Few things beat fresh-baked pie. It’s the sweet payoff at the end of a Thanksgiving dinner or any holiday meal—and, for some, the main event. Other good reasons to (over)indulge: National Pie Day, on January 23 (the National Pie Council has some ideas on how to celebrate). Pi Day, on March 14 (feel free to choose a different idea than the one you used on January 23). Or any other day of the year, really. Ready to get ins-PIE-red? Read on for a taste of some of the best pies NYC has to offer.
Banana Cream Pie
Where to get it: Pies ’n’ Thighs, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Local flavor: Nilla Wafers, an essential ingredient in any great banana cream pie, were invented by Staten Islander Gustav Mayer back in the 1800s (on an unrelated note, his former New York City home is supposedly haunted.). The Nabisco factory that once manufactured them now houses the Chelsea Market. And graham crackers, used for the crust, were also a Nabisco product and northern invention. You don’t have to be in the South to try this southern-style pie; south Williamsburg will suffice.
Mississippi Mud Pie
Where to get it: Little Pie Company, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
Down in the mud: Yes, the banks of the Mississippi River—apparently the source of the pie’s name—are quite muddy, but that can be traced back to the Missouri River, the waterway that interrupts the Mississippi’s flow of clear water as it runs into it in St. Louis. Wherever the true credit should go, the translation is a dense, dark tribute in fudgy deliciousness. As you try this pie between the banks of the Hudson and East Rivers, aim to guess its four strata of chocolate (OK, fine: Belgian chocolate, brownie streusel, chocolate glaze and a crushed cookie crust).
Black Bottom Oat Pie
Where to get it: Four & Twenty Blackbirds, Gowanus, Brooklyn
Cookies are enabled: The innovators at Four & Twenty Blacksbirds say this dessert is meant to be a pie version of an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. When you try this pie, you’ll find the texture and flavor achieved from the combo of chewy topping and gooey filling signals mission accomplished.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie
Where to get it: Bubby’s, Tribeca, Manhattan
Just in time for the holidays: This was one of the original recipes on Bubby’s menu in its pre-restaurant days, when it began as a pie supplier in Tribeca on Thanksgiving Day 1990. Timing-wise, it seems right to try this pie. As for the flavor marriage, it’s just science that these two things go together.
Famous Boston Cream Pie
Where to get it: Conti’s Pastry Shoppe, Morris Park, The Bronx
What rivalry? Boston cream pie, which by all accounts is far more cake than pie, was created by the kitchen at Boston’s Parker House Hotel back in the mid-1800s— and century-old Conti’s has been specializing in its own version of this layered treat for decades. Interestingly, there’s no pie we can find that’s named after New York City (cheesecake doesn’t count)—something we should aim to change. Until then, try this pie.
NY Sour Cherry Pie
Where to get it: Petee’s Pie Company, Lower East Side, Manhattan, and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
A sweet tart deal: The sour cherry season is a brief one, with the vast majority of it taking place in Michigan—though Petee’s proudly uses fruit grown in upstate New York. Take it from us: you must try this pie and its sour cherries, or risk sour grapes.
Apple Crumble with Rosemary Caramel Pie
Where to get it: Pie Corps, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
A corps by any other name: When you hear the word corps spoken, you might think it’s core. At the core of this pie are slightly saucy baked apples with a tinge of herbaceousness. When you see it written, you might mistake it for corpse. We imagine a pie corpse to be a pie that was so good, only the crumbs remain (though these crumbs are worth gobbling up). But a corps is actually a team. Give thanks to the Greenpoint one that makes this pie one to try.