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Thanksgiving Pies Redux

Ok, Petsi's is acceptable, but not great. Used to get thanksgiving pies from Taft Farms in Great Barriington (my son and his family live there and truck it in for us) but they started using filling that clearly isn't homemade. Isn't there anyplace great? Like "knock your socks off" crust? Petsi's fillings make the grade but the crust doesn't reach homebaked levels to me. Anybody found better?

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  1. I feel the same way about Petsi's. I had yet to find a pie that was truly wonderful until a few weeks ago. I was at Clyde's Cider Mill in CT and bought an apple crumb pie. I didn't realize until I got home to Boston that it said Stotts on the cover. I've been passing Stotts for years on the road off of 385 in Ct on the way to Foxwoods and thought it was "just" a truck stop. There is a sign that says famous homemade pies. It's the only "store" bought pie that ever impressed me. It REALLY impressed me. I even told several people about it. I'll be stopping at Stotts the next time I'm going by to try their others. I'm pretty sure Preston is the town it's in. Exit 85 or 84. The one for Foxwoods. I know this is the Boston board but had to share....

    1. If you like a crumble topping, Verrill Farm's pies are delicious. The bottom crust is a regular crust (made with butter, I believe), and quite tasty. The top is covered with a crumbly, buttery topping - it makes the pie sweeter, but not overly sweet, especially since the fruit filling is very fresh-tasting (not syrup-y). I know they have apple, as well as other fruit combinations.

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      Verrill Farm
      11 Wheeler Rd, Concord, MA, MA 01742

      2 Replies
      1. re: fbf242

        I agree with the Verrill rec. The pie is not especially sweet, and maybe not sweet enough for people who like a really sweet pie, but I love how the fruit shines through, and the texture and butter taste in the crust is terrific. I'm not always thrilled with a pie crumb topping in general, but it works quite well in the Verrill pies.

        I'd test one out before the holiday, though, to see if it works for you, or whether your guests want a sweeter pie.

        1. re: bear

          For several years, we've bought our pies at Dowse Orchard on Rt. 27 in Sherborn; they are made in Maine (don't remember the details, but they have them before Thanksgiving, so you could try one if it's convenient).

      2. I bought a really great caramel apple pie from Spinelli's on Rt. 1 in Lynnfield. The apples were perfectly cooked and the filling was not excessively sweet. I was a little worried when I saw the caramel drizzled all over the crumb top that it was going to make our teeth fall out, but was pleasantly surprised to find that they used restraint with the sugar. The crust was flaky and tender.

        1. Last year I bought an apple pie from the annual Thanksgiving Pie In The Sky benefit for Community Servings and was very pleased with it. Nice flaky crust and not too sweet filling. I think that they will be having that sale again in the Boston area. Worth checking out.

          8 Replies
          1. re: nasilemak

            I second Pie in the Sky... great pie for a great cause. I'm sure you can get info on the community servings website.

            1. re: veeva

              Spinellis pies are bought frozen, they are decent pies but are not made from scratch they get them from a wholesale distributor

            2. re: nasilemak

              Pie in the Sky is indeed happening again, and it benefits Community Servings - an organization that is best known for it's Meals on Wheels type program, delivering food to those too sick or frail to feed themselves well.

              They get pies from a long list of local restaurants, all listed on http://www.pieinthesky.org/ . Which one you get often depends on when and where you pick up the pie. Last time I picked one up (at South Station) the volunteer was able to give me the choice of three of the restaurants.

              1. re: patiofixture

                I wanted to love pie in the sky but we didn't. In 2004 we picked up our apple pie from the Brookline participant and didn't open it until Thanksgiving, 2 days later. The top crust was what looked like (and tasted like) a thick topping of raw oatmeal- it was disgusting and my family and I hated it. When I mentioned this to an acquaintance who worked for Community Servings she was not surprised. Apparently one of the participating chefs always strewed their apple pies with oatmeal. We support the cause in other ways now and have gone back to baking our own pies with store bought ingredients. I was going to try for Petsi's but that doesn't sound like it's worth the hassle either.

                1. re: ginnyhw

                  Try the pumpkin from Pie in the Sky. Really good true pumpkin taste and no problem of the top crust!

                  1. re: ginnyhw

                    Petsi's isn't bad, it just doesn't live up to the hype if you like your piecrust dry and crisp. fillings are good to very good and the effort is there. I just want perfect!

                    1. re: teezeetoo

                      I have tried Petsi's in the past and they always were sold out of everything by the time my husband got there (he works in Cambridge). We have had good luck with frozen homemade pies from farmstands when we used to go up to Newburyport so we picked up two from the freezer at Wilson Farms on Monday. One uncooked blueberry to be baked on TG and one pumpkin, already cooked, just need to thaw in the fridge. I have high hopes for the blueberry and we'll see about the pumpkin.

                      1. re: ginnyhw

                        As a pie baker I will add this: Unless the weather is extraordinarily dry, a crumb top or crumble top just will not last no matter how delicious and perfect it was the first 12 hours after baking. If I'm baking apple pies on Saturday and want to share one with my office on Monday, I always opt for the double crust as it has a better shelf life.

              2. Rosie's Bakery does Thanksgiving pies. And while I've never had their pies, I'll vouch strongly for their other baked goods.

                1. I had to go to Hudson today and found myself driving by Verrills. I'd never been there before and stopped and picked up an apple pie after reading the recs on Chowhound. I already had made plans to stop at Honeypot on my way back and picked up a pie there as well (along with 2gals of cider). Well, I just did a taste test. I warmed up a 2 1/2 " wedge of each. I was very disappointed at the one from Verrill Farm. In the whole wedge, there was only 1 slice of apple....1! It was horribly sweet and it was like eating crumb topping all the way through. I threw it out. The pie from Honeypot was great! Not too sweet with plenty of apple slices that still had a little oomph to them and weren't mushy. The crust was perfect too. My rec would be to keep driving past Verrill and drive the extra 15 minutes to Honeypot. Maybe it was a fluke, but it's been a long time since I've had a pie as bad as Verrills. On a side note...they has Pear Cider at Honeypot. Very good stuff!

                  1. Bakery Stars in Hanson is known for their apple and pumpkin pies. They use fresh pumpkin as the supply lasts and the apple pies are huge. They have a whole bag of apples in each pie. They also sell quick breads, party platters, and cheesecakes. The White Chocolate Cheesecake is really, really good.

                     
                    1. meadowbrook orchards in sterling has great pies made in house.
                      Apple, blueberry, cherry, banana cream, choc cream, cranapple, rasp apple, custard, coconut custard, mince, peach, pumpkin, squash, straw rhubarb, lemon meringue and pecan. You need to call and order them by the 23rd...
                      http://meadowbrookorchards.com/conten...

                      1. It's a bit outside of Boston but Honeypot Orchards has THE best apple pie that I ever had. I always get a few and freeze them to get me through the year along with their cider. A few weeks ago, I got a pumpkin pie there that was also very good.

                        1. gotta put in for Mirabella's in Tewksbury (if you are up there). They have police directing traffic on Wed (maybe even Tuesdays) because their awesomeness!!! (many awards)
                          http://www.mirabellasbakery.com/histo...