In a charming, exposed-brick apartment off of the Wilson L train, one is likely to find Caná Stewart baking away in her Bushwick kitchen where she is licensed to run Pied—her business that provides a modern twist to conventional baking.
“Rustic, free-form pies” is how the Detroit native describes her trademark dessert. Not only do the fanned-fruit galettes look Food Network-ready, but Stewart strives to revolutionize the way people feel about pie.
While most round pies are hard to slice and hold, Stewart creates 7-inch by 4-inch rectangular-shaped offerings topped with a light spread of seasonal fruit compote. This way, you can pick up your pie without utensils and also have a truly genius pie-to-crust ratio. “It’s a friendly shape to share, kind of like a pizza,” she explains.
Made with care, the galettes have a homemade yet sophisticated look; with each flakey crust seemingly dictating its own structure and contrasting beautifully with the deep colors from Caná’s chosen fruit.
“Blueberries are my favorite fruit to work with, but you can never go wrong with apples. I love the classic, all-American flavors that go great with a scoop of ice cream,” she expresses.
But wait, there’s a twist! SOME OF THE PIES ARE INFUSED WITH EARL GREY TEA. Whether it’s an earl grey butter-infused crust, or earl grey apple compote, Stewart always strives to create out-of-the-ordinary taste profiles that come together effortlessly. And let us tell you—the pies taste so heavenly, you wouldn’t believe each galette consists of only five ingredients.
The idea to start Pied came to Stewart when she was invited to a Thanksgiving several years ago and planned to bring a galette. On a whim, she threw some ingredients together, making up flavor combinations on the spot. It was a rushed job, but her friends were absolutely floored. That’s when she knew she was onto something and realized that sometimes simple is best.
With no formal training, Stewart has been baking as long as she remembers. She grew up watching the food channels, her favorite being the Food Network classic Sweet Dreams, hosted by Gale Gand.
She later worked at various Brooklyn-based coffee shops and cafes, including as a barista and crepe maker for Little Choc Apothecary and assistant-baking at Dank Banana Bread.
Stewart reflects on her former employers: “When I would watch them bake, they looked so happy. They love what they do and would just get in the zone. Each day I would be watching someone making their dreams happen. And I really wanted to bake, to try out something I’m good at.”
“Everyone should make their dreams a priority,” Stewart adds.
Want to try Pied? Starting in the spring, Stewart will host monthly pie parties on her roof in Bushwick. “They will be brunch-oriented, with mimosas and bloody marys. I want people to have a good time, to relax, and to taste the pies. It will be donation-based and guests also will have the opportunity to place orders.”
“The most rewarding part of Pied is getting to meet people and making friends through my baking. It’s important to me that these parties are centered around the Bushwick community, because I’ve been living in this area for a while.”
To stay up to date on Pied and Stewart’s monthly pie parties, follow @pied_nyc on Instagram.
Featured image, pies left to right: Earl grey apple with an earl grey crust; Blueberry lemon with homemade mixed berry compote; Strawberry with strawberry orange homemade compote; Blueberry lemon and earl grey crust