To declare one pie the best in Wisconsin is no small claim, because pies are an obsession hereabouts; and there are lots of places that serve blue-ribbon pie every day. But we dare you to have a slice from The Elegant Farmer, then deny its greatness
The top crust is crunchy and sugary, like a luxurious cookie but almost cakelike; the bottom crust is flake-tender; the apple filling in between the crusts is soft with pleasant bite, gently seasoned, and just-right sweet. We’ve had thicker, sweeter, lighter, tarter, and more elaborate apple pies, but this one is perfect. It is sold at The Elegant Farmer by the slice, by the small pie (for two people) and by the full-size pie. In addition to apple, there are berry and rhubarb pies, and one spectacular version of the apple pie that is blanketed with caramel sauce.
What makes these pies taste so special is that they are baked in a brown paper bag. A woman behind the counter explained to us that inside-the-bag cooking allows the juices of the fruit to simmer and mellow and draws the moisture out of the crust. She pointed to the fact that the bag in which the pies are baked (and served) is blotched with moisture from within.
Other than pie, The Elegant Farmer has a tremendous inventory of groceries to take home and food to eat on the spot (or in your car). There are jams and jellies, chocolate-covered cherries, top-of-the-line popping corn, hams, cheeses, roasted chickens, and summer sausages. An on-premises deli offers sandwiches, hot meals, and muffins loaded with fruits of the season. While the foods we’ve bought and eaten are grand, we’re not exactly sure why this place calls itself elegant; The Elegant Farmer is in fact a large, happy farm stand; perhaps the best in the Midwest.