A Slice of Pie on the Campaign Trail

PHOTO: Presidential candidates, from President Obama to Michele Bachmann, have talked about their love of pies on the campaign trail. Pictured are pies from the Pie Sisters, a pie shop owned by the Blakely sisters in Washington, D.C.
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We've all heard the saying "as American as apple pie," and some of the presidential candidates -- both current and ex -- have taken this to heart, sharing their love of this American dessert on the campaign trail.

Take Michele Bachmann, who took a pie to the Black Hawk County GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa, last August and gave the dessert to a 100-year-old woman in the crowd.

"There's nothing more American than apple pie, and I bought the biggest, fattest, deepest apple pie that I could for you tonight," said Bachmann.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry marveled at a coconut cream pie in Dyserburg, Iowa, just a few miles from the Field of Dreams, last December, clapping his hands as he said, "I love coconut cream pie."

President Obama's gotten into the pie business too. He shared his love of pies with a New Hampshire crowd in 2008, telling them "I like pie. You like pie too?" And shared that love again in 2011.

"My understanding is, I've got a pie coming. Is that correct?" said Obama in Atkinson, Ill. "I am very excited about that. Coconut cream's one of my favorite pies."

Even his campaign tweeted a photo of a pie with the Obama logo on National Pi Day.

"Happy Pi Day," read the tweet.

And although not a candidate, Chris Christie's repeatedly referred to the "American pie" when he endorsed Mitt Romney in October.

A few miles from where one of this year's presidential hopefuls will end up in January 2013, the Blakely sisters, Allie, Cat and Erin, opened a pie shop called the Pie Sisters, bringing their family tradition of pie-baking to the streets of Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood.

"Our mom started us when we were younger, giving us activities to do, going to local farms, getting the fruits and things and after this whole cupcakes craze we wanted to make a pie that's accessible, something the size of a cupcake," said Erin Blakely. "America was built on everyone coming from different areas, different parts of the world, so everyone can relate to it. I think it's an expression of the American idea reaching all types of people, young and old."

Often waking up at 3 a.m. to start their baking routine, the sisters sell "cuppies" - miniature pies the size of cupcakes - for $4 a pop along with traditional slices and full pies. Their top seller is their cherry pie, and people file into the store every day for the key lime pie. Several days a week, they also highlight cerain pies, including the recipe for their mother's chicken pot pie recipe, and the sisters buy the ingredients for their pies from local farms.

"That's one of the key things of our business is going local and being able to support the local farmers," said Erin Blakely. "I think it's something that we're gearing toward. It's something that everyone, and even the presidential candidates are supporting because local businesses are the foundation of our country."

The sisters, who opened their shop in January, haven't served any presidential candidates yet, but what kind of pie would they serve them if they had the chance?

"I'd say classic apple pie."

And would they add a dollop of vanilla ice cream?

"Definitely ice cream, that's the way we are."

"Hot pie with ice cream - you just can't go wrong," said Erin Blakely.

If Pi Day gets you inspired to throw on an apron and get baking. Here are some of our favorite patriotic pie recipes to make at home.

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