A Self-Taught Hudson Valley Baker Serves the Sweetest Artisanal Pies
With ingredients like mascarpone, pistachio, and cardamom, it's no wonder why Jenny Bee's Bake Shop sells out at local farmers' markets each weekend.
Warning: You will fall head over belly for a gal named Jenny and her pies. She’s rounding out her first year as Jenny Bee’s Bake Shop, and the masses have spoken: Jennifer Simon is, indeed, the pie whisperer. With a Rosie the Riveter meets Martha Stewart aesthetic, she makes her way around farmers’ markets with sweet and savory pies, and sells out nearly every weekend. She recently became the star supplier at a Poetry & Pies event in Danbury, CT where attendees wondered, Who is she?
Recently laid off after working for seven years in preschool administration, Simon turned to baking, something she had always loved to do. “I poured myself into my baking as a way to deal with the stress and uncertainty,” she says. “There is something so relaxing about the process. And you really have the freedom to play with taste, texture, and appearance — more than with cakes or cupcakes.” So with a little drive she sought out local farmers’ markets and the rest is….well, you know.
So far Jenny Bee’s Bake Shop has about 35 recipes, some of which she has pulled together from baking books from the 1800s. Everything is handmade. She offers small-batch pies with unique names and flavor combinations. Her most recent bestsellers include Love Letters with mascarpone, pistachio, and cardamom, and Spring Break with banana custard, coconut, and chocolate. At press time, Simon’s Summer Set menu was in place, after using volunteer taste-testers to help in the process (tough job!).
To find out where you can pick up one of her pies, visit Jenny Bee’s Bake Shop on Facebook.