At Mignonette, the trendy midtown seafood joint, dessert takes a Nordic-inspired detour to Finland for mustikkapiirakka, traditional Finnish yogurt berry pie.
"We have our standard desserts here, but a lot of people don't realize we do a daily pie, as well," says sous and unofficial pastry chef, Andreu Silverman. "It's definitely something unlike we've ever done - a one-eighty from the sweet and dense bread pudding, for example." The Mustikkapiirakka idea came to him when a shipment of the season's first huckleberries arrived from a new west coast purveyor. Huckleberries are the smaller, tarter cousins of blueberries, albeit with a distinct difference in flavor.
Traditional mustikkapiirakka comes in a few different variations — it's sometimes prepared as an open-face tart, or with a lattice top crust, and while blueberries are typical, the Finnish recipe can work with any berry. It's usually served chilled.
Mignonette's pie diverts from its ancestral roots by its use of huckleberries instead of blueberries and Greek yogurt instead of kremaviili, a lower-fat sour cream popular in Finland. Silverman took creative freedom with the traditional recipe by adding honey and lemon zest to compliment to tart nature of the berry, and hazelnut extract to the crust for a nutty, earthy component.
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The final result is a creamy, custardy, slightly tart pie reminiscent of cheesecake, only lighter. "I just wanted us to offer something that strayed from routine," Silverman said. "And, of course, it helps that I've never seen Finnish yogurt berry pie in Miami before. The huckleberries are so complex, it's a fun ingredient to work with."
"We've only been offering the pie for the last two days and we've sold quite a few so far," he says. At $7 a slice, it's difficult to resist the temptation to try something new. More so, it'll only be around for a short while until the next daily pie special.
Miami Spice diners at Mignonette will not get the huckleberry pie as an included option for prix-fixe meals, however, it is available off the Spice menu.