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Petsi's Pies or Pie in Newton??

knclouse Sep 18, 2010 09:18 AM

Hi everyone,

The general sense I've gotten on this board is that there is an overwhelming consensus that Petsi's pies are top notch, except for a few people who think the crust is a little too heavy and tough. I've read a sprinkling of rave reviews about Pie in Newton, but not as much feedback as I've seen for Petsi's. I'm a little picky about a flaky crust, so the comments about Petsi's crusts have made me a little nervous.

I'm planning a special event for a dear friend who doesn't like cake, but loves pie. I want her to have the best! Let's settle this question once and for all - who has the best pies in the Boston area, Petsi's or Pie (or a dark horse...)?


  1. s
    Scruffy The Cat Sep 20, 2010 06:16 AM

    Petsi, hands down. I don't think the food at Pie is all that great and the prices are really high. I'd suspect that the crust is a bit heavier because they use butter and not hydrogenated vegetable shortening. I'll take that any day.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Scruffy The Cat
      bella_sarda Sep 20, 2010 08:38 AM

      Just had a slice of Petsi's sour cherry pie at Tupelo yesterday. It was a double-crusted pie, not a crumb crust. I'm among those who think that Petsi's crust leaves something to be desired. It definitely looks flaky, although the layers are compressed together rather than having some loft between them. When you bite into it there is no crispness at the edge. The crust seems a bit wet and, yes, heavy, to me, and I don't get a strong buttery flavor. Can anyone confirm that it is an all-butter crust? The sour-cherry filling is fantastic, and it's not like the crust is offensive or bad, so overall the pie is still quite good; I just wish she'd work on her crust more.

      Never tried Pie in Newton so I can't compare.

      1. re: bella_sarda
        REMWalker Jul 26, 2011 06:50 PM

        I can confirm that it is an all butter crust. Working on making it a better quality crust.
        Renee of Petsi Pies

        Petsi Pies
        285 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

        1. re: REMWalker
          bella_sarda Jul 27, 2011 10:43 AM

          Can't wait to try the new, small-batch crust. Since my go-to explanation for why homemade pie crusts (ahem, mine, for example) almost always turn out better than bakery-bought crusts has been the "scale problem" (e.g., on a large scale, producers use machine-mixing rather than hand-blending), I am heartened to hear that Petsi's is returning to a small-scale process.

      2. re: Scruffy The Cat
        teezeetoo Sep 20, 2010 12:57 PM

        don't know what they use in petsi's pie crust but I only like a butter crust on open-faced rustic tarts or a pate sucre type crust on open-faced fruit tarts. on a double crust pie, if i have my druthers, it's lard in the crust but I'll settle for the old-fashioned crisco crust. I find a double-faced butter crust pie too rich and too heavy. go figure...maybe this is a discussion for a cooking thread.

        1. re: teezeetoo
          bella_sarda Sep 21, 2010 08:04 AM

          Yeah, teezeetoo, I could go on about my personal pie crust beliefs. I think it's more about technique than what fat you use, and most so-labelled lard or Crisco crusts use half butter anyway. I have achieved flaky nirvana and lightness using only butter, and I prefer the flavor. If you want the details, post on the Home Cooking board and let me know.

          That said, and so these posts don't get bumped off this thread, are there any bakeries in Boston that turn out amazing pie crusts, all-butter or otherwise? I think it's hard to achieve on a mass scale. People cited Clear Flour's rustic tarts, but who does the best pie crust or pate brisee?

      3. Pia Sep 20, 2010 04:50 AM

        +1 on both of the above. Pie at Petsi is very tasty but it's not the best pie ever -- fillings tend to be better than crust, IMO. Everything else at Petsi is excellent. Pie in Newton -- well, I've only been there once and it was fine, but I never felt like going back. And I also second the comment about Clear Flour.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pia
          teezeetoo Sep 20, 2010 05:46 AM

          i love Clear Flour's rustic tarts but they aren't the same creature as a pie. I prefer Petsi's to Pie but do think her crusts are a bit heavy. However, they are good enough so I'll often choose her over me baking! I like her key lime pie and her sour cherry crumb.

          1. re: REMWalker
            teezeetoo Jul 26, 2011 07:03 PM

            well that will only make a good thing better. just recommended your wonderful sour cherry crumb on another thread on this board.

        2. f
          fantundo Sep 19, 2010 08:13 PM

          I'd take Petsi's over Pie in a heartbeat. It's not even obvious that the crusts at Pie are homemade. You may not like Petsi's crust as much as I do, but you'll know it's the real thing. That said, I agree that there are non-pie items at Petsi's I like better. She also does her pies without a top crust, so the fruit pies have crumb topping.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fantundo
            FoodDabbler Sep 20, 2010 05:58 AM

            Petsi's blueberry has a lattice top (or did -- I haven't had it in a few months). I agree with others who've found her crusts insufficiently flaky but the fillings very good. The crusts are better at off-peak periods than at high volume times (Thanksgiving, say) when they seem to have trouble maintaining quality.

          2. a
            autopi Sep 18, 2010 10:50 AM

            ironically, i think the non-pie items at petsi's beat the socks off of their pie -- i'm quite fond of their scones and sweet potato sticky rolls. i tend to think the crust at petsi's is a bit pedestrian, definitely not in the top leagues of pie crusts. that said, i do like their pecan pie. (they also do a chocolate pecan pie or something like that, which i find overwhelmingly too sweet). if you're picky about crust, you might be disappointed, but it's easy to verify -- just go order a slice and see what you think.

            i think i had a slice at pie in newton awhile back, but i don't recall it being anything special -- but that's not a very reliable indicator of anything.

            if it were me, i'd call canto 6 or clear flour to and order a rustic tart instead.

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