As a non-beet-lover, I generally steer clear of anything involving the highly pigmented superfood. Notice I say “generally” here because as is the case with almost everything, you’ll find an exception to the rule.
This particular exception comes from none other than one of Detroit’s sweetest spots, Sister Pie. The bakery is offering two Valentine’s Day-driven flavors, sweet beet and red hot chocolate. Both debuted last year, coming back again as fan favorites.
I’ll be the first to admit I judge a book by its cover and a pie on its looks. And if you’re aiming for a colorful Valentine’s Day treat, this one’s for you. The sweet beet pie is a bright reddish-magenta, a perfectly themed dessert for a day of romance.
For my fellow non-beet-lovers, stay open minded. This pie threw me for a real loop. With my taste buds expecting the typical beet flavor (one could say that flavor resembles dirt), I was wowed. There is indeed a subtle nod from the vegetable but so meticulously mixed in with the other ingredients that it creates a truly unique and balanced treat.
“We approach menu development from the perspective that we want to push the boundaries of what people are familiar with, but still stay accessible,” says Lisa Ludwinski, owner of Sister Pie. “We knew we couldn’t completely load the pie with beets like we would with sweet potato or pumpkin. It’s also made with brown butter that helps to tame the beet flavor, and we mix in yogurt to make it extra creamy and bright.”
Chocolate, on the other hand, needs no exceptions. You know it’s going to be darn good. But the red hot chocolate pie is by no means your standard chocolate pie. “We like to think of the red hot chocolate as the spicy alternative to giving someone a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. It’s creamy and decadent, rich with bittersweet chocolate, and then you get that hint of cayenne pepper at the end,” says Ludwinski.
Prior to tasting it and based off its name, I assumed the pie was a play on red velvet. I knew I was wrong when I felt the heat kick in after that first bite. It’s a slow rising warm heat that likes to linger. Mixed with the heaviness of the chocolate, it is delicious.
Both pies will be available through the month of February and can be pre-ordered online at sisterpie.com.