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By Brittany Tiplady Not much of a baker? Neither am I, but that doesn’t mean you can pull up to the party empty-handed. We’ve rounded up six Metro Vancouver bakeries and pie shops that are serving up decadent and unique cakes, tarts, cookies, and more. Catering to an array of dietary restrictions? We’ve sourced some gluten-free and dairy-free options for you as well! Pop in to your next holiday gathering with a bounty of holiday treats courtesy of one of the locations listed below. Cakes n Sweets 2773 Barnet Hwy, Coquitlam Near Coquitlam Centre SkyTrain station. This holiday season, Cakes n Sweets in Coquitlam will be offering gingerbread people cookies, gingerbread cupcakes, chocolate orange cupcakes, chocolate mint christmas tree cupcakes, christmas sugar cookies, red and green meringues, biscotti and ginger snap cookies. Find Cakes n Sweets just two  blocks west of Coquitlam Centre Mall, pop in for your holiday sweets…

By: Mario Pelletier, Pastry Chef, Railtown Cafe and Railtown Catering INGREDIENTS (Recipe yields two pecan pies) Sable Base Flour, 470 grams Ground almonds, 60 grams Butter, 240 grams Icing sugar 180 grams 2 eggs Salt, 1 tsp Crumble all dry ingredients together except eggs in a mixing bowl. Slowly add eggs and combine until smooth. Line the base mixture in two 10-inch circle tart tins. Place tins in the oven at 170°C (roughly 340°F) and blind bake (using beans on top of the crust) for approximately 20-25 minutes until the crust is half cooked. Pecan Filling Eggs, 9     Demerara sugar, 500g Golden syrup, 612.5g Butter, 125g Pinch salt Pecans, 1kg DIRECTIONS Preheat your oven to 175°C (roughly 350°F). Melt the butter. In a mixing bowl and slowly mix in the eggs, sugar and syrup. Incorporate the butter, salt and then the pecans. Divide the pecan filling between the two…

by Catherine Dunwoody Some say pie is making a comeback, but in my book it never left. Sisters Jenell and Carla Parsons teamed up to open The Pie Hole a few years ago, and in 2017 they opened their first retail location in Vancouver, followed by a second location in Burnaby in January 2018. The bakeries sell whole pies, individual pies and mini pies as well as take & bake options, plus coffee and ice cream. But let’s get back to the pies; the pies you can get right now, whether you dine in, order and pick up or buy in numerous retail food shops throughout Metro Vancouver. When I asked Jenell where she sourced her ingredients, her answer, “I just drive out to get stuff as needed and when in season – Richmond for all my blueberries, Krause Berry Farms for strawberries, raspberries and blackberries,” sounds like something your…

By Dan Olson, chef/owner, Railtown Catering  DOUGH INGREDIENTS Flour (1 ½ cups) Salt (pinch) Sugar (pinch) Butter (½ cup) Water (30 mL) DOUGH INSTRUCTIONS  1. Sift flour, add salt and sugar, then cut butter into small pieces. 2. Pinch butter into flour until broken down into pea-sized pieces. 3. Add water and start to bring together. Cover dough and rest in the fridge for an hour. 4. Roll out and place in pie pan (9”) PUMPKIN FILLING INGREDIENTS  Whipping cream (116 mL or 4oz) Whole milk (116 mL or 4oz) Brown sugar (½ cup) Flour (1 ¼ tbsp.) Cinnamon (1 tsp) Ground ginger (½ tsp) Ground clove (½ tsp) Ground nutmeg (½ tsp) Whole eggs (2 ½) Pumpkin purée (333g or 1 cup) PUMPKIN FILLING INSTRUCTIONS  1. Whisk all ingredients together and pour into shell. 2. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes until the middle is firm and a knife…

By Jaclyn Jularbal Go for a drive into Richmond’s countryside and you’ll find this marvel located just a short distance from the highway. The Fowl Farmer is a family-owned and operated establishment that is the storefront for Mayview and Maybog Farms. Put a face to the people who make your food and drop in for something delicious; the May family are longtime cranberry and antibiotic-free poultry farmers who produce for big names like Ocean Spray and A&W. Meet the Mays The best part about The Fowl Farmer is being able to ask questions. Get curious, chat and ask about poultry or cranberries or any of the other products you see. The May family’s been farming for over 30 years and they can tell you exactly what goes into the food you’re eating. Fresh, Local Products The Fowl Farmer is open year-round, with a wide variety of garden-fresh produce and an…

By Ashley Lockyer “Decide on a pie, yet?” A voice sings the question while the coffee is topped up. I’m on my second fork-full of an omelette at Hilltop Cafe in Langley, BC. Pie pushing at 8:30am might seem odd elsewhere but here there’s one for every occasion, including breakfast. Despite a sign that has read “home of famous pies” since 1950, slices had been going out of style at Hilltop Cafe for decades. When sisters Andrea Zaiser and Sandy Parley took over in 2011, it became their mission to bring back the pies! It’s been a hit, drawing people far and wide and has even started a food trend for wedding pie instead of cake. These sisters pair pies with meals like sommeliers pair wines with cheese. Andrea offered some advice on what to try when you stop by. What’s best for breakfast? After a hearty, savoury breakfast satisfy…