Some things are just too good to not talk about and Achatz Handmade Pie Co. pies fall into that category. Created in a converted barn in Michigan, the all-natural pies are crafted with locally grown fresh fruit (never canned), pure cream from cows not injected with the potentially carcinogenic rBGH, rich butter, pure vanilla and other wonderful ingredients that come naturally from the earth. I first discovered the Michigan Four Berry Pie at Whole Foods in Chicago last year and my partner Drew and I brought it to a dinner party. This pie was one of the most indulgent, delectable desserts any of us had ever eaten (and believe me, we've eaten plenty) that four of us polished off the entire thing. Made with fresh blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and cherries and finished off with a crumb topping made with pure butter, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and unbleached flour, this pie is pure heavenly insanity. I've yet to have one of their cream pies, but I see one entering my life in the near future. But what started with pies has blossomed into a full-on bakery featuring quiche, streusel, cheesecake, cookies, banana bread and more. If you're in the Chicago, Cleveland or Detroit areas, I recommend hunting these down. Achatz has five stores -- and also sell their pies online. [Side note: one thing I find interesting is that the family's last name is the same as the famed Chicago chef Grant Achatz who owns the award-winning restaurant Alinea -- coincidence? I think not as a quick Wikipedia search says young Grant worked in his parents' restaurant in Michigan. Prior to opening the pie company, the Achatz's owned a successful restaurant ... in Michigan. If they are related it's good to see that great cooking runs in the family.]
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