As we were walking out of the Taos Pueblo gates, I saw a small table set up where a woman was selling cookies and individually-wrapped hand pies. When I asked her about the pies, she said they were prune pies and that they had been baked in a horno (outdoor clay oven).

I asked her if I could take her photo with her baking. She sweetly asked if I was going to buy anything. I had intended to buy a prune pie even before I asked to take the photo. I was a little embarrassed because now, getting the photo looked like the only reason I was purchasing.

I had never heard of prune pies and this would likely be the only time I’d have an opportunity to taste anything baked in a horno.

Prune Pies (Plum Pastelitos) are traditional pastries in New Mexico that are served at Christmas and Easter. This was Easter Sunday, so I felt doubly-fortunate to try this pastry when it’s typically served.

The crust was thick and heavy and the filling was wonderfully gooey and sweet. The prune pie satisfied my foodie spirit, my desire to try local foods in our travels, and my late morning hunger pangs.

Photo Note: I went back and forth between the original colour version and black and white for my feature photo. The black and white had a stronger pull – perhaps because of my preference for black and white when photographing strangers. The prune pie had to be in colour. I added a heavy vignette to this one to make the perfectly-browned crust pop.

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.”

Giada De Laurentiis