The Elegant Farmer’s Wedding Piejacking

My enthusiasm for cupcakes has been up there on the excitement meter for many years.  I have trudged across many city blocks in New York City, braved heat and rain in DC, and taken a cab ride in Chicago with the sole purpose of procuring cupcakes from a specific bakery.  But lately I have found my attentions drifting….to pie.

We are in the Chicago area for a family wedding.  My sister tells me that there is an incredible apple pie that comes from a place called The Elegant Farmer, located near where my niece and nephew go to camp in Wisconsin.  Their apple pies are …wait for it…legendary.  My sister, being related to me, has done her research and knows that this pie is sold in a number of markets in Illinois, including one that happens to be located right near where we are staying. She has introduced the pie to our Chicago family on a previous visit, and the groom is an avid fan.  Wouldn’t it be nice if she got him some pie?  
So hours before the wedding we travel to Sunset Foods in Northbrook, Illinois.  My sister buys a caramel apple pie for for the bride and groom, and one for us to share before the wedding.  I also buy a blueberry crisp to take home. This pie is not exactly an undiscovered delicacy.  The Wall Street Journal has declared it “the best pie in America.” Chef’s Dan Scheel and John Bauer beat Bobby Flay in an apple pie throwdown in 2008.
As we return to the hotel with our pie, we must scurry past the wedding party.  They are fully dressed for the ceremony and in the midst of taking formal photographs.  My sister mouths to the groom “we’ve got pie” and despite the fact that he is about to be married in a couple of hours, he seems interested.
We’ve neglected to get plates but we’ve got plastic forks so we set ourselves down in the lobby and dig in. Let me preface this by saying that caramel is one of my favorite flavors.  I love caramel apples and give me a salted caramel cupcake and I’m in heaven.  But this apple pie is topped with a layer of caramel that is thick but not too thick.  It surpasses anything I have ever tasted.  “Oh my G-d,” I exclaim.  My sister is filled with pride.  “I told you,” she says. The apples are tart, and the crust is buttery deliciousness. The secret to The Elegant Farmer pie is that it is baked in a paper bag.  This according to their website “creates a unique crunchy top crust and a light, flaky old fashioned bottom crust..” I can’t stop eating the pie. 
It’s not long before the best man and several other members of the wedding party are tempted away from the photos and towards the apple pie.  (I now get the Adam and Eve thing.)  Each person who takes a bit of the pie seems to be taken by surprise at how fantastic it is.  The photographer is losing his subjects as they are drawn helplessly to the pie.

Finally the groom manages to wriggle away for his turn at the pie.  We have no napkins and no plates, just the forks.  He is not a bit dissuaded.  I picture him with bits of sticky caramel running down the front of his tuxedo shirt. His bride is going to kill us if this goes amiss.  Fortunately he manages to eat the pie without a single mishap. We leave the wedding party to their photos.  My sister and I head upstairs with a single piece of pie remaining.  We can’t eat another bite, so we drop it off in the hands of cousins who we can only hope will appreciate the true magnificence of the pie. 
My sister has left an entire caramel apple pie in the honeymoon suite for the newlyweds to enjoy.  I’m secretly hoping they bring leftovers to the brunch the next morning.  As we wait for them to arrive to brunch, I hear a rumor that the pie is accompanying them.  A cousin serves as lookout and informs me when they enter the room, as I am faced away from the door.  I nearly knock them over in an effort to get just a few more bites.  (I wish I was kidding, but if you know me then you know the truth.)  I do remember to congratulate them before I grab a fork and plate.

The memories of spending a weekend at a wonderful wedding with family who are seldom together will linger for a long time.  The caramel apple pie from The Elegant Farmer makes those memories just a little bit sweeter.
The website includes a list of where The Elegant Farmer pies are sold, and they can be ordered online.  (For the record, I am not a fan of the blueberry crisp. Stick with the pie.)

The Elegant Farmer, Mukwonago, WI


  1. Wow!!! This was beautifully written and I was totally unaware of all of this. My sons (one is the groom) mentioned it last night at our Thanksgiving celebration feast. I am running to Sunset to purchase a couple of the pies for a couple of presents. This is a wonderful memory for all who were involved. I wish I had a chance to taste the pie, but I trust all of you. Love, MOG (mother of the groom)


  1. […] Shari shared some of my passion for food- but her obsessions were much more specifict han mine.  She absolutely loved the caramel apple pie in a bag from the Elegant Farmer in Wisconsin, which she discovered because Samantha and Zack (her children) went to camp nearby. When Shari found out the pie could be purchased at a grocery store in the suburbs of Chicago, we made a special trip during a family wedding weekend to buy a couple of these phenomenal pies.  We sat in the lobby of the hotel, plastic forks in hand, and ate as much of the pie as we could manage.  That was a happy moment.  (My blog post- The Elegant Farmer’s Wedding Piejacking) […]

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