Welcome to Fat Pants Fridays, a new weekly feature created to give formal expression to the belief that the end of the week calls for caloric celebration. Each week, we’ll highlight a baked good, dessert, or treat procured within the five boroughs; the only guideline is that it be worthy enough to break out the fat pants for, or to spend the better part of Friday digesting. For our first installment, we journeyed out to Williamsburg’s Blue Stove Bakery, where we found a most excellent cherry pie.
The Blue Stove feels so homey and well-loved that it seems impossible it opened only last year. Its eponymous blue stove, which owner Rachel McBride inherited from her grandmother, occupies a pride of place on the wide, tiled floor, and is emblematic of the aesthetic and sensibilities of the desserts that emerge from the bakery’s kitchen.
The display cases are lined with pneumatic muffins, croquet ball-sized whoopie pies, thick, chunky cookies, fat coffee cakes carpeted with cinnamon, and, of course, a chorus of pies so cheerful and generously proprtioned they seem to have been conjured by Norman Rockwell. This is hard-boiled Americana, grandma-style baking: a huge can of Crisco sits on the prep table, and several more crowd the whitewashed, general store-style shelves in the bakery’s rear.
Blue Stove’s pies are sold by the slice and as individual mini-pies, the latter of which cost $6.50 In either case, the nice woman behind the counter will offer to heat it up and serve it to you with a side of cream. The individual cherry pie, served warm and without cream, makes an excellent Fat Pants breakfast. The crust, endowed with a generous amount of Crisco, is golden, flaky, and both firm and meltingly tender. It’s deeply savory, and would make an equally ideal vessel for a pot pie. The cherries are fat and pleasantly tart, and barely adulterated with sugar and cornstarch. And while individual pies are too often overwhelmingly crusty, Blue Stove nails just the right crust to fruit ratio.
Blue Stove’s cherry pie actually calls more for an unbuttoning of the jeans than a pair of fat pants — it’s decadent, yes, but won’t send you into a coma or leave you full for the rest of the day. On the Fat Pants Scale, which ranges from skinny jeans to a burlap sack held up with a length of rope, it rates a “relaxed fit.” Incapacitation aside, what matters most is that it’s an absolutely ideal way to end the week and float off into the weekend in a blissed-out haze, and for that, there is ample reason to be grateful.
Blue Stove Bakery
415 Graham Avenue
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 5, 2010