November 4, 2010

New Line of Gluten-Free Cheesecake and Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie Released in Boulder

By Evan Sandsmark -  

Berry Best Smoothies in Boulder is no stranger to gluten-free foods. We’ve celebrated the gluten-free items available at Berry Best Smoothies before, and the shop’s website has a prominent section detailing the many gluten-free foods available in the store.

Apparently that wasn’t enough: Berry Best Smoothies has just released an entire line of gluten-free cheesecake and gluten-free key lime pie. These items, which are being sold under the name Pie In The Sky, are not only available in Berry Best Smoothies (on the NE corner of Arapahoe and Folsom), but also at eight other locations, so people with a gluten intolerance and a cheesecake craving in the Boulder area have several places to go to satisfy their hunger. Although the desire for expansion is always on the radar of any fledgling business, Pie In The Sky currently offers gluten-free cake and pie at the following locations: Lucky’s Market, Lolita’s Market & Deli, Niwot Market, Eldorado Market, The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse, New Moon Bakery, Folsom Street Coffee, and Flatiron Coffee.

Upon hearing this great news, we couldn’t help but try one of Pie In The Sky’s new desserts, so we stopped by Berry Best Smoothies to see what they had to offer. At the moment, Pie In The Sky produces five different kinds of cheesecake – classic, strawberry, blueberry, chocolate mousse, and pumpkin – as well as a key lime pie. For our first taste, we decided to go with the strawberry cheesecake.

For just over four dollars, you get a fairly substantial piece of cheesecake – in fact, it’s not really a piece of cheesecake so much as a regular cheesecake that has been reduced in size by a factor of two or three. It comes in a round tin, just as a full-size cheesecake would, and it would probably look like a regular-sized dessert if placed on the dinner table of Frodo Baggins. And that’s exactly the point we’re making in a convoluted way: a cheesecake that would be regarded as normal-sized in the world of hobbits is still a fairly large piece of cheesecake in the regular world. In any case, we couldn’t finish it in one sitting, and two or three people could share it and probably feel fully satisfied.

It’s a good thing the size of the cheesecake is fairly large because it’s quite tasty. The filling of the cake tastes just like any other quality cheesecake we’ve had. This makes sense, considering that the main ingredients in cheesecake filling – cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla – are gluten-free, or else the gluten-free version won’t be discernibly different from the regular version, at least for most people. The particular cake we chose had strawberry, and we’re happy to report that the fruit flavoring was not overpowering at all. Thin strings of strawberry sauce are laced among the filling, and overall it adds a subtle, sweet taste and nothing more, which is exactly the role that fruit should play in a dessert like this. Even when you’re eating fruit-flavored cake, you still want it to taste primarily like cake, right?

So the cheesecake filling is good, but because this can be made gluten-free without much difficulty, the real challenge is making a good GF crust. Wisely, Pie In The Sky cheesecakes do not prominently feature the crust, which is made with gluten-free graham crackers (which are themselves made with brown rice powder). It’s only on the bottom of the cake (as opposed to the sides too), and for the most part the richness of the filling overpowers the crust. Even when we tried to sample just the crust, the morsels of cheesecake that we couldn’t fully remove played an over-sized role in its taste. And if that weren’t enough, honey is added to the crust, so the taste of the crust is largely the taste of honey and cheesecake filling, even when you’re actively trying to sample the crust exclusively (which you probably wouldn’t want to do anyway). All of this is just to say that the crust of the cheesecake, the only part of the cake that presents a challenge to the GF chef, plays the role it should. It has a different texture from the filling and a honey flavor, which is nice, but the taste of it doesn’t detract from the deliciousness of the filling.

Next time we’re at Berry Best Smoothies or one of the other eight locations Pie In The Sky is sold, we’re definitely picking up another piece of cheesecake or key lime pie, and we think it’s worth it for you to do the same (assuming you like cheesecake and key lime pie, of course).

For more of Berry Best Smoothies’ gluten-free options, check out their website:

The location of Berry Best Smoothies:
2525 Arapahoe Ave # A5
Boulder, CO 80302

Note: This is the third article in a new series presented by On a (roughly) weekly basis, we will visit a restaurant (or smoothie shop, in this case), try a dish or two, and write about our experience. We will, of course, be sampling exclusively gluten-free food so we can report back to our readers about the dishes worth having. If you would like us to review a particular restaurant with gluten-free options, send an email to We’ll try our best to check it out!

Read Next Article » Modmarket in Boulder Offers Gluten-Free Sandwiches, Pizzas, Salads, and Soups
Previous Article « A Gluten-Free Visit to the Original Pancake House in Boulder

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