By Food & Wine
In the never-ending cycle of boom-and-bust trendiness that moves cupcakes and doughnuts from hot to not to hot again, there is one constant: pie. The country's very best and most spectacular pies range from a purist's double-crusted apple pie to a creative Mission-fig-and-mascarpone version served in a jar.
In 2009, Allison Kave and her boyfriend, Jay Horton, entered Brooklyn, New York's Pie Bake-Off. The challenge was to use a local ingredient, so they chose apple cider and developed an Apple Cider Cream Pie, a delicious combination of cream pie and apple pie. Kave also entered her Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie. After winning prizes for both pies, the duo launched First Prize Pies in Brooklyn, with flavors like s'mores and those award-winning pies.
"Allison's pies, like her Samoa (inspired by the chocolate-coconut-caramel Girl Scout cookie) are original and delectable; some might even call her S'mores pie obsession-triggering," writes comedienne Samantha Bee, a frequent contributor to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Today Kave sells pies on Saturdays at Brooklyn Flea's Smorgasburg in the Williamsburg neighborhood and at Roni-Sue's, her mother's chocolate stand in Manhattan's Essex Street Market. She also ships nationwide.
Across the country at Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco, owners Anna Derivi-Castellanos, Lenore Estrada and Katrina Svoboda (a.k.a. the three babes) use organic, local and seasonal ingredients in their exceptional pies. In addition to selling slices and whole pies, the bakeshop offers fun, portable pie: They bake the pastry in a jar, then fill it with ingredients like fig-and-pear syrup, mascarpone cream, fruit and toasted walnuts.
"We have a great love for pie," the trio proclaim on their site. "We want to spread that love... Because we believe in the power of butter, flour and fruit."
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