My dad made us meals everyday so I was blessed with having homemade food growing up. He was a chef at the time working at Chinese restaurants so his expertise was stir-fry. My mom took care of the family budget and finances. Over time, she developed an entrepreneurial mind when we operated a Chinese restaurant in Calgary. Despite acquiring some of their traits, they were against my decision to quit engineering to pursue my passion for pastry.
I remember having an awesome apple pie over a decade ago in Calgary. I don't remember the name and unfortunately, they closed down. Years later, I woke up and craved for that apple pie. So I bought a rolling pin, butter, flour, and apples, and went right to it!
First pie was hard as a rock but I ate it. I hate leftovers. Next weekend, I made another one and had a couple of friends over to try. It was... edible. And THAT was all the encouragement I needed to get rolling from there!
Working as an engineer and making pies on weekends for friends and family, this went on for years! Eventually I lost interest in engineering and changed careers to pastry, much to my parents' disapproval.
I moved to Montreal and attended to Maison Christian Faure, a French pastry shop and school. I fell in love using the dough sheeter and making croissants! I stayed in that city working at different shops. Then, I moved to Auckland and continued to work as a pastry cook and also to get more pie ideas. Meat pies are a big thing in New Zealand, in case you didn't know.
Finally, I moved back to Calgary and started making pies from home again but only to sell them at the Farmers and Makers Market Marda Loop. Unfortunately, they closed down until next spring due to Covid. In order to continue to deliver to you every week, Ma Pies had to operate from a commercial kitchen; hence, we moved to Culinary Coworking, where we are today.
After living in different cities, I feel like Calgary needs to reminded to take some breaks during our everyday lives. We're often working long hours and rushing home to prepare dinner. This is where Ma Pies can help you!
We make artisanal frozen pocket pies so you save time in the kitchen and still enjoy a flaky, buttery, and tender crust. Learning skills from different chefs and sharing ideas, our goal is to help turn Calgary into a foodie city and save you time.
Your time is precious and you need to prepare meals for yourself and your family. Baked from frozen, the pocket pies take about 20 minutes to cook, giving you time to prepare a side dish if needed. Anyone in the family can bake the pies for lunch, dinner, or snack as long as they know how to use an oven or airfryer.
There isn't much of a special technique into making a great pie but it does require attention to details. Over-working the dough will toughen the texture; butter must be kept cold at all times so it remains flaky; filling-to-crust ratio matters when you bite into the pie; thickness of apple slice matters; moisture level of filling can't be too high as it will ruin the crust; and always best served freshly baked out of your oven!
Seeing how I'm still dedicated to pastry, my parents eventually understood that I was merely doing what I love. It's been 12 years since I made that first apple pie, and I am never looking back.
If Ma Pies can bring joy to your everyday life and save you time, then we've done our part.
Corey Ma, The Pie Guy
P.S. We change the menu from time-to-time so you enjoy some of our latest creations. The kitchen wouldn't be fun without experimenting! Check out our current menu!