Appetizers
August 25, 2011
Savory and sweet pies reach another level at Becky Jo

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Master baker Teresa Urkofsky dropped by the office today, bearing a box full of sweet and savory mini-pies and looking for some feedback.

After sampling the goods, a dozen randomly chosen tasters wanted to stand up and applaud her. The baker herself was gratified that all her pastries had disappeared so quickly.

Urkofsky teaches baking and pastry-making at American River College, and was co-owner of the since-closed Baby Cakes bakery on J Street. Her new company, www.beckyjopies.com (916-217-5421), opened just two weeks ago, and she's working hard to keep up with the demand for her "hand pies" (crescent-shaped turnover size) and 9-inch "puffy pies."

Today's sampling of hand pies: goat cheese, roasted potato and tomato with arugula pesto and corn; honey-ginger peach; nectarine-raspberry; blackberry-pluot; and chocolate caramel custard. The puffy pie was heavenly, buttery pastry heavy with luscious sliced nectarines and raspberries. Filling combinations can be used in both types of pie.

The pies are sold Fridays through Sundays at Corti Bros. market (which just doubled its order), but the smart approach is this: Go to the website and order the pies in advance, then pick them up later. Hand pies are $4.99; puffy pies are $22.99.

"The fillings will change every month, according to the season and what's available. Apples and pears will be coming up," Urkofsky said. "In September, I'll make chicken pot pie and salmon pot pie."

Corti Bros. Market is at 5810 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 736-3800.

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