Here, sweet Medjool dates are balanced with bitter espresso and toasty brown butter for a pie that might look familiar but is surprisingly complex.

© John Kernick

This recipe will ruin you for every other pecan pie. 

Julia Heffelfinger
October 26, 2016

A Middle Eastern bakery might be the last place you'd expect to find the best pecan pie you've ever had, but Sofra in Cambridge, Massachusetts, delivers. "When we first opened, none of our customers knew what to make of our baklava and kunefe," recalls chef Ana Sortum, who co-owns the bakery and café with pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick. "So we started selling desserts like Maura's pecan pie to help build trust."

It has now been a favorite for five years, thanks in part to a filling swirled with toasty brown butter and studded with rich and chewy Medjool dates cooked in pleasantly bitter espresso. Dates and nuts are a traditional Middle Eastern pairing, but they make an extraordinary version of this American classic. 1 Belmont St,; sofrabakery.com

Get the Espresso-Laced Pecan Pie recipe here.