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Fall’s harvest, pecans

It’s Crispy stays true to good, old-fashioned pecan pie, using dark corn syrup, brown sugar, rum and cinnamon to create a gooey on the bottom, crackly on top, sweet filling. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)
It’s Crispy stays true to good, old-fashioned pecan pie, using dark corn syrup, brown sugar, rum and cinnamon to create a gooey on the bottom, crackly on top, sweet filling. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)
Autumn nuts accent buns and pies at It’s Crispy


Pecans are harvested in America during fall, making them an autumn delicacy, and in the U.S., where a majority of the world’s supply of these nuts is grown, the big cinnamon buns and namesake pies that use them to great effect are also commonly enjoyed this time of year.

There is something infinitely comforting about waking up in the morning, brewing up a hot mug of coffee and enjoying it with a massive, sticky pecan-studded bun, or gathering around the Thanksgiving table and sharing gooey slices of sweet pecan pie.

At It’s Crispy, the scalloped nuts are served both ways, to near-perfection.

Helmed by executive pastry chef-and-owner Kim Dong-won, the 2-year-old bakery-pastry shop specializes in European-style bread and American sweets.

Kim, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1987, studied pastries and desserts at the French Culinary Institute and the Culinary Institute of America and worked at numerous hotels and establishments in New York before returning to South Korea in 2003.

Having racked up plenty of experience in the realm of American desserts, Kim is able to faithfully recreate that lip-smacking sweetness and decadence so characteristic of these fall treats with his team at It’s Crispy.

His shop’s pecan pie is done up with “dark corn syrup, brown sugar, rum and cinnamon.”

The top is encrusted with whole nuts wedged in between bits of crackly, sticky sweetness and the bottom, flush up against the crust, is reminiscent of thick butterscotch in both flavor and texture. The crust itself is flaky and crisp. 
It’s Crispy stays true to good, old-fashioned pecan pie, using dark corn syrup, brown sugar, rum and cinnamon to create a gooey on the bottom, crackly on top, sweet filling. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)
It’s Crispy stays true to good, old-fashioned pecan pie, using dark corn syrup, brown sugar, rum and cinnamon to create a gooey on the bottom, crackly on top, sweet filling. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)

“When you bake the pie, the top bubbles up and rises,” Kim, 45, explained how the dual gooey-and-crackly filling is achieved through the simple magic of culinary chemistry. “It’s really all just one layer.”

“Butter with a high fat content, over 82 percent” is used to get the pie shell’s consistency on the mark.

Pecans also get sprinkled onto the equally toothsome cinnamon rolls. Draped with caramelized brown sugar, the swirls of cushiony dough hold up well against its sugary topping. One bite reveals a surprising, slight salty kick to the bun that complements its other sweet components.

Pumpkin pie, another fall treat, will be available starting Monday, just in time for Thanksgiving. Kim promises to pump up the filling with plenty of cinnamon and brown sugar.

In addition to the lineup of fall-friendly sweets, Kim and team also craft artisanal bread from housemade starters.

The establishment’s sesame-studded Kaiser roll, in particular, proves It’s Crispy is more than just a dessert joint, especially when ordered as a crab sandwich.

Served with mustard, lettuce, tomato and a generous helping of that mayonnaise-slathered salad inside, the Viennese-style bun is crisp and nutty on the outside, and soft and airy underneath its crust.

Customers who want to enjoy their purchases in-house can take up one of the five tables in the small, quaint shop.

Details

It’s Crispy is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Whole pecan and pumpkin pies cost 28,000 won. Eclairs, cakes, pies and tarts cost 3,000 won to 5,000 won per slice. Cinnamon rolls cost 3,500 won each and sandwiches cost 6,500 won to 7,000 won. Coffee-based drinks cost 3,000 won to 5,000 won.

To get there go to Apgujeong Subway Station Line 3, Exit 3. Walk straight and turn left into the street between the CGV theater and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Walk straight for two blocks. It’s Crispy is on the right.

For more information call (02) 517-2278.

By Jean Oh (oh_jean@heraldcorp.com)
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