“We’re foodies,” Leslie said with a playful laugh. “It all started with our love for sweet and spicy foods.”
Leslie Bivens and her husband, Cory, are co-owners of Life of Pie Bistro & Boutique.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of Abilene’s ever-widening entrepreneurial offerings,” Leslie said. “Abilene is a great town and the people here have done so much for us.”
Leslie and Cory grew up in Abilene and feel a gratefulness to the Big Country along with a strong desire to give back.
The Bivens’ delight in “giving back” is both obvious and contagious. They give back via direct support for many local service organizations including West Texas Rehab Center and several animal organizations. Their engagement with the community has even turned Leslie into a bit of a local celebrity as “The Pie Lady” (Life of Pie offers over 100 pies). It’s not unusual to catch her stopping for a picture with kids around town.
Cory credits his love of cooking to a childhood of helping his grandmother in the kitchen.
“Cory’s grandmother was ‘famous’ for her tasty creations,” Leslie said. “Her fried chicken was a birthday celebration tradition – and addiction.”
Though now deceased, Grandmother Georgia’s influence continues – you’ll see some of Grandma’s kitchen tools proudly displayed on shelves all around Life of Pie. Oh, and the “Georgia Bell pie” is named in her honor – a delicious cinnamon roll crust pecan pie with cinnamon roll frosting.
Cory kept cooking and developed a special affection for “sweet heat pies”. After months of trial and error, one sweet heat pie became his obsession.
“That’s Cory’s ‘Honey Habanero Pie’,” Leslie said. “It’s a custard-based pie with habanero peppers.”
Cory expanded the idea into several other sweet heat pies, then Leslie took the concept, and her business and marketing background, and turned this sweet heat pie passion into a shop. Leslie’s family is also a core ingredient of their restaurant’s look and success.
“Dad built out the restaurant for us,” Leslie said. “His work and design really brought our place to life and facilitated a great workflow. More recently, he created our Pantry at the front of the Bistro.”
Life of Pie Abilene is more than just pie. They offer savory options as well including Daily Lunch Specials including Chicken Pot Pie, Quiche, Chicken Salad, and Deep-Dish Pizza. They also have several meal options daily both savory and sweet that are Keto-Friendly, Gluten-Free, and Sugar Free.
Top 3 Holiday Pies
Stop by the shop during the holiday season to try a slice or order a full pie for your Thanksgiving festivities.
Traditional pumpkin pie baked up in a flaky crust best served warm with a dollop of homemade whip topping.
A perfect blend of sweet buttery crunch with a fantastic pecan aftertaste – a Southern holiday tradition!
This pie makes you think of every best holiday pie in one! A layer of pumpkin pie, topped with pecan pie, then has a layer of whipped cheesecake finished with a drizzle of sea salt caramel.
Homemade Whip Topping Recipe
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Using a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid (stand mixer) with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Soft peaks are right between loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the best consistency for topping pies and other desserts. Use immediately or cover tightly – chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Recipe
2 pie crusts – homemade or store bought
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cup leftover turkey (we prefer to shred the turkey)
1/4 cup flour
2 to 3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup Frozen peas
½-1 tablespoon fresh or dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt butter in a skillet for about 1-2 minutes. Then add in onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.)
- Next add in shredded (or diced) turkey. Stir well into butter and veggie mixture.
- Slowly stir the flour mixture into turkey/veggie blend. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour in chicken broth; make sure to stir constantly.
- Pour in cream and stir well. Add in the frozen peas.
- Bring the entire pot to a slow boil, ensuring the mixture is cooking and thickening. Do this for 2-3 minutes. Now add salt and pepper to taste as well as the fresh thyme. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs.
- Pour mixture into a casserole dish or deep pie pan.
- Roll out the crust; make the crust about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using.
- Now drape the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press the crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden-brown and bubbly. Make sure the crust is cooked completely.
- Allow the pot pie to cool before serving.
By Andy Holmes
Photos by Shayli Anne Photography