February 15, 2012

Soup to Nuts:
Mainers do love a pot pie high

They keep local bakers cranking out the classic comfort food of winter all year long.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

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Pete Leavitt of Leavitt & Sons Deli in Falmouth shreds chicken for some of the 15 to 30 pies he sells daily.

Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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When Pete Leavitt puts this sign outside Leavitt & Sons Deli in Falmouth, customers know there’s a fresh batch in the house.

Additional Photos Below


WANT TO GIVE some comfort to a friend? Lots of mail-order companies, restaurants and Maine seafood businesses sell their own versions of gourmet pot pies. Here's just a sampling:

HANCOCK GOURMET'S PEMAQUID POINT LOBSTER POT PIE – Lobster in a sherry cream sauce, two 7-ounce pies for $48. hancockgourmetlobster.com

ACADEME BRASSERIE & TAVERN, the restaurant at the Kennebunk Inn, sells a lobster pot pie that includes peas, corn, potatoes and hand-rolled puff pastry for $18.50. The pie was featured on the Food Network show "Best Thing I Ever Ate." thekennebunkinn.com

CALENDAR ISLANDS MAINE LOBSTER sells a 10-ounce lobster pot pie with bits of corn and potatoes for $20.95. calendarislandsmainelobster.com

HARRY & DAVID has a "savory pot pie collection" that includes a 2-pound, 9-ounce lobster pot pie for $39.95 and a 2-pound, 11-ounce chicken pot pie for $29.95. For vegetarians, there's a new 2-pound, 9-ounce vegan vegetable pot pie for $29.95. harryanddavid.com

MAINE FRESH seafood pot pies are made with all-natural, sustainably harvested ingredients and come in four varieties: Scallop, lobster, shrimp and crab. Prices range from $5.99 to $7.99 for a 9.9-ounce pie. A quarter of all the profits go back into community projects. Available at Hannaford and Whole Foods Market. maine-fresh.com

MAURICE BONNEAU'S SAUSAGE KITCHEN sells tortiere, traditional Maine pork pies, in three sizes ranging from $6.95 to $15. sausagekitchen.com


THE TERM "POT PIE" first appeared in print in America in 1785, but the concept goes all the way back to the Middle Ages. Medieval pies contained flavorings such as nutmeg and mace. In the 17th and 18th centuries, some savory pies were called pot pies because the crust lined the pot they were being cooked in.

THE FIRST FROZEN pot pie was made with chicken n 1951 and sold by the C.A. Swanson Co.

TODAY, WE THINK of pot pies as a convenience food, but in Europe, they were once the way chefs showed off their talents – especially with elaborately-decorated crusts.

Veggies: Carrots, celery and peas

What makes it good: Rosemont uses all local chicken (from Mainely Poultry in Warren) in its pot pies. The stock is made from chicken bones from the local chickens roasted in the store's butcher shop.

Pie pointers: "I definitely think the veggie-to-meat ratio is very important," Lynch said. "You don't want too many veggies, and you want an ample amount of meat. I think gravy is really important as well, that it's not too goopy and thick."



47 India St., Portland; 347-5144

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Baker: Stacy Begin

Main ingredient: Chicken

Size: 7-inch and 9-inch

Cost: 7-inch, $13.50; 9-inch, $20

When it's available: Daily. New bakery owner Stacy Begin says if there is demand for them, they will stay on the menu year round

Veggies: Pearl onions, peas, carrots, celery and gravy

What makes it good: Pie crust made from scratch with real butter and a little bit of lard

Pie pointers: "Personally, I think the crust is really important to a pot pie," Begin said. "If you don't have a good crust, it will still be OK, but it won't be that great experience you want."

Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at: mgoad@pressherald.com

Twitter: MeredithGoad


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Additional Photos

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A detail from a Leavitt pie crust.

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Pete Leavitt of Leavitt & Sons Deli in Falmouth stirs a pot of filling, which, in addition to chicken, contains garlic, onions, celery, carrots and peas.


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