There’s this new dessert all the kids are talking about…something called “pie.” Here’s the deal—there’s this stuff called “crust” that sits in a plate and then gets stuffed with just about anything you can imagine. That’s it…a pie is born. It’s magical.
Of course, we all know Arkansas is completely batty for pie. Just bonkers for the stuff. Heck, you may have absolutely no desire to read one more word about pie. Hey, I get it, pie hater. Perhaps everything that needs to be said about Arkansas pie has already been said. Perhaps not. If you’d like to hear about a very special pie, a pie that certainly shines in a state so saturated with pie, come with me to Keo, Arkansas—to a small shop known as Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets.
Charlotte’s is not exactly a secret to most Arkansans. Glance over their ancient walls—you’ll notice dozens of mentions in highly reputable publications. Pie lovers have been singing its praises for decades.
I think Charlotte’s has non-pie items on their menu. I believe there was something mentioned about burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Honestly, I can’t remember. I was so focused on that pie, everything else is a haze in my mind.
When I first set eyes on Charlotte’s coconut cream pie, I think my heart skipped 3 beats. I almost called my cardiologist. It was one of the sexiest desserts I’ve ever beheld—a sugary centerfold I knew I must have.
That coconut cream pie. She stands tall, the pure white meringue (seemingly) at least a foot tall, gently toasted and golden brown on top. The meringue to cream ratio is impressive, at least 3:1. The coconut cream is visibly chocked full of shredded coconut. The crust is thin, but perfectly baked.
Then you taste—the world slows down for about a minute. It’s sheer bliss. The meringue is so light, you’ll be surprised the pie doesn’t float right off the plate. As my dining companion astutely notes, “That pie was 80% air.” There’s a thin, slightly sticky, caramelized layer of meringue on the top of the pie that adds another delightful textural layer to the pie. The cream portion is a mix of smooth custard and chewy, toothsome shredded coconut.
We tried the other pies—chocolate, caramel. I understand they have their supporters. But for us, there was no question. Charlotte’s coconut pie was head and shoulders above the rest.
Keo is a tiny town just outside of Little Rock. It’s a short drive away, a very small sacrifice for such special pie.
Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets is located at 290 Main St., Keo, AR