BY HELEN KLEIN & ANNA SPIVAK
With Thanksgiving just around the corner and the weather getting chillier, the taste buds are conjuring memories of favorite pies, and revving up to enjoy this year’s crop.
We took on the task of tasting some of the offerings from local Brooklyn bakeries, to help steer you to some fabulous options. It was a difficult task, but, clearly, somebody needed to do it.
Here are 13 favorites from Brooklyn bakeries.
The Pumpkin Pie from Grandma’s Bakery was a classic holiday treat, with a crumbly crust, silky smooth custard, subtle spicing, and a flavor and fragrance redolent of autumn.
With a foursome of apple pies for the tasting, we figured that Brooklyn sure knows how to get that classic, fruity dish down right—each bakery boasting a different and delicious take on the dessert.
Bay Ridge Bakery’s execution of a classic Apple Pie pulled out all the stops. A flaky crust, coupled with an interior of sweet, soft apples, was enough to have any pie lover scrounging for seconds.
A combination of sweet and tart flavors elevated Leske’s Apple Crumb Pie to an otherworldly level. With a flaky crust and deliciously crumby top, each apple-infused morsel inspired feelings of pure bliss.
Grandma sure knows her stuff over at Grandma’s Bakery. With a fresh, sweet and memorable apple taste on the inside, Grandma’s Apple Crumb Pie featured a perfectly textured, sugary crumb top paired with a flaky and delicious crust.
Jean Danet’s double-crust Apple Pie boasted an air of excellence. With a crust artfully crafted to house a sea of flavorful, fresh apples, this pie was one for the books.
By this time we were getting full but, undeterred, we dug into a pair of Pecan Pies. Jean Danet’s – topped by a single maraschino cherry – was traditional, with a sticky, molasses-based filling and a thick, crumbly crust. By contrast, the Pecan Pie from Bay Ridge Bakery had a lighter filling, with a caramelized topping of sugar-coated pecans.
Less expected, but no less delicious, was Four and Twenty Blackbirds’ Bourbon Pear Crisp. With a flaky, buttery crust, beautifully fluted, this creation was familiar and exotic at once, the pear filling dense and luscious, with a haunting bourbon back note and a sweet crumb topping.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds’ Salted Honey Pie was another standout, its crust crispy and light, providing delightful contrast against the sweet custard filling. The contrasts continued with the sprinkling of salt on the pie’s caramelized top (the only do-it-yourself aspect of the pie).
Another non-traditional but delicious Thanksgiving pie choice was offered by Tasty Pastry – a classic Coconut Custard Pie, which combined a thin, crispy crust and a creamy custard, topped by a generous sprinkling of shredded coconut
Brooklyn Wholesale’s Fruit of the Forest pie encapsulated all of the fruity flavors a pie lover could dream of. With an effortlessly delicious blend of tart and sweet, this eye-capturing pie was yummy, inside and out.
With the distinct and captivating flavor of fresh cherries, Leske’s Cherry Pie proved to be way more than a one trick pie-ny. Artfully blending together a crumbly crust and some eye-popping colorful cherries, the pie brought together a mouthwatering mix of tart cherry flavors with the sweet, jam-like texture of a cherry preserve.
Tasty Pastry’s offerings include a Gluten Free Blueberry Pie. The sweet, rich filling was supremely satisfying, without being cloying, and while the crust is not the traditional short crust, for obvious reasons, Tasty Pastry’s bakers have done a masterful job of creating a crust without using wheat flour, which is a major challenge.
After all was said and gobbled up, it’s safe to say that these Brooklyn bakeries are the cherry on top of an already rich, flavorful and diverse culinary enclave.
Bay Ridge Bakery
7805 Fifth Avenue
641 Ovington Avenue
Four and Twenty Blackbirds
439 Third Avenue
7208 13th Avenue
7526 Fifth Avenue
7612 Fifth Avenue
8218 13th Avenue