New Ways to Eat Pie

New Ways to Eat Pie: Whiffies Fried Pies; Portland OR
Photo: Photo © Gregg Abbott

Remember when pie was just pie? Single crust, or double, perhaps with a lattice top. A summer berry filling, pumpkin in fall, or maybe chocolate cream. And should the occasion call for it, a scoop of ice cream. Today, enterprising bakers have taken the building blocks of pie and rearranged them into every possible permutation. Pie lollipops, pie Pop-Tarts, pie in Mason jars — we've seen them all. Here are some of the unique things 20 bakeries do with pie, each more unexpected than the last. — Carey Jones

01 of 19

Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery (Portland, Oregon)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery; Portland, OR
Photo © Paul Rich Studio

While this Portland bakery gets plenty of attention for its traditional sweet and savory pies, pie cookies are the shop's signature invention. "It's the best of both worlds," says managing partner Vince Brown. "We take our flaky pie crust and add honey, sugar or chocolate chips to sweeten; then take pie filling and make fully enclosed cookies."

02 of 19

Pie Corps (Brooklyn)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Pie Corps; Brooklyn, NY
Photo courtesy of Pie Corps

It was only a matter of time before the Mason jar, the hallmark of hipster kitchens, found its way to a Brooklyn bakery. Mason jar pies at Williamsburg's Pie Corps are just what they sound like: individual desserts cradled in a jar, topped with a crust or crumble. They even come with lids if you want to save the rest for later. Fall flavors include nutmeg maple cream, caramel apple crumb and Nantucket cranberry. Pie Corps also serves whole pies, pie pops and hand pies that deserve a nod just for the name: Palm Pie-Lettes.

03 of 19

All Jarred Up (Portland, Oregon)

New Ways to Eat Pie: All Jarred Up; Portland, OR
Photo courtesy of All Jarred Up

What's more Portland than a jarred pie Etsy shop? One that begets a food cart. All Jarred Up recently launched its street-side operation, serving jar pies with delicate lattice and cutout top crusts (as well as pie slices and other confections). Expect apple and pumpkin this fall.

04 of 19

Chile Pies & Ice Cream (San Francisco)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Chile Pies & Ice Cream; San Francisco
Photo © J. Rosenberg

As long as there have been sweet pies there have been savory ones, of the British pub specialty steak-and-kidney sort. Here comes a sweet-savory hybrid: green chile apple, which unites New Mexico Hatch chiles and Granny Smith apples, with a cheddar crust and walnut streusel, all drizzled with Monroe's Red Chile Honey. "The pie has more of a smoky flavor," says general manager Lauren Rossi, "rather than spicy." Looking for something further Frankensteined? The chile pie — or any other flavor — is offered blended in a pie milk shake, with Three Twins organic ice cream.

05 of 19

Tiny Pies (Austin, Texas)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Tiny Pies; Austin
Photo © Jody Horton Photography

This mom-and-daughter dessert catering operation has gained national recognition for its jar pies and pie pops sold online, which are popular for weddings. Fall jar pie flavors include bourbon buttermilk chess, pumpkin pecan with marshmallow topping, and bourbon pecan. The pie pops are some of the most intricate we've seen, carefully molded into fall leaves, Halloween shapes or even Texas Longhorns — fall also means football, after all.

06 of 19

Cheap Tart (Chicago)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Cheap Tart; Chicago
Spark + Tumble

This online baking operation has earned a number of Best Pie in Chicago nods, for standard pies and pie pops, 3-inch rounds that come with classic apple and maple pecan fillings, among other flavors. The bakery doesn't have a retail shop, but sells batches of a dozen pops for local delivery.

07 of 19

Momofuku Milk Bar (New York)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Momofuku Milk Bar; NYC and online
Photo courtesy of Momofuku

Christina Tosi's blockbuster bakery is known for irreverent takes on nostalgic sweets — like cereal milk soft-serve and almost-unbearably rich, sugar and butter laden crack pie. Starting November 1, look for the apple pie cake — butter cake layered with apple pie filling, then topped with crumbled pie crust. It's one of the few true pie-cake hybrids out there.

08 of 19

The Bomb Fried Pies (Dallas)

New Ways to Eat Pie: The Bomb Fried Pies; Dallas
Photo courtesy of The Bomb Fried Pies

What's the 21st-century take on fried pies? Southern-fried pies sold from a cheery retro trailer. This Dallas food truck, operating out of a 1965 Shasta, specializes in fried hand-size pies. Expect apple, cherry and pumpkin in season — along with a Tex-Mex twist: fried guacamole that's encased in a flaky crust, too.

09 of 19

Magpie (Philadelphia)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Magpie; Philadelphia
Photo courtesy of Magpie Pie Company

How to improve on the classic union of pie and ice cream? Smash 'em together. The pie milk shakes at Magpie include an entire slice blended up in each shake. ("Little secret," the owner and head baker Holly Ricciardi tells us: "I actually prefer to eat pie in a milk shake.") For fall, expect flavors including buttery caramel apple, ginger pear crumb, and butterscotch bourbon — any of which can be whirled into a shake.

10 of 19

Black Jet Baking Co. (San Francisco)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Black Jet Baking Co.; San Francisco
Photo courtesy of Black Jet Bakery / Paige Green Photography

What is a Pop-Tart, really, other than a reimagined (and heavily commercialized) hand pie? Black Jet Baking Company improves on the idea with its best-selling PoPs, featuring homemade flaky crusts and imaginative fillings. spiced apple, apple cranberry, and pumpkin crumb will make an appearance in October and November, along with staples like jalapeño cream cheese, and Nutella and salty hazelnuts.

11 of 19

High 5 Pie (Seattle)

New Ways to Eat Pie: High 5 Pie; Seattle
Photo courtesy of High 5 Pies

Along with 9-inch standards in a number of flavors — salted caramel pear, sweet potato, spiced plum walnut, and cran-apple ginger for fall — High 5 sells pies in various shapes and sizes. "One of the things we love about pie is its versatility and room for unique twists," manager Jennifer Becker explains. There's the Mile Wide Pie, an 18-inch monster that serves 30; individual-size Cutie Pies; the Flipside, a baked hand-held pie; and pie pops in apple and cherry-almond flavors.

12 of 19

Baked and Wired (Washington, D.C.)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Baked and Wired; Washington, DC
Photo courtesy of Baked + Wired

Traditional pie has many wonderful qualities, but portability is not among them. That's why Baked and Wired co-owner Teresa Velazquez came up with her circular hand pies: "The cake had the cupcake and I thought the pie needed a partner." The house pie crust is filled with fruits like apple and apple-cranberry for fall, formed into hand pies, then brushed with egg wash and sugar for a crisp coating.

13 of 19

Shake Shack (multiple locations)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Shake Shack
Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

Danny Meyer's upmarket fast-food chain excels at burgers and Concretes — vanilla frozen custard blended with mix-ins. Each November, Shake Shack offers a Pumpkin Pie, Oh My! Concrete, featuring a whole slice of pumpkin pie whirled just enough so that every spoonful tastes like pie, but ample crust chunks remain throughout.

14 of 19

Flying Monkey Bakery (Philadelphia)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Flying Monkey Bakery; Philadelphia
Photo © Albert Yee

Whether you consider it a gimmick or a stroke of genius, the Pumpple is truly an impressive creation: a double-layer cake with pies baked right inside. How does that break down? A pumpkin pie encased in a chocolate cake on the bottom, an apple pie within a vanilla cake on top, and vanilla buttercream to bind it all together. It's sold by the slice from September through March; whole Pumpples are available year-round, with 72 hours' notice. (Each one is an endeavor; you can't just conjure up a Pumpple overnight.)

15 of 19

Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies (Brooklyn)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies; Brooklyn, NY
Photo courtesy of Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies

It may sound unlikely, but one of the country's best Key lime pies is made in Brooklyn, at Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies in Red Hook. The company nails the graham cracker crusts and the creamy filling made with freshly squeezed citrus. Steve's signature is the Swingle: a miniature Key lime pie on a stick dipped in melted chocolate that freezes to a thin shell. Upgrades include the Diablo, with chile infused in the chocolate, or Raspberry Blonde, topped with raspberry puree and dipped in white chocolate.

16 of 19

Pie Spot (Portland, Oregon)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Pie Spot; Portland, OR
Photo courtesy of Pie Spot

This bakery is best known for its Pie Holes — bite-size pies inspired by doughnut holes. Autumn offerings include apple crumble, pumpkin, brown butter pecan, and sweet potato with molasses glaze; in addition to Pie Spot's retail location, Pie Holes are sold at a number of excellent spots around Portland, including Bunk Sandwiches and Meat Cheese Bread.

17 of 19

Cake Monkey (Los Angeles)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Cake Monkey; Los Angeles
Photo courtesy of Cake Monkey

Cake Monkey sells its baked goods at various local stores, does occasional pop-ups and ships nationally. Look out for the Pop Pies — another pie in Pop-Tart clothing — in seasonal flavors including chocolate almond, brown sugar cinnamon, and apple crumble (with a cider-roasted apple filling and caramel drizzle).

18 of 19

Pie Sisters (Washington, D.C.)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Pie Sisters; Washington, DC
Photo © Lindsey Nathansan

Eats like a cupcake, tastes like a pie. The individual-size Cuppies (and all of the other pies), with their flaky vegetable shortening crusts and classic fillings, are made by hand each day at this well-regarded D.C. bakery. For the fall, expect bourbon chocolate pecan, sweet potato, pumpkin, and apple caramel crunch.

19 of 19

Whiffies Fried Pies (Portland, Oregon)

New Ways to Eat Pie: Whiffies Fried Pies; Portland OR
Photo © Gregg Abbott

Portland has a fantastic street vendor culture, including one food truck solely dedicated to deep-fried hand pies. And, as a nod to the most enthusiastic fried pie customers, they're open until midnight (3 a.m. on weekends). Fall pies include apple and peanut butter cream.

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