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From Our Backyard: Real Pies – in a Jar

I was skeptical when I first saw the prepared pie fillings from Vintage Farms.

The pie bakers in my family had always turned up their noses at canned fillings. A real pie, they taught me, had to be made from scratch. Preferably with homemade crust. Just opening a can of jellied fruit definitely did not count. And just defrosting one? Don’t get them started.

But I’d been hearing great things about these pie fillings, which come to us from a Texas company. So I tried one of their most popular flavors, the pecan. And I may not tell my family but – this was as good a pecan pie as I’ve had in years. It was filled with roasted pecan halves, and had a deeply sweet, caramel flavor that tasted just like homemade.

Best of all: It could not have been easier. Just open, stir together with eggs and a little butter, pour in a shell, and bake.

Vintage Farms makes several flavors, all sold in big glass jars. I can’t decide what to make next. Chocolate silk, Key lime, peach? Maybe I should just work my way through them all.

Vintage Farms pie fillings are produced in Grand Prairie, a Dallas suburb, by a company headed by a guy who knows food: Daniel Brackeen. (Years ago, he founded the frozen-yogurt company that eventually became TCBY.) Brackeen’s company, Heritage Family Specialty Foods, now makes a lot of gourmet items, from salsas to preserves to marinades.

And, I know now, some darn good pies.