Fat and Flour
All-around Queen Nicole Rucker’s GCM operation Fat and Flour deserves its own thread. Now that she’s opened up every week she has been playing the hits (key lime pie, chocolate chess pie, really any pie), putting up new seasonal offerings (a rotating fruit studded almond frangipane, crumbles, handpies), and bringing all around good vibes to the market.
Pies Pies Pies
Perhaps best known for her key lime pie which is a menu mainstay, Chef Rucker makes standard 9in pies, as well as 5in mini pies in multiple varieties. They are mostly all fruit based using whatever’s in season or whatever she’s feeling that week. Some come with a crumble topping, others with whipped cream, and a few have the elusive double crust. They’re done with traditional flaky butter crusts or graham cracker crusts depending on the pie. The one mainstay pie on the menu that’s not fruit is the Chocolate Chess, which is luxuriously dense and shouldn’t be skipped.
Mini Apple Pie with Crumble Topping
Low key, this one of the best things Chef Rucker is making right now. The fruit changes week to week and she’ll often have multiple options based on what’s in season. The best so far has been the fig, but we’ve seen berry and plum as well. The custard that holds whatever fruit she chooses is a chefskissemoji if there ever was one.
One of Chef Rucker’s many gifts is knowing how much whipped cream to put on her pies (a lot). These too benefit from her skill at picking fruit. Like she did when she was running Fiona, she puts great care into selecting the fruit she brings in and then caring for it before turning it into a pie, with her and her staff checking for peak ripeness multiple times a day. For more info on her process, see her cookbook Dappled. While it was only available for a week or two, the Strawberry Cream Pie reached perfection, and she has also launched Banana Butterscotch Cream.
Banana Butterscotch Cream
Chef Rucker recently came around to making hand pies and she started it off with a peach loaded banger. There are bound to be more flavors added as the seasons change—an apple variation is already incoming.
Her whole peach dumpling—while labor intensive—is perhaps the best way to enjoy a peach. It’s wrapped entirely in pie dough and is just as delicious as it is adorable. This is where you really see her expertise in picking the best fruit.
Fat and Flour’s cookies shouldn’t go overlooked. It’s easy to skip them when pie is clearly her speciality and what Chef Rucker has been known for, but you’d be making a mistake. Her chocolate chip is elite—sold both baked and in raw dough form for all you degenerates like me—but the softer lemon/lavender shouldn’t go overlooked either.
When she was at Fiona, Chef Rucker was making the best carrot cake in the city. Since opening Fat and Flour she has only made it once in a very limited release. If it’s every available, don’t miss it.
Grand Central Market
317 S Broadway
Menu to order at https://fatandflour.square.site/ goes up every Tuesday at 10:30am. Check Instagram for specials.
RIYL: the HBO of pies