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Home of Economy-Herald contestant Victoria Bouvette brings penchant for experimentation to baking event

Bouvette's business sponsor is Bremer Bank, of Grand Forks.

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Victoria Bouvette displays two pies she recently made while practicing for the Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.
Korrie Wenzel / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS – As a baker, Victoria Bouvette loves to experiment with different flavors, blending unusual ingredients to create unexpected desserts – like orange cheesecake with white chocolate ganache. Or her plum or pear pies.

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“I’d never had a plum pie from anyone, which is why I gave it a shot,” Bouvette said. “Turned out amazing. I try to make pies that aren’t traditional flavors, I guess.”

Bouvette’s husband doesn’t care for the meringue on lemon pies, so she makes lemon crumble pie, because “he loves the crumble from a Dutch apple pie,” she said.

Bouvette traces her interest in baking back to her high school foods class, she said.

“I have always had a sweet-tooth.”

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Bouvette, of Grand Forks, is among 16 bakers who have been selected for the Pie Bake-off tournament, sponsored by the Grand Forks Herald and Home of Economy.

The bracketed contest, which begins Aug. 22 and runs for four weeks, is intended to highlight the best pie bakers in the area. The first-place winner will take home a prize worth at least $1,000. Bouvette's business sponsor is Bremer Bank, of Grand Forks.

About five years ago, she quit a full-time job to be a stay-at-home mom. At home with three young boys, she said she had to do "something."

“I began to bake – a lot,” she said.

In the last few years, she has embraced that love of baking.

“Once COVID hit, I opened a home-baking page called ‘Moore Treats’ (and) began selling cheesecakes, pies and cookies for the holidays, which really ignited my passion for pies,” she said.

Through an online baking page, “Moore Treats,” she began selling cheesecakes, pies and cookies for the holidays. She recently took down that Facebook page, temporarily, to make time to learn about “some other desserts and other flavors to work in with my pies.”

“Baking from fresh ingredients makes an incredible flavor difference, and I love the extra work,” she said. “Cheesecakes and pies, those are my favorite. And I find that you can really do a lot, artistically, with them.”

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Working at Sky’s Fine Dining, she began baking for the restaurant’s special events. That led to a recent offer by management to step into the role of pastry chef in training.

“I couldn’t say no,” she said. “The opportunity is fantastic. I’m really enjoying it.”

Bouvette hopes her penchant for experimentation will set her apart in the Home of Economy-Herald competition. That skill is evident in her French silk pie.

“I like to mix chocolates,” she said. “I use unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate.”

She also likes to mix fats in pie crust, she said, noting that she uses butter and regular Crisco shortening.

When she makes lemon meringue pie, she uses a cook’s torch to slightly burn the tips of tiny meringue dollops – looking like white Hershey Kisses – that completely cover the pie.

“The extra touches of love make all the difference in a pie,” she said.

Related Topics: GFH PIES
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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