Along with the start of the most joyful month of the year, Saturday, Dec. 1 is National Pie Day. Overwhelmed by the endless sea of trendy cupcakes and doughnuts, the old-fashioned pie has been overlooked lately. Its history reaches back to the ancient Greeks, and it’s been filled with everything from meat to apple. Here in Northeast Ohio, there are still many places to get this American staple besides your grandma’s house. Here are some of the best I’ve found in my travels around our great city. I will be eager to hear what you think after you’ve tried them.
* Drunken Cherry Pie
Loaded with both sweet and tart cherries, this one also includes a touch of bourbon. Best enjoyed by taking it home, heating it up, and decorating the top with some vanilla ice cream,
Grey House Pies, Westlake and Fairview Park, greyhousepies.com
* Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Featured at the Tremont Farmers Market, this is one of many tasty fruit pies turned out by this imaginative bakery.
Humble Pie Baking Company, 440-360-0550
* Pumpkin Pie
There’s nothing ordinary about this seasonal favorite in the hands of Tim and Terri Kiedrowski, lifelong Lorain County residents who have been baking great pies since 1984. Their critically acclaimed Amherst shop is worth the trip. There’s lots to choose from, though this time of year pumpkin is the preferred choice. The taste transcends any written description.
Kiedrowski’s Bakery, 2267 Foster Park Rd., Amherst, 440-282-2700, kiedrowskibakery.com
* Pecan Pie
SOHO chef/owner Nolan Konkoski’s hand-made pecan pie is simply amazing. What really sets it apart is the bourbon-brown butter ice cream. The next time you’re in Ohio City, get this dessert.
SOHO Kitchen & Bar, 1889 West 25th St., Cleveland, 216-298-9090, sohocleveland.com
* Chocolate Cream Pie
For a truly incredible version of this classic, stop at Joe’s Deli in Rocky River. The light chocolate pudding is topped with real whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Just one note of caution: This is a huge pie, so bring a big appetite.
Joe’s Deli, 19215 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River, 440-333-7890, myjoesdeli.com
* Candy Cane Pie
Yes, this is a recommendation for a chain, but its pies are good. And enjoying this particular pie at the Bakers Square in Mentor this month is a special treat. It features a dark cookie crumb crust, layered with milk chocolate and topped with a peppermint chip white filling, mixed and finished with more chocolate, whipped cream, and candy canes. It won’t be around for long, so enjoy it while you can.
Bakers Square, 800 Plaza Blvd., Mentor, 440-255-6960, bakerssquare.com