3 Famous Pies You Can Have Delivered to Your Door This Thanksgiving
Ah, Thanksgiving: When we envision our table laden with a golden bird, casserole dishes brimming with family recipes, and an array of flaky homemade pies. It’s a holiday when there’s some pressure to DIY everything, but we’re here to remind you of the joys of delegating. In this case, we’re talking about pie.
Thankfully there are superb local bakeries that will mail their post-feast treats directly to your door, nationwide. I know this because I tried them for myself. I ordered a handful to sample ahead of the holiday to see how they would survive transit and how they stacked up against homemade pies. These are three I’d buy again.
1. Four & Twenty Blackbirds Salty Honey Pie
Founded by two South Dakota sisters in 2009, Brooklyn-based Four and Twenty Blackbirds sources fresh, local ingredients for updated flavors, like Salted Caramel Apple and Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan. I chose the famous Salty Honey Pie, which arrived snug as a bug in its Goldbelly cardboard box with an ice pack to keep its custard filling chilled. This pie had the shortest way to go, from the bakery in Brooklyn to where I live in Manhattan, and although the crust lost a few crumbs along the way, it held up the best of the bunch in its travels (more on that later).
As I opened the box, the scent of honey and butter wafted temptingly from the package. Sinking my fork into a slice was a moment of beauty: the sticky, bronzed exterior revealed a rich, smooth custard that tasted like toasty, caramelized cream. A sprinkle of flaky salt (included separately) beautifully balanced the pie’s sweetness, creating a crisp contrast to the silky filling.
The flaky, almost savory crust rivaled any home-baked version. I’d suggest this pie in a heartbeat for a sweet ending to your turkey dinner. Store your Salty Honey Pie in the fridge for up to five days before the big meal, then warm it in the oven before serving to maximize its luscious texture.
2. Grand Traverse Pie Company Front Street Apple Pie
For classic, homey, yummy pies made with local ingredients, look no further than the family-owned Grand Traverse Pie Company. I ordered the Front Street Apple Pie (named for the location of the original shop), to see how it would compare with the pinnacle of pies: my mom’s “Best of the Best” apple pie recipe.
The cute box landed on my doorstep proudly stamped with a “Pure Michigan” logo. Sadly, shipping was not kind to this pie — gravity took over when the delivery person mistook which end was up and left the box on its side. But in the end it didn’t matter. A little bit of syrupy apple goo pooled beneath the pie tin, showing its incredible freshness.
Nostalgic aromas of sweet-tart fruit, cinnamon, and butter swirled as I cut a thick piece. The filling of Michigan-grown Northern Spy apples, sliced thinly and cooked with subtle spices, did not disappoint. Nor did the tender, buttery crust.
I would absolutely recommend this pie after turkey or, as we do in my family, for breakfast the next morning (with ice cream!). It is genuinely almost as good as mom’s. The Front Street Apple Pie comes with a flat-packed pie box, making it a great host gift if you’re not in charge of dinner. Enjoy for up to three days on the counter, or freeze leftovers for up to two months.
3. Goode Company Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie
The Goode Company, a Texas barbeque institution, serves up one kind of pie: its celebrated Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie, made with pecans harvested from the banks of the Brazos River. (Fun fact: For an alternative to turkey, they also ship brisket.) I loved my grandfather’s salty-sweet, toffee-like pecan pie at Thanksgiving, so I was excited to give this one a try.
Worryingly, the delivery person handed me my pie upside-down. Luckily, the Goode Company packs their pie securely and stylishly in a fully lined custom-branded wooden box, so it survived this ordeal. (A cardboard box packaging is also available for $10 less.)
As I slid my pie from its classy case, I immediately noticed how heavy it was, piled with an abundance of the largest pecans I’d ever seen. (I put the pie tin in my own glass pie plate for extra reinforcement.) The shiny, candied, crispy nuts were beautifully arranged over a gooey, rich, subtly cinnamon-y filling.
Unfortunately, its delicate crust crumbled quite a bit on the long trip from Texas, but I eagerly sprinkled the buttery crumbs over my slice. I wisely followed the serving suggestion to heat the pie in the oven, which turned it into a delicious sort of warm pie-pudding. For contrast, I added a cool dollop of tart crème fraîche that melted and pooled in its crags.
The Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie will last for up to three weeks on the countertop, but I’ll bet it won’t make it far past the Thanksgiving table.