Pie... The Versatile Dessert

Gold Star Pies: Gearing up for the Holidays

Pie. It conjures up images of grandma's table, laughter and family. It's happiness in a nine-inch tin. As the holidays approach, we spoke with Heather Briggs, owner of Gold Star Pies, about the beauty of this versatile dessert. 

Thanksgiving and pie – they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Why?

The holidays scream for beautiful desserts and pie is a gorgeous labor of love. It takes time and it's an art and making it for those that we love is a gift that we give. It's a food that says we are thankful for someone and we love them enough to roll out a crust, combine decadent ingredients into a filling, shape a top crust, and bake to perfection. Thanksgiving is all about foods that are simple but take time and care, and pie is one of those.

What pies do you offer around the holidays?

We always feature our truck favorite, Bourbon Pecan. It goes perfectly with any spread. This is our official menu for Thanksgiving: Pumpkin, Salted Maple, Dutch Apple, Chocolate Chess, Bourbon Pecan, Tart Cherry and Apricot Honey Cobbler. Sampler Pie: One slice each of the above 7 flavors. 

Most supermarkets offer a sprawling pie selection this time of year – what makes Gold Star Pies different?

Our pies are made from scratch, in small batches, and all the dough is hand-rolled. We make sure we get a flaky, delicious crust on every pie. We hand peel and chop the fruit and nuts that go in our pies, and love to get creative with ingredients. Our customers appreciate complex spice combinations and creative flavors. We love to feature local fruit and we always bake in season. We offer the tried-and-true classics, but always have an outlier for the adventurous. 

Where can we find you in November and December?

We'll be parking downtown up until Christmas, and we take preorders for whole pies to be picked up at the truck, at our kitchen, or delivered. The easiest way to find us is to check the calendar on our website here: goldstarpies.com/calendar. We try to get the truck out once a week for folks to get slices. 

How many pies have you had in the rotation over the years? Which one is the fan favorite? Which one is your favorite?

We usually have about 40-45 flavors rotate through the menu over the course of a year. We bake in season, so many of the fruit flavors come and go depending on what is ripe and available. My favorite pie is Rhubarb Cream, which is a childhood favorite that my grandma used to make. It's very seasonal and we only make it in the early summer, usually with rhubarb from Black Forest. The fan favorite is either Bourbon Pecan, which we make year-round and hardly ever leave off the weekly menu, or Palisade Peach, which is a summer flavor for us. 

Everyone bakes cakes, but many folks are intimidated by pies. Why is that and what advice would you offer them?

We teach pie classes and what most people say in class is that making crust is intimidating and keeps them from the joy of baking pie. In reality, crust is easy to whip up, and pie is a rustic and very forgiving food. I always encourage people to be brave and mix fruits and spices, and to err on the side of leaving a pie in the oven for an extra 5 minutes. The biggest mistake in making pie is undercooking, which can lead to a soggy crust and runny filling. Making sure the pie bakes long enough to set well and produce a thick and bubbly filling is key. 

You raise money for the microlending organization TOLI. Why that particular charity? 

We believe in philanthropy and love to support local organizations with pie and funds. Some of the constants that we give to are Inside Out, Kidpower, Concrete Couch, and TOLI. I have a heart for TOLI because I'm an entrepreneur myself, and I wholeheartedly believe that the supplies, support, and love they provide through their microlending and business training are changing lives and communities. Being a small business owner is hard work, but it pays off in a million different ways; I like to share that and connect through that. 

Anything else you'd like our readers to know about Gold Star Pies? 

We love our Colorado Springs community; being in the food business here has been a joy. There is camaraderie in the food and service industry, and there's sweet support for local food here. Pie is a food that brings people together, it's made to be shared, and we have a community that's eager to participate. 

Website: goldstarpies.com/
Facebook + Instagram: @goldstarpies

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