Elegant simplicity is elemental to our pies.
Beef Pot Pie
Chicken Pot Pie
The live oak tree is part of my California heritage, a circumstance of my birth. These trees dotted my hometown landscape, and I gathered acorns in the shade of their branches when I was a child. Live Oak Avenue was a main thoroughfare in the town I grew up in, and I now live in proximity to Live Oak Canyon.
Today, I have a new affinity for the acorn and the majestic oak tree that grows out of it, thanks to the Baltic countries—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—and their embattled history as Soviet republics. I felt an immediate affinity for these countries, whose worlds had been turned upside down by circumstances beyond their control. I was in grad school because technological changes and globalization had disrupted my professional life as a production editor in educational publishing. After a decade of dealing with ongoing turmoil, I felt unsettled—not only in my career, but also as a citizen—because core values I had assumed were fundamental to society were being re-evaluated in light of globalization and rapid change.
Of the Baltic countries, Estonia, in particular, captivated me. As I learned more about it, I discovered a lens that helped me navigate the fundamental questions I was asking. Annexed to the Soviet Union in the aftermath of WWII, their cultural and linguistic heritage was suppressed. Yet, despite forced compliance, individuals found ways to honor their traditions. For example, in response to a literacy campaign initiated Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, a small group of Estonians formed the Acorn Book Club, not to improve their reading and writing skills, but to develop cultural literacy about their Estonian heritage. For twelve years they met on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of taboo topics, and by learning how to have conversations among themselves, they became better informed as citizens.
To honor these courageous Estonians, and because I believe food plays a fundamental role in building community, I chose Acorn Artisan Pies for the name of the business. I hope that in addition to baking delicious pies that nourish the body, the business also provides a way to feed the spirit of the community.
Acorn Artisan Pies, LLC, was borne because of the support of many people who, by believing in me, gave me the courage to launch this business. Additionally, a number of dedicated individuals have provided generously the grit of active participation and their tangible interaction—the building of this website, the creation of the logo, making the pies, for example—is evidence that it takes a community to bring a dream to reality.
To Clyde, Liz, and Whitny who taught me to trust myself when my self-confidence had been shattered.
To Catherine and Mort, and to Kathy who unequivocally have been there for me over the years with love and encouragement.
To Craig, who has supported all ideas—pie-related or not—and whose technological expertise and assistance makes this endeavor possible; and to the always calming presence of Robyn.
To Carole, whose talent crafted the logo, and whose editorial talent inspires Acorn Artisan Pie’s branding.
To Tom, whose help and love I can always rely on.
To my Santa Clarita family—Robin, Dougg, Marina, and Jay T—and amazing friends—Khek, Caroline, Janelle, and their husbands and children—who welcomed and supported me through grad school, and whose wisdom continues to guide me.
To my entire family who has always encouraged and praised my baking and cooking, and have been willing taste testers of whatever is placed before them.
Although I can bake, the business of baking is unfamiliar territory. To the wide range of professionals who have offered their advice, expertise, and encouragement, including David at the Chef’s Center, Larry at the SBDC, and the county and city representatives who have walked me through the permitting process, I am grateful.
And to all the unnamed individuals who have encouraged me to take risks and have fun, thank you!
As a child, I watched Nana, my English-born great-grandmother, craft sausage rolls and mince pies for our family’s holiday festivities. She lived in Hollywood on Fairfax Blvd., and one of my fondest childhood memories is traversing those streets with her on foot or by bus searching for ingredients.
Back at her tiny apartment, on a postage-stamp size table, she would roll out pie dough, encase the sausage in it, and create a savory treat. Nana also made individual mince pies. In my eyes, these round-domed pies were magical, probably because of the sugar Nana generously sprinkled on the pies as soon as they came out of the oven.
My love of mince pies has grown over the years. Memories of my Nana compelled me to carry on her tradition. Today our family holidays and special occasions always include batches of sausage rolls and mince pies, feeding Nana’s great-great-great grandchildren.
I have continued to experiment with making pies in a variety of flavors—from fruit-based, custard, and cream pies to savory-filled ones—in a variety of shapes and sizes. (For me, the crust is the crucial element in the pie and rustic tarts have become my preferred choice because of the ratio of crust to filling.) Acorn Artisan Pies now provides these pies to you.
— Redlands, CA