At Sofra Bakery & Cafe in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Maura Kilpatrick is known for her ingenious blending of American and Middle Eastern flavors. Here she balances sweet Medjool dates with bitter espresso and toasty brown butter for a pie that might look familiar but is surprisingly complex.
This extraordinarily rich and sweet dessert was the winner at the 1996 State Fair of Texas State pie competition, which Dean Fearing helped judge. "Out of 140 pies, this one was it," he says. "Her name was Bobby Lee; she never told me her last name."
Lydie Marshall's friend Heidi Trachtenburg, a born baker, helped me develop the recipe for this light, elegant version of the American classic. Unlike most pies, this tart is just as good when baked a day ahead as long as it is not refrigerated.
This easy pecan pie tastes of dark caramel, toasted nuts and a little bit of bourbon. Cheryl Day designed the recipe to work with a range of less-refined sweeteners, from honey to cane syrup. The supereasy press-in crust means you don’t even need a rolling pin.