Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen may currently be making pies in Brooklyn, but they learned their pie-making skills in a proper pie baking establishment, their family restaurant in Hecla, South Dakota—where their grandmother Elizabeth must have put them through pie-making bootcamp. This pie shop was one of the best bakery openings of last year. Our favorites? Anything double-crusted involving rhubarb or apple; a buttermilk chess pie; the grapefruit custard. But the available pies change every day, which is half the fun.
Yura on Madison
If we pointed you to just one pie shop in New York, this would be it. With fantastic flaky crusts and never-too-sweet fillings, Yura's pies are as good as it gets. Her blueberry pie is in our Serious Eats Pie Hall of Fame; in season, the pumpkin pie is mighty fine, too. But with crusts this good, you really can't go wrong.
Two Little Red Hens
They just flat out know how to make great homey baked goods—and man, does that include pies. You can't go wrong with a chocolate pecan pie; a fine, fine apple pie; or in the fall, an excellent harvest pie, filled with apples, pears, walnuts, and a hit of ginger. Lucky you are, Upper East Side.
Little Pie Co.
We still love their signature sour cream apple pie—"Would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner," said Maggie Hoffman. "And I have." The Coconut Cream Pie is perhaps as good, with coconut-flecked custard layered with fresh banana slices and topped over glorious billows of whipped cream. And their fruity, double-crusted pies are some of the best in the city; it's hard to get that double crust right.
Melissa Murphy Hagenbart first became known for her delicious butterscotch pudding when she was the pastry chef at Home on Cornelia Street long ago; she started selling extraordinary Thanksgiving pies outside the side door of the restaurant around that time, and she's just kept on going. While we're particularly fond of the Lemon Meringue Tart, a butter-rich pate sucrée crust filled with curd just on the sweet side of puckery-tart, we wouldn't say no to her banana cream pie or anything involving pecans, either.
Honorable Mention: The Dutch
Why an honorable mention? Because The Dutch is a restaurant, not a bakery, and therefore outside the scope of NY Bakery Week. But Kierin Baldwin's pies are just too good not to mention. The crusts are flaky and beautifully bronzed; the rhubarb-rosewater filling (shown here) was at the perfect intersection of sweet and tart; we were wary of the rose, but it's subtle, just backing up the filling's floral hints. Any restaurant where you'd go back just for the pie deserves a mention here, no?