A Slice of LifeWhere should you buy your holiday pie on the North Fork this year?
The options, when it comes to pie on eastern Long Island, are plentiful. The only real question is how many pies to bring to the family barbecue (why not all of them?). Which pie is best? It’s simply a matter of preference, to be honest. Too much pie, however, is never a bad thing.
In Jamesport, Junda’s Pastry Shop is a must. Pies are thick-crusted, lattice-topped, and dusted with fine sugar. These are chewy pies, with toothsome fillings — the blueberry is a particularly good pie, but the apple is a crowd-pleaser, too. Although known far better for their famous streudel than for their pies, you’d be remiss to skip these beauties.
Riverhead boasts what may be Eastern Long Island’s most famous pie shop, Briermere Farms, an orchard that will bring out the Willy Wonka in just about any fully-grown adult. Briermere sells just about any kind of pie your heart desires, especially if you call in advance. The show-stoppers are the (admittedly pricey) cream pies, which blend a savory crust with sweet fruit and a cream topping that hits all of the right notes. Is there a more festive pie out there than a raspberry cream pie?
The Fork’s other famous orchard, Wickham’s Fruit Farm, churns out superlative desserts all the time. And while the hot donuts, served in a paper bag, are unforgettable, the true blessings are the pies, made with a shortening-based crust for extra flakiness. There is a shortbread quality to these pies, which come in tons of different varieties of crust type and filling (lattice, crumb, full top; peach, cherry, blueberry). While you’re at Wickham’s, be sure to participate in their U-Pick, where you can get out in the fields and select your own fruit. They are the only remaining orchard on Eastern Long Island growing sour cherries, to boot, and the fans know it (they sell out early, so be forewarned).
In Greenport, Blue Duck Bakery can make whatever kind of pie you like, so long as you call ahead. As for what they have in stock, well, it could differ from day to day, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for in Greenport, know, too, that there’s a small Southold outpost of the bakery, as well as a Riverhead one. These pies are simple and delicious, approachable without doing any pyrotechnics. If you’re in search of a really good cherry pie to celebrate that most American of holidays, Blue Duck has what you’re looking for.
The great thing about Bayview Market is the fact that they sell pies by the slice, meaning you don’t have to commit without tasting. Is this a dangerous thing? Yes, definitely. Still, who wouldn’t want to try before the big buy? Stop in, eat a slice, and buy a whole pie to take home — the peach-berry is a compelling pie, by any standard.
So go out and fulfill your pie-in-the-sky dreams. Your friends and family will thank you.