We stopped into Hoosier Mama Pie Co. yesterday. You might expect them to be all pumpkin all the time right about now, but we had small hopes of finding something else they make this time of year— persimmon pie. It turns out that in fact, they have lots of persimmon pies right now, and will for the next few weeks. Persimmons are usually the Asian variety when you see them in stores, but Paula Haney, the shop’s owner, gets the genuine American persimmon from her native Indiana. “You can’t just buy them, because they fall on the ground when they’re ripe,” she says. “So we buy 40 pounds at a time, frozen, from a parking lot in Indiana. And since this time of year we have zero freezer space, we just keeping making the pies.” For that reason, Haney suggests persimmon as an alternative to pumpkin pie— the texture is similar and the flavor is something like pumpkin with a little orange mixed in (“Dreamsicle” often comes up in comparisons). Not surprisingly, Thanksgiving is by far the biggest time of the year for her— she says she’ll make 1200 pumpkin pies in the days leading up to the holiday, and she stopped taking orders on October 27th. Some will be available on a walk-in basis, but having a plan B like persimmon pie would be a wise choice for anyone visiting the shop in the next week.
Paula Haney of Hoosier Mama Pie Co. with a persimmon pie.