This Month’s PIE BLOG – an FAQ session with the lady herself

“I may not be able to define a pie, but I know one when I see it.” Raymond Sokolov

If you’ve been to one of Practical Art’s Charity Pie Nights, which happens every Fourth Friday (psst…tonight!), you may have had some of the best pie you’ve ever experienced. If you then tried to elbow through the crowds to get back up to pie-maker extraordinaire and owner of Vonceil’s Pies, Karen Olson, to quiz her about all the magic that goes into these wonderful creations–  you probably found so much activity at the pie counter that conversation was a little tough. So, we’ve asked Karen to answer some of her most often received inquiries about her and her craft to allay everyone’s burning questions.

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Question: What is your favorite pie?
Answer: Sorry to usually disappoint here in person. I rarely have a quick answer, if I have an answer at all. My sweet tooth is BIG, and therefore makes this question a hard one to pin down. Though at the moment, it is Peach ginger (with ginger powder, extract, candies, etc…)

Q: Where do your recipes come from?
A: Back when I started baking in dark ages (just kidding … some days), I would look up recipes either in my mother’s cook books or online, and copy them to the exact measurement. Over time, I still search the internet and cook books often, but it is more often to get inspiration than anything else. Recipes can seem to get stale when made over and over, therefore it is fun to get a fresh flavor pairing, or to see if you can remove entire ingredients but get similar results! Some day, maybe I will even start writing my own “recipes” down!

Q: Why pie?
A: I love to bake. It is a plain and simple fact about me. The reason why I gravitated towards pie baking is the amount of time that goes into it. I like the idea that there is a period of prep, but then an even longer period of rest before you get your reward. It is a fast paced life, which makes it nice to slow down, even if just for an hour.

Q: Who is Vonceil?
A: Vonceil is one amazing woman. She is my mother’s mother, and if not for her, my own mother, and my great grandmother, I would not bake crust the way I do today. The funny fact about my Grandma Vonceil is that her own mother did not actually teach her how to make crust. It skipped a generation to my mother, who then taught me! Now don’t get me wrong here, Vonceil knows her way perfectly well around the kitchen! But the thing I love most about her besides the fact that she is my grandmother is her indirect influence on my baking.


Hope you enjoyed that little peek into Karen’s world o’ pie, and we also hope to see you for tonight’s Charity Pie Night— Friday, August 22nd, from 7-9pm.  All donations, and 10% of all sales from the day, will be donated to ADLA.


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