The 10 Best Pies in the Whole Entire Country
The upper crust, if you will
We like to think of pie as the little black dress of desserts: It pretty much never goes out of style. Whether it’s a homey, lattice-crust fruit number in the spring or summer, a rustic pumpkin or pecan in the fall or a decadent cream pie in the depths of winter, it’s basically always the perfect dessert. Here are our ten favorite slices.
1. Salted Caramel Apple Pie: Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Brooklyn, NY
This bakery may be in the middle of Brooklyn, but the sisters who own it grew up on a farm in South Dakota. And as it turns out, that’s an ideal combination for making apple pie—their version is classic Americana, with just a little hint of urban sophistication.
2. Banana Cream Pie: Tartine, San Francisco, CA
Truly, Tartine can do no wrong. It has the best bread, the best croissants and, naturally, the best pie, too. The secret to the luscious banana cream concoction is the unexpected slick of dark chocolate separating the custard from the crust.
3. Butterscotch Bourbon Pie: Magpie, Philadelphia, PA
Baker Holly Ricciardi got the recipe for her custardy butterscotch bourbon pie from her great-grandmother (it’s adorably framed and hanging in the store). But don’t worry—granny didn’t skimp on the Jim Beam. The overall effect is dense, creamy and gloriously boozy.
4. Michigan Four-Berry Double Crust: Achatz Handmade Pie Co, Ann Arbor, MI
Achatz is a big name in the food world. You may have heard of Grant, chef at Chicago’s famous, 3-Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea. But you probably didn’t know that over in Michigan, his cousins Dave and Wendy were making some of the best pastry in America. We love the pleasingly tart four-berry pie, made with local cherries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
5. Chocolate Ganache Pie: Pie Shop, Atlanta
Sure, hip, sign-less bars are all the rage. But a speakeasy bakery? Yeah, it was new to us, too. This super-secret Atlanta spot, hidden behind a dry cleaner, is worth the extra effort—especially for this ultra-decadent take on chocolate mousse, which uses rich Belgian Callebaut milk chocolate and an all-butter crust.
6. Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie: Pie Lab, Greensboro, AL
This rural Alabama café has some lofty ambitions. Built by Project M, an international team that uses design to foster community, it serves up pie...and also a healthy dose of initiatives like job training for local youth and support for small businesses. Oh, and about that pie—it’s some of the best we’ve ever had, especially this chocolatey take on a true Southern classic.
7. Blueberry Pie: Two Fat Cats, Portland, ME
When you’re visiting Maine, there’s only one way to eat: lobster rolls, followed by blueberry pie, ad infinitum. When it comes to the pie, Portland’s Two Fat Cats makes the best—gooey, buttery, finger-staining perfection.
8. Shaker Lemon Pie: Scratch Baking, Durham, NC
Shaker lemon pie is usually known as a regional specialty from Pennsylvania Dutch Country. But no one told James Beard Award nominee Phoebe Lawless. Her North Carolina bakery soaks macerated lemons in sugar for three days, then whips them together with sugar and eggs for the smoothest, tartest version we’ve ever had.
9. Lord of the Pies: Emporium Pies, Dallas, TX
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and this deep-dish apple monstrosity is no exception. Ten full Granny Smith apples go into each one, along with homemade caramel, cinnamon streusel topping and an all-butter crust.
10. Triple Coconut Cream Pie: Dahlia Bakery, Seattle, WA
Chef Tom Douglas is basically synonymous with Seattle restaurants—he’s got a whole empire of them. And his most famous dish is the irresistible triple coconut cream pie. Rumor has it that even health-conscious President Obama reserves an entire pie for himself when he’s in town. And who can blame him? With shredded coconut in the crust, a creamy coconut filling and toasted coconut on top, it’s like the triple crown of desserts.