Friday, May 6, 2011

Pieday: Chcolate cream meringue at Gimme Some Sugar.

RICH:  Five inches wide and full of custard
What makes a meringue pie greater? After sampling so many versions of chocolate, lemon and coconut meringue pies, I’ve come to expect a light and eggy foam with little sweetness, a huge contrast to the custard below. It’s always a great difference from cream pies with their whipped topping peaks and overwhelming sweetness.
Xandra Sharpe has managed to merge the toasted topped nature of a meringue pie with a creamy, almost whipped creamy foam on top of a little pie that’s going to steal your soul. It’s a fistful of pie crust, custard and white fluff that you will find yourself returning to again and again.
Several people have pointed out Gimme Some Sugar to me, a little bake shop in a little strip of shops south of Greenbrier. I just had to stop in.
It’s a very unpretentious place, just a couple of counters and a smattering of sweets. The strawberry cupcakes immediately caught my eye; I was also in the market that day for a sweet treat for my daughter, and they were just adorable. They were also very strawberry-ful (is that a word?) with a rich flavor and hints of cream cheese.
My friend Joshua had keyed me in on the Earthquake Brownies ($1.25). I’m glad for this. They’re double-layer brownies with a thick layer of caramel in-between, studded with dark and white chocolate chips. They are sticky. But they’re also yummy, with enough salt in the mixture to give that perfect sweet-and-salty bite a good brownie needs.
But the pie. Aw. I took home one of the little chocolate meringue pies ($3) to try later. And boy, that was a revelation. I was expecting another foamy egg-white concoction. Instead, I bit into the five inch pie and was met with a lovely surprise. It started with the homemade slightly salty crust, then proceeded to the thick and very rich chocolate custard. The custard was creamy instead of hard-firm, which meant it mooshed with each bite — it wasn’t a Jell-O pudding sort of pie where you can see your spoon marks afterwards. Very good.
But it was the creamy meringue that earned me the most satisfaction — both whipped and creamy. A bite pulled the creamy white stuff down into the pie — with a traditional meringue the meringue bits just fall apart. It was sweet. It felt soft on the tongue. And it was toasted.
Thing is, Gimme Some Sugar may not have a whole lot out in the case — but that’s because Xandra specializes in custom orders. I took a look around at her website and saw some really neat looking cakes. The shop’s Facebook page is currently featuring cupcake bites (cupcake pops without the stick) and chocolate covered strawberries for Mother’s Day.
Gimme Some Sugar is open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon. Call (501) 679-5137 during business hours or (501) 733-9903 off-hours (within reason!) for special orders and appointments.

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