takeout Aunt Erma's Bakery


November 13, 2008|By Rob Kasper

Aunt Erma's Bakery

Pennsylvania Dutch Market, 11121 York Road, Cockeysville

Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays (Thanksgiving week: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, closed Thanksgiving, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday). Call 410-316-1506.

You can't have a Thanksgiving feast without pie for dessert, and for the pie-challenged cooks, Aunt Erma's Bakery comes to the rescue.

Erma Riehl, who told me she was an aunt "some 20 times over," is the proprietor of a bakery in the Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Cockeysville. She described herself as "someone who has baked all my life." She lives in Chester County, Pa., and travels to the Baltimore-area market a couple of days a week.

She and her staff bake 15 to 20 types of pies. Some are made from scratch in the Cockeysville market. All are baked there. She ticked off the pie price points. A whole fruit pie, 9 inches in diameter, sells for $9.95. Half of a fruit pie goes for $5.50. The small, 6-inch fruit pies cost $4.25. Then there are custard pies. A whole 10-inch custard pie is $8.95; an 8-inch custard pie is $6.95.

The bakery does not take pie orders in advance for Thanksgiving week. But Riehl said, "We bake a lot of extra pies."

I visited the bakery on a Thursday. It was busy, in part because the market gives senior citizens a 10 percent discount on Thursdays. I sampled three pies. The coconut cream, at $4.25 for a small pie, was my favorite. It was a mix of fluffy cream and smooth filling, topped with flavorful bits of coconut. The crust was crisp. This pie, which I was told was made from scratch, was airy, flavorful and not too sweet.

The small pumpkin, $4.25, another made-from-scratch pie, was spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, and was slightly sweeter than pumpkin pie I am used to. But I could taste the pumpkin, a rarity in many commercial versions of this pie.

The praline and peach pie was an unusual mixture. I liked the crunchy texture of the nuts mixed with the sugary peaches. The double crust had a little trouble corralling all the goodness.

aunt erma's

Best bite: Coconut cream pie, small, $4.25

Also tasted: Pumpkin pie, small, $4.25; praline and peach pie, large, $9.95

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