonal fruit pies and wedding cakes. Sugarkist seeks out local dairy, eggs, and fruit from farms selling at the Green City Market, frequently Klug Farm and Nichols Farm. In addition to special order home delivery, Sugarkist sells mini pies - the perfect dessert for two - at Green Grocer, Provenance Food and Wine, and New Wave CafĂ©. With pies like the mystical (for real) Pear Cranberry Hazelnut Crumble, or the divine Chocolate Bourbon Pecan, Sugarkist is not to be missed. Although Jane’s menu changes seasonally, she’s always open to special requests. Today we asked Jane to tell us a little about herself and her mouth-watering desserts.

Chicagoist: How did Sugarkist come to life?

Jane Roberts: I've been baking professionally for the past 10 years. My first job was as a baker at Bite Cafe, and from there I went on to work as a pastry assistant or pastry chef at restaurants including Mas, Blackbird and Lula Cafe. Bite used to always have pies and cakes on the menu, so I think that's where I first got excited about baking pies. I began selling mini pies at the Wicker Park Farmer's Market initially, and then at the Logan Square Market, where I've been for the last 3 years. At some point about 2 years ago I was ready for a change from restaurant kitchens, so I decided to make a go of selling pies and cakes on my own. I now have several wholesale accounts, as well as special orders and wedding cakes.

C: Your menu at Sugarkist changes seasonally - what's on the menu for winter?

JR: To me, winter is cream pie season (banana, chocolate and coconut!). I'm also doing a Brown Butter Pecan, Key Lime Meringue, and Sour Cream Apple with Walnut Streusel, among others.

C: What is your favorite pie?

JR: A toss-up between Banana Cream and Strawberry Rhubarb...and the previously mentioned Sour Cream Apple with Walnut Streusel It's kind of hard to pick one

Want to try Sugarkist Pie for yourself? Jane, along with the folks from Crop to Cup Coffee, will be sampling some of her tasty pies at Green Grocer this Thursday, January 28th, from 5-7pm.

In case you missed it, Chicagoist staffers weighed in on their favorite pies last week.