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Duarte's Olallieberry Pie - it's that good!

gordon wing Aug 9, 2010 02:56 PM

Was in Pescadero yesterday and managed to reaquaint myself with some olallieberry pie from Duarte's Tavern. It's even better than I remember ....... nice deep color on the crust with a flaky texture and a generous filling of olallieberries that are not oversweetened. This pie screams for ice cream - the richness would nicely complement the semi tart berries.
The filling has a near perfect consistency - moist, not quite runny but not over thickened either.
It's as good as they say.

Duarte's Tavern
202 Stage Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060

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  1. wolfe RE: gordon wing Aug 9, 2010 03:21 PM

    How does it compare with Beckmann's?

    2 Replies
    1. re: wolfe
      artemis RE: wolfe Aug 9, 2010 03:53 PM

      great question, as the beckmann's olallieberry pie inspired me to go to swanton and pick my own and make jam for the first time. i love their pie.

      1. re: wolfe
        budnball RE: wolfe Aug 9, 2010 06:42 PM

        As a fan of Duarte's I would have to say that their pie is a bit less sweet and more tart then Beckmann's which I will eat when I am in the mood for pie and not in the mood to drive to it.

      2. b
        bgbc RE: gordon wing Aug 9, 2010 10:57 PM

        Had the olallieberry and apricot at Duarte's recently -- the crust was amazing, thick at the edge and tender and flaky. I picked up a frozen apricot pie at Piedmont Grocery this weekend and was surprised that there's not butter in the crust but partially hydrogenated vegetable oil of some sort. Perhaps naive given the whole pie was $11.99, but I'm disappointed.

        Anyone know if the store/frozen pies are the same as at the restaurant?

        17 Replies
        1. re: bgbc
          abstractpoet RE: bgbc Aug 9, 2010 11:34 PM

          The Duarte's crust is made from Crisco, as far as I know. I've never been impressed -- certainly wouldn't call it "amazing". The filling is pretty good, though.

          1. re: abstractpoet
            gordon wing RE: abstractpoet Aug 10, 2010 07:36 AM

            Just for reference, any pies out there that you are impressed by? Would love to taste it.

            1. re: gordon wing
              wolfe RE: gordon wing Aug 10, 2010 07:49 AM

              Beckmann's has a booth at your friendly neighborhood farmers market at the Colusa Circle on Sunday morning.

              1. re: gordon wing
                abstractpoet RE: gordon wing Aug 10, 2010 09:08 AM

                Not olalieberry, but in the East Bay, I'm a fan of the fruit pies at Crixa Cakes and, occasionally, the ones at Bakesale Betty (though at the latter I've mostly just had the pumpkin pie). Crixa's crust is a totally different style, though--not crisp at all, but definitely all butter. The pitted fruit pies they do during the summer are second to none. At Bakesale Betty, on the other hand, sometimes the crust is a little bit too hard.

                Fat Apple's does an olalieberry pie that's comparable to the one at Duarte's. If I recall correctly, the filling was not quite as good, but the crust was better.

                Haven't tried Beckmann's yet, but would like to now!

                Bakesale Betty
                5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                Crixa Cakes
                2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                Fat Apple's
                7525 Fairmount Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

                Fat Apple's
                1346 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley, CA 94709

                1. re: gordon wing
                  rworange RE: gordon wing Aug 10, 2010 01:02 PM

                  I'm in the not impressed corner as well. It is the crust that I don't like. However, I have a preference for pie crusts with a buttery taste.

                  I think Fat Apple's olallieberry pie far outshines Duarte's.

                  I haven't had the olallieberry from Beckmann's but I am in love with the many flavors I have tried from them, especially the strawberry rhubarb. They have one of my favorite crusts in the Bay Area.

                  On the topic of olallieberries, Mama's in SF has a really fine house-made olallieberry jam

                  Nice photo of the Duarte pie. I'm hungry now.

                  1. re: rworange
                    gordon wing RE: rworange Aug 10, 2010 06:00 PM

                    OK, I have to get out more ..... Fat Apple's is on the to try list and so is Beckmann's along with Crixa.

                    Fat Apple's
                    1346 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley, CA 94709

                    1. re: gordon wing
                      mdg RE: gordon wing Aug 10, 2010 09:42 PM

                      Well, there are folks here who don't seem to like pies that don't have a butter crust. I like butter crusts too, but shortening and lard crusts have their place. I think a butter crust would throw off the balance with the rich ripe fruit at Duarte's, and that it's pretty much perfect as-is.

                      The key is to get it when olallieberries are in season. In winter it's good, but not at the level of transcendence in summer. In winter I might even agree that a butter crust would help. Whatever fruit is most in season is the one you want get for pie at Duarte's.


                      1. re: mdg
                        Robert Lauriston RE: mdg Aug 11, 2010 08:38 AM

                        Lard makes great crust, but shortening ... taste some straight out of the can. It was originally invented as an alternative to tallow for making candles and that's exactly what it tastes like. Yeah, the texture is good, but I find the waxy finish highly unpalatable.

              2. re: bgbc
                Shane Greenwood RE: bgbc Aug 10, 2010 07:53 AM

                I think the pies are good, but the crust is the only part that keeps them from being great. That great filling deserves better.

                1. re: Shane Greenwood
                  myst RE: Shane Greenwood Aug 10, 2010 08:05 AM

                  Yes the buttery flavor is lacking in the crust and I prefer something flakey. But I do like that the fruit at Duarte is not overly sweet. I have not had a pie yet that wowed me. I guess I am spoiled by homemade pies, which are almost always awesome.

                  I like the Julia Child food processor crust with 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening...and its fast to make.

                  That said, if I am on the coast I would probably have some pie ala mode.

                  1. re: myst
                    budnball RE: myst Aug 10, 2010 04:31 PM

                    My favorite store bought pies are the fruit pies at Draegers markets. the cherry and apple are great with no pectin and the cherry is wonderflly tart. The crust are fab and only butter.

                2. re: bgbc
                  Robert Lauriston RE: bgbc Aug 10, 2010 01:39 PM

                  Good filling, crap crust.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    bgbc RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 10, 2010 10:32 PM

                    Well, for all you Duarte's crust haters... :) I really liked the flaky, biscuity texture of the Duarte's crust. I'd never come across a pie like that before and there's no way I'd know how to make a crust that tender. It was a real contrast to what I'm used to at home and elsewhere. usually make an all-butter crust (in fact I just made a plum pie with one); I'd love to know how to make a butter crust that's thicker and flakier than the "flaky" pastry I make at home.

                    1. re: bgbc
                      Euonymous RE: bgbc Aug 10, 2010 10:48 PM

                      To make a flaky crust you need to use some lard or shortening. Butter does a lot, but not that.

                      1. re: Euonymous
                        stanbee RE: Euonymous Aug 31, 2010 01:00 AM

                        Humbly beg to disagree. I make the flakiest crust (tart dough)imaginable with swt butter. Almost like puff pastry with no turns and no thick mouth-feel.

                        The dough is so flakey it needs to be well-docked to be used for pies. Recipe from a baker who learned it at La Patisserie, The Peninsula.

                        Lard has its charms in sfogliatelle, though i'll never like the mouthfeel.

                        La Patisserie
                        19758 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA

                      2. re: bgbc
                        Robert Lauriston RE: bgbc Aug 11, 2010 08:41 AM

                        Clarifying the butter will make the crust flakier, but lard is tops. If you render your own lard from top-quality fresh pork fat it adds a delicious flavor to the crust.

                      3. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Pius Avocado III RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 24, 2011 08:35 AM

                        I generally agree that the crust leaves much to be desired but was pleasantly surprised by the slice of lemon meringue pie I had Saturday- not having a top crust certainly reduces the problem, but I found the crust to be flaky and tasty. The lemon custard was quite tart, fresh and bright with a good honest lemon flavor. The meringue looked like a disaster (dense and uniformly browned on top) but the custard and indeed the crust were good enough to outweigh it.

                    2. k
                      Karen_Schaffer RE: gordon wing Aug 10, 2010 12:10 PM

                      Gizdich Ranch olallieberry pie has Duarte's beat hands down, imho! All of their berry pies are fantastic. I've heard you can sometimes get frozen ones at Piazza's, when you don't have time for a trip down the coast.


                      1. emily RE: gordon wing Aug 11, 2010 02:38 PM

                        Not a fan, either. My comparison point is homemade boysenberry pie with a lard crust. Duarte's is dull by comparison.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: emily
                          myst RE: emily Aug 31, 2010 11:43 AM

                          I personally like a very flaky butter/shortening combo crust (thank you Julia Child) but have to mention that Duarte's Pecan pie is really good and it has no top crust, so crust is less of an issue.

                          Try the pecan next time.

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