Not all additions work. Crystal Pepsi, for example, or when Raven Simone showed up on The Cosby Show. Others are so perfect and fit so well we wonder why it hadn’t been that way forever. The Upper Crust in Pryde’s is a perfect example of this.
Pryde’s of Westport has been a holy grail for cooks across Kansas City for generations. Located in a historic building off Pennsylvania Avenue, Pryde’s is a treasure trove of just about every kitchen gadget, tool and accessory you can think of. Silicone spatulas in multiple colors? Check. Cake pans in the form of a fleur de lis? You betcha. Although there is a certain level of organization to the story, it mostly feels like a cozy, upscale garage sale. Your best bet is to wander the shelves and see what you come across. The staff fully supports this with helpful but relaxed service and free coffee and tea for all shoppers.
The Upper Crust Pie Company is a recent addition to their offerings. This tiny bakery carved itself a space from the back of the Pryde’s basement but you’ll be made aware of their presence as soon as you step into store: Visit Pryde’s while they are baking and the smell of fresh, homemade pies in the oven greets hits your nose before you even know what’s coming. Mike and I toured Pryde’s with my friend Mary Ann while visiting Kansas City during the holidays and couldn’t help but pick up a southern pecan pie to take back home for dinner. We’re lucky we acted when we did – it was one of the last pies left on the shelf for the day, although everything had been baked that very morning.
Like Pryde’s itself, Upper Crust is family owned and operated. The mother-daughters team bakes all the classic fruit and cream pies you could hope for plus seasonal options and cookies. They also bake quiches on Saturdays and Sundays and word on the street is you need to arrive early to claim yours before they disappear.
Back home, my mom took the pie out of its box and slipped it with the pumpkin pies she had baked for dinner. The pecan pie was an undisputed hit. The crust was unbelievably butter and flaky and the sugary pecan mixture delivered just enough bite in the pecans and the sweet and savory butter mixture were everything you could hope for in a warm, holiday dessert. Even better, no one could spot the store-bought (homemade, albiet in a professional kitchen) imposter.
Upper Crust, in Pryde’s
115 Westport Rd
Kansas City, MO 64111