This November, Tasting Table is going to party like it's 2015. Join us.
Holly Ricciardi owns the beloved Philadelphia bakery Magpie Artisan Pies, recently wrote an all-pie cookbook and eats pie for breakfast at least once a week. But she doesn't have a huge thing for sweets.
"Believe it or not, I don't have a big sweet tooth. Adding the espresso and bittersweet chocolate helps cut the sweetness, giving it a nice balance," she says, talking about her upgraded classic pecan pie, which buzzes with espresso powder, chocolate chunks and a larger-than-average dose of cinnamon (see the recipe).
The perfect-for-Thanksgiving pie is like a mocha that you eat with a fork, and has been a big seller in the Philly shop since it opened in 2012, though it only gets facetime in the fall and winter. "We focus on how to transform a baked good such as a cookie or cake into a pie," she says, making it no surprise that it evokes a giant gooey chocolate chip cookie studded with pecans, nestled inside piecrust.
Magpie isn't the only one showing love to the fall classic: Pastry chef Cory Colton makes a pecan pie-inspired ice cream at Quality Meats in New York by spinning pecan pie filling and bits of piecrust into brown butter ice cream. "Pecan pie always works its way onto the menu in one form or another—it's my favorite," he says. Emily Stewart from Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits in Chicago loves pecan pie for its candy bar qualities. Petra Paredez from New York's Petee's Pie Company sweetens hers with honey and brown sugar, while nearby at North End Grill, pastry chef Tracy Obolsky adds a secret ingredient of her own. "Like life, it's always better with bourbon."
Should you have any leftovers the next morning (which is not a given), it's perfectly acceptable to cut a piece for breakfast. "A slice of pie is so much better for you than a doughnut," Paredez says. For some, it's an everyday habit, and Obolsky even leaves the fork out of the situation ("like a slice of pizza").
Stewart agrees: "Pie and coffee go great together." And since this one happens to be spiked with espresso, you're already there.
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