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Berry season’s great time for pie-making

Co-owners Bang Bang Pie Shop 2051 N. Californileft right husbwife Dave Megan Miller Michael Ciapciak far right with their signature

Co-owners of Bang Bang Pie Shop at 2051 N. California, left to right, husband and wife Dave and Megan Miller and Michael Ciapciak, far right, with their signature Strawberry Pie with whip topping. | Dom Najolia~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 28, 2012 6:04AM

Three people, three favorite things and a singular love for slowing down — that’s the inspiration for Bang Bang Pie Shop, where Megan, Dave and I work to create a welcoming community cafe.

We want to evoke an era when our grandmothers’ grandmothers took the time to scratch-bake for the family. Before the days of machine-stamped pie crusts. Before it became ordinary for coffee to be “infused with pomegranate essence.” Before the days of biscuit dough from a can.

We intend to keep it simple: never fancy but always classic, authentic and, of course, delicious. The cornerstone of our shop are Megan’s old, fashioned pies — “old” in that they are created from the time-tested recipes that her grandmother used in her own pie shop in the central Illinois town of Athens, and “fashioned” with hand-formed crusts and hand-chopped fruits.

We work to ensure that the flavors respect the pies of yesteryear while bringing new experiences to modern-day Logan Square. Ours is a place where people can step in from bustling California Avenue, smell the pies in the oven, drink the coffee and take a small moment from their daily routine to create new memories.

With summer upon us, there is a bounty of fruit in the local markets and gardens. This is truly pie-making time.

All spring long around the shop, we were pining for berries. While Lavender Coconut Cream Pie has its time of year, as does Sweet Potato Rosemary and Bourbon Pecan, there is no truer time to celebrate the season’s best than when berries are at their peak. Combined with a flaky pie crust, made with your favorite recipe or by a bakery such as ours, it is a simple pleasure worth savoring.

Gather your family and friends and go to your favorite local market or, if you’re extra ambitious, spend a morning searching out a strawberry farm in Southern Illinois, Michigan or Wisconsin. Eat and pick, pick and eat all morning. You can never have enough.

Michael Ciapciak is the co-owner with Megan and Dave Miller of Bang Bang Pie Shop, 2051 N. California.

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