Springtime may been when a young man’s fancy turns to love, but autumn is the season when an approaching-middle-age food writer’s fancy turns to something even better: pie. The holiday season is a sugar-drenched orgy of pies made from any and everything — pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes, pecans, buttermilk, chocolate, and even vinegar. I like turkey and dressing just fine, but the best time of any holiday meal is when somebody calls out, “Keep your fork, there’s pie!” By New Year’s Day, I’ve usually eaten enough pie that my sweat is at least 75% simple syrup. And I won’t ever stop.
A few weeks ago, I was assigned a dining review at the new Pizzeria at Terry’s, and while the pizza was mighty fine, it was the two slices of pie that ended the meal that I really thought were spectacular. There’s a little bit of everything at Terry’s, and while I can’t recommend the escargot, what I can recommend is a slice of The Pie Shop at Terry’s apple and German chocolate pies.
First, the German chocolate, a rich and dense mass of semisweet chocolate nestled in a crust so tender and flaky that I could have just eaten it by itself. It’s a real “must eat” for chocolate lovers, because when this pie is paired with a scoop of Loblolly vanilla, things get pretty great pretty quick.
Even better (to me, there was a spirited discussion about this) was the apple. For something identified so much with classic American food, most people really screw up apple pie — the apples get mushy, the pie falls apart, or everything is too sweet, too tart, or under-spiced. None of that happened here. This was like the Platonic ideal of what an apple pie should be — firm apples that were soft but still had nice texture, a good mix of sugar and spice, and more of that excellent crust. Again, the ice cream on the side certainly didn’t hurt things, but I could honestly eat this pie any time, hot or cold, breakfast or dessert. Other than an apple pie my dad makes periodically, this is probably the best apple pie I’ve ever eaten.
So if you’re looking for something delicious — or looking for a way to cut corners on your holiday cooking — put the Pie Shop on your list. Everyone in your family will thank you right before they pass out watching football on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.