Batten’s Bakery in Paragould has some fantastic looking cakes and some delicious pastries — but it also has something I have found nowhere else in the state, a special fried pie with an ages old filling. Bonus is, it’s extraordinary.
I went by Batten’s Bakery during my trip to northeast Arkansas last week. It came highly recommended for the fried pies. I’ve tried the doughnuts there before and found them to be better than average, nicely and lightly glazed but not too sticky.
I was on a mission — to try the pie, of course — in this case to try the fried pies the place has become well known for. They come tiered in two prices — Apple, Peach, Raisin, Cherry or Chocolate for $1.15 a pie or Apricot, Coconut, Pecan or Old Fashioned Chocolate for $1.25. On this particular day they were out of pecan.
So I asked — what’s the difference between a Chocolate Fried Pie and an Old Fashioned Fried Pie. Turns out, it’s a matter of time and effort.
And you know what? I remember some dish back in my childhood that tasted exactly like that filling, but I cannot for the life of me recall what it was. It’s very good, though — a nice clean flavor improved by a very high-quality cocoa powder. The crust is almost doughnut dough-like in flavor but rolled out tight like a pie crust, with a doughnut style glaze. It’s a remarkable pie worthy of much attention.
It was good — but the Old Fashioned Chocolate Fried Pie was far better. I should have purchased more to take home and share. Next time I’m up in the Jonesboro area I’m going to spend the extra gas to get up there for more of that pie.
You’ll find Batten’s Bakery in the Paragould Plaza shopping center off West Kingshighway, west of Highway 49. It’s open Monday 5:30 a.m. to noon, Tuesday and Wednesday 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. The bakery has a Facebook page, or you can call (870) 236-7810.