WINSLOW — Jenny McLean remembers fondly baking with her grandmother while growing up in Winslow. After the quality time spent with her family, the experienced gained baking and the compliments that come with it, memories of the time spent with her grandmother as pies cooled on the windowsill remain with her today.

She recently opened the McLean Family Farm and Bakery on South Reynolds Road, where she brings those recipes back to life and instills memories in a new generation that includes her eight children, who range in age from 19 to 3.

Instead of baking with her grandmother, McLean has her more-than-half-a-baker’s-dozen offspring helping with the daily baked goods, which include an assortment of fruit pies, from blueberry to peach to strawberry rhubarb, as well as a variety of cookies and breads. And instead of sitting on the windowsill as an after-supper desert, the pies are sold on the family’s farmhouse front porch.

“I always wanted to bake for people,” McLean said. “Even as a little girl, I loved to bake.”

Before opening up their home to patrons looking for a fresh raspberry square or loaf of banana bread, McLean, 37, and her husband Stephen McLean, 39, operated two baking ventures in Winslow, starting with Hallelujah Bakery, where the McLeans baked for more than 100 area retailers. Later, McLean and her husband opened the Daily Bread on Cushman Road, then closed it more than three years ago after the birth of their eighth and last child, Lily.

“I’ve been bored and I’ve missed it,” McLean said. “That’s why I’m going back to it.”

With seven children still living at home, McLean has plenty of helping hands — especially 13-year-old Hannah, who was busy Wednesday mixing strawberry rhubarb filling before putting the top crust on the pies. On Thursday, Hannah was mixing ingredients for pumpkin whoopie pies. An aspiring baker, Hannah is working on decorating cakes and hopes to eventually open her own bakery.

The McLeans use mostly local ingredients, including zucchini, rhubarb and pumpkins — in the fall — from their garden for bread and pies. Roughly 30 chickens roam the property. McLean said the hens should start laying eggs later in the fall, and those will be used in a variety of baked goods.

The home-bakery kitchen is a combination of an industrial kitchen and that of a typical family. A black gas range is neighbored by two counters, one of which is used as Hannah’s mixing space. In the middle of the kitchen is a large stainless steel work space/cooling table. Viewed from end to end, the table serves as a timeline for baking a pie: a pile of flour and a ball of dough lie next to an empty pie crust, next to an unbaked pie awaiting its turn in the oven, next to a couple of finished products, cooling before being wrapped.

“We can only bake two pies at a time, and about 36 cookies an hour,” McLean said, pointing to the traditional oven. “We’re hoping to upgrade to a convection oven. We might have one in a week or two. This should take us to six to eight pies at a time.”

While McLean enjoyed having the commercial space on Cushman Road, with its distinct location and business space, she’s more than content to have customers new and old waltz into her home in the search for baked goods.

“I always tell people, ‘Why do you knock? Just come on in,'” McLean said. “You don’t knock to come into my house.”

The baked goods are lined up in an enclosed veranda at the front of the McLean home, as the smell of fresh cookies and pies waft through the air. She charges $1 for a cookie a bit larger than the circumference of a typical coffee mug, or $4.50 for six. A loaf of banana bread or pumpkin bread costs $3.75; a whole 12-inch pie, $10.

“People say that it must be hard to make a living selling cookies at a buck or whoopie pies for two,” McLean said. “But most people don’t come in here and just buy a cookie. The typical transaction is at least $10.”

One of the signature cookies, the “cowboy” cookie, is soft and moist with just enough chocolate morsels to sweeten it but not overwhelm the oats and coconut in the cookie batter.

McLean has been amazed at how many of her regular customers from the bakery have stopped by her new home store during its opening week, even though the Daily Bread has been closed for nearly four years.

“I’ve seen so many old customers this morning,” McLean said Wednesday morning. “It was amazing.”

McLean sells granola squares with date filling to Uncle Dean’s Good Groceries in Waterville, and she is in talks about selling both the date and raspberry squares to Pleau’s Market in Winslow.

“When Jenny worked at the Daily Bread, Dean (Bureau, owner of Uncle Dean’s) had a date bars recipe that someone made for us previously, but the bakery had gone out of business,” said Annie Begin, store manager at Uncle Dean’s. “We wanted that same recipe, so Dean and Jenny connected and she started making it for the store. We went two years without having them, and people were always asking for them. They’re very popular.”

In addition to the sweets and bread for sale, the McLeans hope to expand the menu into the savory, with Stephen McLean serving as cook. Additional options will include chicken pot pies (already on the menu, but with 24 hours’ notice), soup, wraps and other grab-and-go meals. The savory choices will be sold at the McLean home and eventually also at grocery stores.

While business came in small spurts during her first half-week of being open, McLean said that with the lack of additional costs that come with an external store, the family can be patient with its clientele.

“All we have to do is half the business we did at the Daily Bread, and we’ll be fine,” McLean said.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @jessescardina

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