Pies



Whether you're craving classic apple, sugary pecan or tangy strawberry-rhubarb, there's a pie for that. As one of the most versatile desserts, pies easily shift to fit whichever season you need them to. While pumpkin may be mandatory at your Thanksgiving table, it may seem out of place at a spring picnic. And since fresh berries are plentiful in summer, a cooling strawberry pie would be more at home at a backyard barbecue than a snowy, winter night. There’s no need to limit your creativity to just taste, either—the look of a pie can be an art form, too. We've seen pies in jars, as pops, with lattice tops or piled high with toasted meringue. Food & Wine's guide to pies explores all the possibilities, from classic holiday ideas to inventive recipes from chefs around the country.

Miso Chocolate Tart with Black Sesame–Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust

You know that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda makes a chocolate cake, has a nice big slice, then continues to go back into the kitchen to cut small slivers throughout the evening and into the next night before she eventually has to throw it away, but then fishes one more bite out of the garbage can before pouring dish soap on it and calling Carrie to suggest she be checked into the “Betty Crocker Clinic”? Well, that’s what this chocolate tart will do to a person. It lingers on your palate and in your mind, beckoning you back for more. That’s why it’s really best to make it for a dinner party. My intent with suggesting a chocolate recipe in February is naturally inspired by Valentine’s Day. But this year I’m thinking about inviting friends over, and not just couples. Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is the worst day of the year if you’re single and looking, so wouldn’t it be lovely to have a convivial dinner party to attend—especially if there’s a decadent slice of chocolate tart awaiting at the end of it? Here a typical press-and-bake graham cracker crust is spruced up with chocolate grahams and flecked with black sesame seeds for a striking assemblage. (Side note: Once when I made this, the grocery store was out of chocolate graham cracker sheets so I used animal-shaped chocolate graham cookies and it turned out just the same.) The nutty, crunchy crust lays the foundation for a velvety-smooth filling that would have Miranda rinsing off the dish soap for just one more bite. I like desserts a little more savory-sweet than super sweet. The addition of miso mixed with melted dark chocolate adds depth and umami, an almost buttery quality, and saltiness to balance the sweetness in the truffle-like ganache. All desserts need salt, and usually more than a small pinch—remember that and all your sweet endings will be the better.
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Dried Apple Hand Pies

As the dried apple slices rehydrate and cook in each delicate hand pie, they transform into a saucy, concentrated filling. To create a smoother, rather than chunky, apple filling, smash apples with the side of a spoon while stirring.
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Dried Apple Hand Pies

As the dried apple slices rehydrate and cook in each delicate hand pie, they transform into a saucy, concentrated filling. To create a smoother, rather than chunky, apple filling, smash apples with the side of a spoon while stirring.
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Sweet Potato Pie with Honeycrisp-Kabocha Salad

With more eggs than a traditional pumpkin pie, this pie-version is much richer and matches the creamy texture of the accompanying licorice ice cream.
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Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie

This pie slices beautifully to reveal not one but two fillings: both pumpkin custard and gooey, syrupy pecan. Chef Joanne Chang’s technique ensures the bottom of the pie shell is perfectly cooked and avoids sogginess. Cooling the blind-baked pie shell with weights keeps it hotter, and flatter, longer.
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Grill-Baked Apple Galette

Being a gal who lives on the rustic side of life (mismatched dishware, Mason jar centerpieces, a general disregard for fussiness), fruit galettes have long been my go-to desserts. I love how you can roll the crust into a haphazard circle, top it with a heap of the season’s best fruit (lightly sweetened, casually spiced), flop over the ragged edges, and bake something wildly fragrant, bubbly, and downright gorgeous.    Because I’m somewhat obsessed about making the most of my fire and the lingering heat that a bed of embers provides, lately I’ve been baking galettes on the grill. I love how a chimney of charcoal can carry you through cocktails (see charred citrus margaritas) to dinner to dessert. It’s easier than it sounds, particularly when you think about working your grill as an oven (e.g. grill-roasted chicken). Just as a chicken benefits from the unique “charred” flavor of charcoal, so do fruit and pastry. The first time I grill-baked this tart, I slid the parchment onto a pizza stone. I should have realized that the concentrated heat would blacken the bottom of the crust before the fruit had time to cook—and it did. Now I drape the pastry into a lavishly buttered cast-iron skillet or enamel-coated baking dish, and the results are perfect (with the added bonus of not heating up my kitchen).    When the berry conga line of summer transitions to fall, it’s apples that capture my attention—particularly thin-skinned varieties like Pink Lady that don’t need peeling (their skins have a snappy cider flavor). I’ve loved the combination of black pepper and pastry since I bit into the pepper-flecked flaky apple tart at Poilâine in Paris. The subtle warmth shoots through the buttery crust (and caramel sweetness of the fruit) like a swallow of Cognac on a winter day. Here I use pink peppercorns, which have a more delicate floral flavor. There’s no shame in embracing the color motif (what’s life without whimsy?) so in addition to those Pink Lady apples I also use Himalayan pink salt, but feel free to swap in another sweet-tart fall apple variety and your favorite fancy salt.
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More Pies

Lemon Meringue Pie with Marcona Shortbread Crust

Lemon meringue pie has always been my favorite dessert. (Fun fact: Lemon Pie was my CB handle when I was a kid. If you don’t know what that means, it’s likely because you’re much younger than me, and this clue still won’t help you: Breaker 1-9, this is Lemon Pie. I’ve got a Smokey on my tail.) I like lemon pie so much that I want even more of the bright, sunny lemon flavor to come through, so there’s less sugar and more lemon juice in this filling than you’ll find in most recipes. It’s assertively—but not aggressively—lemony, and is balanced by the fluffy meringue topping, which has the perfect sweetness and density to complement the tarter-than-usual filling. This topping is the type of meringue I love, the type that makes my mouth water and sets my heart aflutter. It is Italian meringue. It’s thicker, creamier, and heavier on the palate than the type of airy, ephemeral meringues you might see on diner-style pies—you know, the type that deflates almost immediately on the tongue. Italian meringue, by contrast, has weight and body to it that’s reminiscent of homemade marshmallows, and it’s incredibly stable, which is why it’s often used as a cake frosting, too. You don’t have to bake it—because in making it, you beat molten hot sugar syrup into the whites (easier than it sounds), which heats them to a safe temperature. I like to add a little vanilla extract to my Italian meringue, which somehow makes it seem even creamier. And oh, the crust! In place of traditional pie pastry (which would still be delicious here), I go with a pat-in shortbread crust that somehow both holds together and is wonderfully crumbly in that shortbread kind of way. But what makes it truly special is that there are little bits of salty, crunchy Marcona almonds in it. The topping, the filling, and the crust all work together in beautiful harmony, and I wanted to engineer the recipe so that you can enjoy that deliciousness faster than usual. The crust, which is made in a food processor and requires no rolling, comes together lickety-split. The filling, which I chill in an ice bath before it goes into the crust, sets in lightning speed. And the meringue, which does not need to bake, is ready to enjoy as soon as it’s whipped up—because when you want lemon pie, you want it now.
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The Best Pie Recipes: 22 New Classics to Master

Nothing brings people together like a great pie. Any season, every month, there are excellent pie recipes to be made and shared with family, friends, nice neighbors and grateful coworkers. Even the best pie recipes for beginners are some of the most timeless recipes you’ll ever learn (we’re looking at you, apple pie). From tangy key lime to rich bourbon pecan, or a summery strawberry slab to a warming eggnog custard, these are the pie recipes to live for all year round. There are plenty of classic recipes as well as delicious riffs you’ll want to make again and again. So pull out your favorite vanilla ice cream or whipped cream topping, grab some seasonal fruit for pie filling and get to work on one (or more) of these delicious desserts.Related: 15 Pastry Tools for Making Perfect Pies
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Shoofly Pie with Bourbon-Spiked Whipped Cream

We’ve gently updated this classic Pennsylvania Dutch dessert with a hint of orange zest to lift the rich molasses flavor. Since the pie’s on the sweet side, we opted for less sugar in the whipped cream and added bourbon for a slightly boozy bite. Although folks in the 1800s enjoyed the pie for breakfast, we think it’s better suited for your next cookout. The Classic Pie Crust recipe makes enough for two pies—stash the extra disk of dough in the freezer for up to six months. After a brief thaw, it will help you get your next pie in the oven in a flash.