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Calculating Pie

This year’s pie primer serves up two takes on three classic Thanksgiving desserts.

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Photos by Davies + Starr  

Apple
Traditional
This classic, homey pie is stuffed to the edges with thick-sliced, vanilla-and-cinnamon-spiked, sautéed Honeycrisp apples for a nice balance of tart and sweet. The flaky crust is crowned with a buttery streusel topping that’s flecked with crunchy rolled oats, adding a nice hearty texture. Ten-inch apple crumb pie, $26. Blue Smoke, 116 E. 27th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-447-7733.

With a Twist
A galette is, strictly speaking, a flat tart. But this version has a crispy puff-pastry collar, and the richly caramelized slices of tart Granny Smith apples that nestle in the bottom of the shell root it firmly and deliciously in pie-land. The slices of dried apple on top are a nod to the original form. Ten-inch apple galette, $28. Balthazar, 80 Spring St., at Crosby St.; 212-965-1785.


Pecan
Traditional
There are no perfectly arranged pecans on this pie— it doesn’t need prettying up. The dense topping of chopped and whole-toasted pecans is properly rich and chewy, and the gooey, spicy, maple-and-corn-syrup filling is sweet, but—courtesy of a generous splash of Maker’s Mark—not too sweet. Nine-inch maple-bourbon-pecan pie, $24. Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant, 4 Clinton St., nr. Houston St.; 646-602-6263.

With a Twist
This is not your grandma’s pecan pie. The filling starts with familiar ingredients like crushed pecans, maple syrup, and a hint of bourbon, but then it’s studded with bittersweet Callebaut chocolate chips and nestled in a Valrhona-chocolate crust. Finally, to keep things honest, it’s topped with pecans. Nine-inch chocolate pecan pie, $24. Sweet Melissa Patisserie, 75 W. Houston St., nr. W. Broadway; 347-594-2541. And 276 Court St., nr. Douglass St., Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; 718-855-3410.


Pumpkin
Traditional
William Greenberg Jr. has been making the same spicy-fresh pumpkin pie since it opened 60 years ago. The filling has a smooth, creamy texture with just a hint of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and ginger. The crust has an attractive fluting around the edge and is crisp and flaky with an intense buttery flavor. Nine-inch pumpkin pie, $28. William Greenberg Jr. Desserts, 1100 Madison Ave., nr. 82nd St.; 212-744-0304. And 2156 Broadway, nr. 75th St.; 212-873-7100.

With a Twist
The rich vanilla-spiked shortbread cookie crust is filled with puréed pumpkin and a creamy egg custard for an exceptionally moist center. But it’s the strong hit of freshly grated ginger, as well as the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, that gives the pie its sassy, spicy character. Nine-inch pumpkin pie, $18.95. Eli’s Manhattan, 1411 Third Ave., nr. 80th St.; 212-717-8100. And Eli’s Vinegar Factory, 431 E. 91st St., nr. First Ave.; 212-987-0885.

See also:
8 of New York's Best Thanksgiving Pies


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