–by Jennifer Ruple
PUBLICATION DATE: Sept 04, 2018
Any way you slice it, there’s Morr to it.
A long-time dream of living up north led retired Sylvanians Patt and Gary Morr to make the move to St. Ignace, just across the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. While there, Patt Morr began baking and selling a variety of fruit pies at the local farmers market where she quickly gained a following and became known as “the pie lady.”
“Before I retired I was a paralegal, and for 25 years I did cake decorating on the side. I was originally Patt-e-Cakes,” Morr explained. “While at the farmers market up north, I was asked to make small pies because there are a lot of tourists and couples who visit. Small pies are perfect for one or two people, so we went home and figured out a smaller format.”
After three years in St. Ignace, the Morrs moved back to Sylvania where she continues her popular baking business, The Pie Lady. “I make 55-60 small pies per week to take to the Sylvania Farmers Market,” she said. “I offer apple, blueberry, cherry, rhubarb and cherry-rhubarb. Now that it’s peach season, I’ve added blueberry-peach and raspberry-peach. I just introduced a pecan pie as well.”
Morr believes in supporting local farmers and makes it a point to purchase as much fresh fruit from local sources as she can. “My cherries come from Traverse City, and I get my peaches from Stevens Gardens and MacQueen’s Orchard. I’ll go wherever I can to get local fruit. I will even go to someone’s home to pick rhubarb if they said they have it,” she laughed.
In addition to the selection of pies she has available at the Sylvania market, The Pie Lady brings some of her other baked goods. “I make mini breads including zucchini and chocolate chip zucchini. Their small size is geared toward individuals or couples who don’t want a whole loaf of bread. Last summer I was making and selling 125 of them every week,” she said.
The Pie Lady also accepts special orders for sweet treats such as salted caramel chocolate chip cookies and Texas sheet cake, which she makes in a smaller version than the original. During the winter and the holidays, she offers homemade candy including buckeyes and turtles, peppermint bark and chocolate pretzels.
A one-woman show, Morr does all the baking in her home kitchen. “My husband is a huge help though. He takes care of the packaging, the weighing of the products and the labeling. He also cleans up while I’m baking, which is really helpful because I have to keep going to get everything done,” she explained.
Even though her baking business keeps her a busy lady, Morr still finds time for important things in her life like her family. “The reason I started doing the farmers market is that I feel too young to be retired. I wanted to do something that I liked to do, but I wanted to be able to help my children with my grandchildren,” she explained.
Morr can be found at the Sylvania Farmers Market every Tuesday through Oct. 9. “The market is such a great atmosphere,” she said. “I like the camaraderie of the people, and I love meeting people. We’re like a big family here, all helping each other.”
Thanks to The Pie Lady for offering her Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe to readers. “It’s perfect for fall,” she noted.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecan halves
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
Heat oven to 350 F.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and cocoa.
Add the eggs, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla. Add the pecans and stir until well blended.
Pour mixture into unbaked pie crust. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until set.
Remove pie from the oven and set on a baking rack to cool.
Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.