Harvest Moon Bake Shop is a new artisan baking company based in Hampton Bays, run by a brother and sister team. Their standout seasonal treats include Salted Caramel Apple Pie, Maple-Bourbon Pumpkin Pie and Bourbon-Roasted Pears and Goat Cheese tart.
“I went to the Institute of Culinary Education in the city for baking and pastry,” says Elena Hryb. “I was always baking for family and friends growing up, it’s what I wanted to do as a career. I was living in Port Washington, but moved out to Hampton Bays in 2011 when my new husband got a job out here. I wanted to start my own business and I saw there was a niche for baked goods that were more than just the usual one-fruit pie. Also no one was making mini one- and two-inch pies, which have turned out to be really popular. Sometimes you don’t want a whole pie or you want a few flavors to choose from for an event. My brother is good at business so we teamed up, I do the baking, he runs the business end of things. I wanted a simple country theme for our company. I love that we are using the local harvest here and my favorite song is Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ so we chose that name.”
The truly eye-opening thing for Hryb has been the farms and produce on the East End.
“I used to have to go to a Costco to get bulk produce. Today, I’m actually going to pick my own apples from the orchard for my pies. This is so wonderful to be able to do this, it really changed my focus to make everything from scratch—the dough, the chocolate, everything. There are different varieties of apples to choose from also, it’s like a dream for a baker. I also go to the farmers’ stands along Montauk Highway in East Quogue and Hampton Bays, they have everything I need, though I make most of my ingredients from scratch, including my secret recipe for salted caramel that goes in the apple pies. I have tried to create a different type of menu that customers can’t find anywhere else. All the stores have pumpkin and pecan pies, but mine are made with a spiced cream and maple-bourbon.
“Another difference in my pies is that the crust is sweet like a cookie, because I know so many people don’t eat the crust as it’s too dry and tasteless.”
The company does not have a shop just yet, though that plan “is definitely in the works” says Hryb. The location will most likely be in or around Hampton Bays. The past season Harvest Moon Bake Shop has been participating in the Southampton Farmers Market as well as selling at the Laurel Lake Winery—they will be there every Saturday through October.
“Our menu has sweet—the pies—and savory—tarts that use cheeses, potato, and vegetables like beet and onions. This fall we have the BLT—bacon, leek, tomato; and The Villager with sundried tomato, basil and feta cheese. Our specialty is the traditional half-moon cookies (Black & Whites) that originated in upstate New York. Ours are unique in that I use a handmade vanilla bean cookie dipped in fudge on one side and butter cream on the other.
“It’s so much better than the ones I had upstate. We also make traditional 9” pies on request.”
Harvest Moon Bake Shop will deliver their baked goods anywhere in the Hamptons as well as the North Fork, and have been doing quite a bit of catering after people tasted their goods at the markets.
“People want the mini pies for catered events to pass for hors d’oeuvres, I’ve made thousands for some of the parties this summer. I keep experimenting every time I go to the market and then see what people like at the stands and wineries. The only thing I don’t do is cupcakes, I’m a pie girl.”
Harvest Moon Bake Shop, harvestmoonbakeshop.com, 516-322-3841