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.

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For Lisa Ludwinski and her beloved Detroit bakery Sister Pie, Thanksgiving is the biggest day of the year.
Brandy Pecan Pie
Rating: Unrated 1
A blend of turbinado sugar, maple syrup, and honey makes for a pecan pie with a well-rounded sweetness. A dash of apple brandy adds a faint caramel apple flavor and brightens the nutty toasted pecans.
Apple Cheddar Rye Pie
Nutty rye flour and sharp cheddar cheese enrich buttery pie crust in this sweet-and-savory twist on classic apple pie. Tapioca starch thickens the filling, while keeping it clear and glossy.
Cranberry Crumble Pie
The cranberry compote's jammy texture holds the fruity filling together for this dessert, which presents a cranberry crumble in pie form. Plenty of warm spices in the filling help to balance the buttery crumble topping.
Sister Pie All-Butter Pie Dough
This versatile, all-butter pie dough has a delicate flake from higher-fat European-style butter. Developed by Sister Pie owner Lisa Ludwinski to pass directly to the hands of eager customers, these pies are intended to be baked in 9-inch disposable aluminum pie pans. If using slightly larger glass or ceramic pans, roll the pie dough a little wider, and increase the blind-baking time by a few minutes to ensure a crispy-bottom crust. Try the Cheddar Rye and Toasted Pecan variations for added depth of flavor (see Notes).

More Pies

 Banana Pudding Pie
Cool, creamy, and nostalgic, banana pudding gets a gourmet upgrade thanks to buttery, roasted macadamia nuts in the classic vanilla wafer crust. This is no place for instant pudding—this pie gets a rich lift from an easy homemade pudding made from rich whole milk and egg yolks flecked with flavorful vanilla bean seeds. Two layers of sliced banana and a billowy crown of fresh whipped cream takes this make-ahead dessert over the top.

Lemon Chiffon Pie with Saltine Cracker Crust

Rating: 3.5 stars

Pastry chef Kelly Field's great-aunt Jean, who first made this pie during the Great Depression, swapped pricey graham crackers in the crust for less-expensive saltines, which play well with the tart lemon filling. To create the voluminous filling, be sure to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks; if they’re too soft, the filling will be dense instead of airy.