Jerry Leding and his daughter, Sarah, share a passion for baking. She has been perfecting her chocolate chip cookie recipe for years, and he has a collection of heirloom baking utensils used by cooks in their family that needed a place to live. Lucky for us, they chose to share both with the public when they opened their bakery, Gooseberry Handmade Pies last fall.
In their shop in Bentonville, Arkansas, large photos of their handmade creations cover one wall, and another features the baking utensils hung with care by Jerry’s son and Sarah’s brother, Greg, a legislator in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
In addition to the customer favorites, which include Apple pie with streusel topping and salted caramel drizzle, and a rich coconut cream with meringue, Gooseberry offers all the traditional choices such as cherry, chocolate cream, apple and pecan. But I would recommend that you go rogue and try something special.
The grapes baked into the Ozark Mountain Grape pie are sourced locally from the foothills of the Ozarks in Arkansas on a family farm. Scrub the thought of a pie that tastes like jelly from your mind right now, because that’s not what this is. The mouth feel of the grape is almost identical to a cherry pie, but the flavor is more mild and earthy. I would suggest an ice cream pairing of black walnut for an authentic Ozark treat.
Pecans are used in several different ways at Gooseberry, and all of them are amazing. You could go with a simple pecan, but why?? Chocolate Pecan is basically a crazy-good chewy brownie in a pie shell. It’s hard to beat that, but the Brandy Pecan is a pretty strong opponent. Just get both.
Gooseberry pies are available in two sizes – a regular 9 5/8” pie, and a “mini” 5” Prices range from $8.00 for the minis to $28.00 for a specialty pie. Knowing it would be hard to choose a favorite, they also offer four minis for $28.00. Limited delivery in Bentonville is available, and many of their pies can be baked with no added sugar.
You can keep up with their daily offerings on their Facebook page. The shop is located at 2210 S. Walton Blvd., Suite 12. Open Monday – Friday 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and 9:00 a.m. – noon on Saturdays. Orders and deliveries can be scheduled by calling (479) 224-1318. http://gooseberrypies.com/