Door County Campground Guests Taste-Test our Favorite Cherry Pies
We spent one whole summer researching and taste-testing cherry pies, in search of the best cherry pie in Door County. How could we possibly follow that up the next summer?
Easy — grab some fellow campers and have them taste-test with us! Because what’s more fun than eating a lot of pie? Eating a lot of pie with other camping fans!
Yep! We contacted our favorite Wisconsin campground, Wagon Trail Campground in Ellison Bay (northern Door County), Wisconsin, who agreed to host a pie tasting event in their lodge-like lounge.
Then we picked up pies from our Top Three list and asked 20 Wagon Trail campers to volunteer for the arduous task of tasting and rating the three pies. It was not difficult to get volunteers, you can imagine!
Of course, no pie tasting event is complete without a little pie history, so we ran through the ancestral timeline of the American pie before digging in. Then, the campers got to work.
Check them out, studiously deliberating and critiquing their pies. They clearly took their task very seriously!
And here’s what our fellow Door County camping enthusiasts determined:
Door County’s Most Contemporary Pie Crust:
Campers consistently commented on how unique Sweetie Pies’ pie crust is.
Beautifully domed, and thicker than a traditional pie crust, we found it almost cookie-like; this crust offers a fun departure from the typical, which is especially appreciated by anyone planning to experience numerous pies in one visit!
Camper comments included:
This is the best looking pie! -Steve, MN
The crust is attractive; nicely colored. The filling has a nice color and texture with a good flavor. I liked the appearance of this pie. -Ellen, IL, seasonal DC camper
The appearance is good. And the filling is tart; I like that! -DC Pie Eater
This pie has a really good flavor. And it held together well. Pretty! - Sarah, WI, seasonal camper
I like the appearance of this pie. A good thickness and brown color with not too much sugar on the crust. -Mr. D, extensive camper, extensive pie eater
Door County’s Most Beautiful Cherry Pie Filling:
Campers invariably remarked on something we had noticed last summer, too:
The cherries in a Schartner’s cherry pie are a deeper red and of a more solid wholeness than any other pie we have tasted in Door County.
Camper comments included:
This pie has a light and flaky crust. Its beautiful, bright red cherries give it a great appearance! -Kate, camper extraordinaire
This pie has a great balance of sweet and tart. And its crust has a great flakiness. -Berta, AZ retiree
The crust has a light, flaky texture. This is the best filling. -Kurt, 70+ years of cherry pie eating experience
A beautiful crust and texture, plus a very juicy filling! -Ellen, IL, seasonal DC camper
This pie’s filling has juicy cherries that are more whole than other pies. It’s the best filling. -Ken, IL, seasonal DC camper
Door County’s Most Surprising Cherry Pie:
🏅Bea’s Ho-Made Products
At first glance, Bea’s pie doesn’t have the impressive dome of a Sweetie Pie, or the majestic red cherries of Schartner’s cherry pie.
So campers weren’t expecting to be blown away by this pie. But it ended up being the most gushed about pie!
Camper comments included:
This pie has the perfect color and texture. And I loved the flavor! Not too sweet, but sweet enough. -Dan, WI, seasonal camper
The crust is excellent. Perfect flakiness. And I loved the sugar sprinkled on top. The filling is the perfect blend of tart and sweet. -Ellen, IL, seasonal DC camper
There is a good color and crimp on this crust. And it has the best overall filling! -Mr. D, extensive camper, extensive pie eater
This pie has the best tasting crust and the best filling! -Greta, MN pie eater
The crust has a nice golden color and is sprinkled with just the right amount of sugar. And the filling is so yummy! -Kate, camper extraordinaire
So, that’s how our fellow campers raved about Sweetie Pies, Schartner’s and Bea’s. But we would also like to point out:
2 important notes to Door County visitors + cherry pie lovers
・Side-by-side comparisons alter the real world experience.
Our taste-tester team almost universally agreed that if they weren’t doing a side-by-side comparison test, they would love to be served any one of these three cherry pies. When the pies are not being compared for a ranking, they are each amazing desserts!
・Each person has their own preferences.
In our own taste-test rounds last summer, we noticed a phenomenon that we saw amongst our fellow campers this season: two people can eat the exact same slice of pie and taste two completely different things! For example, one of the above pies yielded these two comments:
Person 1 said a specific pie was “a little more tart than sweet.”
Person 2 said the same pie was “too sweet, needs more tartness.”
So, while there were general trends in the comments campers wrote, there is unlimited room for personal experience and preference.
☞ Which means, the work is now up to you! ☜
If you’re visiting Door County, try as many cherry pies as you’re able, then come back to tell us your favorites!
Are you up for the challenge?
Curious about other great pie destinations in the Midwest?
Check out these pie recos from #MidwestMondayChat twitter fans:
Get your pie on!
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