Allison D’Aurizio, owner and baker of My Grandmother’s Pie, may be true to her southern roots with her flaky pie crust and perfect pecan filling, but she’s setting the bar higher when it comes to her new creations, like her sweet and savory galettes and portable hand-pies. While it’s been just two short years since D’Aurizio set up shop here in Jacksonville, she’s quickly become an institution. With no storefront, you can order from My Grandmother’s Pie online and you can find them at markets around town including Jaxsons Night Market in Hemming Park, Beaches Green Market at Jarboe Park, and various pop up events around town. If you know where she’ll be—and you can keep track on her website—then you’ll want to arrive early, or you may miss out on your favorites.
After D’Aurizio and her family moved to Jacksonville in 2011 from South Carolina, they soon found a home in the Springfield Community, and they have no plans to leave. She says it was one of the best places she could have started My Grandmother’s Pie because it’s such a supportive community. Her family and neighbors have taken on the tough task of being taste testers for new products.
When asked how she comes up with her recipes, D’Aurizio says that her “testing phase” is very different from her “baking phase.” She tends to go with trial and error, making as many batches as it takes to get it right. Every product on her table at market has been tested, tried, and perfected, just for you. D’Aurizio delivers a product she’s proud of, both in taste and a beautiful presentation. When it comes to her pies, she said that she “feels like they should have a pleasing visual component that goes along with the smell and taste.” D’Aurizio’s pies check all the boxes there, with perfect crust and mouthwatering combinations like Chocolate Peanut Butter, Traditional Apple, and of course, her grandmother’s famous Pecan Pie.
My Grandmother’s Pie is dedicated to quality and producing luxurious baked goods every time, and D’Aurizio is serious about that promise. She even had to adapt her grandmother’s recipe in order to preserve the taste and flavor she grew up with, while making sure that every ingredient is all natural with no artificial flavorings or preservatives. For example, the traditional maple syrup that her grandmother would use for her Pecan Pie turned out not to be so wholesome. Now she creates her own recipe from scratch that provides the same quality, but is more natural than the store bought syrup.
Along with her pledge to freshness and utilizing local, seasonal produce, D’Aurizio is also a big advocate for freezing. She says, “Don’t be afraid of the freezer.” Products marked by friendly “I freeze well” stickers don’t lie. “When you purchase a product that’s really fresh, it freezes really well,” says D’Aurizio.
When it comes to D’Aurizio’s favorite to make, the galettes take that honor. Galettes are a flat pastry made by free folding pie crust over the filling, giving you lots of the perfectly moist and flavorful crust that is so signature to the bottom of a pie crust. It turns out they are her favorite to make because, she says, “There are infinite combinations and possibility, and the galettes always reflect the best of my produce.” That creativity definitely shows. Each week you can find flavors like Raspberry Goat Cheese Galettes and Chocolate Pistachio Pear Galettes. She has just started introducing savory options like Cremini Mushroom, Spinach and Brie Galettes, and Bacon, Spinach, Creamed Leak, Parmesan Galettes.
You may ask, out of all the tasty things D’Aurizio bakes, what is her favorite treat? For Allison it is all about the Brown Butter Rice Crispy Bars. “It’s comfort food,” she says, “and they remind me of my childhood, but it’s grownup with the browned butter.”
For Valentine’s Day you can, of course, look forward to chocolate! For those of you thinking about doing a special order of Valentine’s Day, D’Aurizio gave us a sneak peek at her offerings. She says her pastries will be laced with lots of chocolates, raspberries, and strawberries. She nearly made this chocolate lover drool when she said the words “Chocolate Ganache Strawberry Hand Pies.” Almost enough to wish that Valentine’s Day came more often! To place your order or just find out more, visit mygrandmotherspie.com.