Jessica Duggan learned what she knows about desserts from her grandmother.
That includes baking in her grandmother’s style: Don’t get too fussy, use real butter, let the fruit be the star of the pie.
That means Duggan cooks down the fruit for her pies and makes a crust from scratch. “We don’t put a lot of sugar in our fruit pies. We try really hard to keep things as natural as possible,” said Duggan, who opened her Tattered Apron Bakery Sept. 24 in South Hill. It’s a full-service bakery serving a range of desserts, plus drip coffee from Caffe Appassionato.
Her love of chocolate grew from her grandmother’s famous lava cakes. She recalls surreptitiously eating the center out of one, for which her sister was blamed — and spanked. She still feels terrible about that.
She describes her grandmother’s cherry-studded pineapple upside down cake as a thing of beauty. “It was buttery, beautiful, dense, and it was homemade.”