What is the best pie you have ever tasted? When I think of pies I automatically think of apple pies. I feel like they remind me of home, holidays, America, and everything you want in a pie. They are fruit filled but there is still a solid texture to them. Depending on the apple they can even have a bit of a bite to them. But my favorite part is always the filling, I just like to scoop it out and eat the warm apples in the gooey center. The crust doesn’t thrill me. I once even tried to bake my apples without the pie but it wasn’t as good. For some reason apples in apple pie come out better.
Another great thing about apple pie is that although it is a dessert it is not too sweet. As I have mentioned before I am not a great lover of sugary things (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/04/for-sweets-treats-and-smile-on-your.html) so when I find a dessert that I like and is easy to make I stick with it. But for all of last few years I have been making and eating this dessert I haven’t strayed too far away from the traditional form. Last year I believe was the first year I made an apple butter pumpkin pie and although that was tasty it was really more like pumpkin pie than apple. Then I read a magazine article about how the White House chef prepares their apple pie and that was better still.
Since I am always looking for new places and treats to try I didn’t have to look very far to find a new and much improved version of apple pie that has changed me forever. I don’t think I can do it justice so I am just going to let Bobby Flay explain it to you since he was the one that convinced me to have it in the first place.
Take it away Bobby!
This is from an episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” in their sixth season and first episode. It originally aired on September 12, 2011 during “All American” category. Once I heard the words “salted” and “caramel” before apple pie I was in. I immediately looked up the info and added it to my to do list. (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2012/04/for-year-2-2012-nyc-to-do-list.html)
At this shop, there are two kinds of pie, fruit or custard, and they change for each season depending on what is available and fresh. This is how you know they will be good but at the same time once you are addicted to a seasonal pie you know you will have to say goodbye at some point. Lucky for us, very lucky for us actually, the salted caramel apple pie is a staple and available year round.
When I went in I knew I would have to see what was there and decide on the spot what I wanted which I am never ever any good at!! I am a planner! It took me over a year to get here and I knew I wanted to come! So naturally the salted caramel apple was chosen, but then I wanted to select 2 others to complete my sampling plate. I ended up with brown butter pumpkin and buttermilk chess, which were two of the custard based pies.
I didn’t stay at the shop to eat, instead I took my pie to go, although the shop was cute and had space to sit down eat and enjoy a cup of Joe. On this particular day I was just returning from the Chip Shop (see previous blog) and I was too full to eat pie right away but since I was in the neighborhood I didn’t want to pass it up. Admittedly once home those slices of pie weren’t around too long before I was too curious to take a few bites.
The first bite of the salted caramel apple was incredible. It was so tangy from the green apples used yet the texture of the sweet caramel was all around it. Definitely unlike anything I had before and something that you could see craving once and a while.
The brown butter pumpkin was rich and creamy and delectable. The buttermilk chess was also very tasty and slightly lighter than the brown butter pumpkin. I found that a good system was alternating a small bite of each in the order I have described them here in order to have these combinations of flavors that create a party in your mouth. After a few minutes you think you are sick of it and full and then a few moments after that you are back to start the ritual all over again. It is faster than when you eat Chinese food and get hungry a few hours later. It is also more delicious.
If I had to choose I guess my second favorite is the brown butter pumpkin but I loved them all. Obviously the salted caramel apple will always rein supreme. I could see myself going back at the beginning of each season just to make sure I get to try a variety of all the best flavors and figure out which time of year brings about my favorite pies. Right now I am so intrigued at what the answer will be. The flavors I mentioned here were from the fall menu so I guess I will have to go back during the summer.
This will definitely be a place where I go back to buy pies for special occasions or a slice just to brighten up my day when I want to eat like Bobby Flay.
Be sure to check out Four and Twenty Blackbirds and like Bobby if you can’t make it there they have certain pies that they ship whole (only certain kinds are available by slice in the store) and they even do weddings! So that is something to think about!!
The last words you will want to shout are: “oh my pie”!
For Pies of Your Own:
For Apple Pies That Taste Like They Do in the White House: