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Apr 23, 2011 02:54 PM

Butter Pie (Butter Love Bakeshop) at the Underground Market

This was going to be a lukewarm post about the daytime underground market today (which goes until 4 before reopening at 6 with a nighttime cast) until I tried the butter pie from Butter Love Bakeshop, which I bought and started eating just now at home. Butter pie is pecan pie minus pecans with a denser filling, somewhere between the pecan pie goo and toffee. The filling is too sweet on its own, and the crust is (purposely?) overcooked so it is almost burnt on its own, but together the near-bitter crust and too-sweet filling balance perfectly. Really perfectly. Going to their website -- they're online only -- I saw they linked to a NYTimes article about pie that featured them and their butter pie recipe ( I remember reading that article months ago but didn't make the connection to today's delicious butter pie until I got home and tried the pie.

The other highlight was the OaktownJerk beef jerky: thick slabs of tender jerky, with several flavor options. I liked all of the spicier flavors: thai basil; star anise and habanero; and chili lime chipotle.

Someone served chai; that was good, too.

I didn't care for the marshmallow snacks, which were more brown rice than marshmallow and tasted too much like health-food rice krispy squares. One vendor offered several savory "cupcakes"; I tried the macaroni and cheese crumble, which was overcooked, almost crunchy, and skimped on the promised sausage and chili.

I went around opening time, at 11. Just about everyone was set up on time, and it was uncrowded and middle-aged, which is what I hoped; I was not looking for a hipster party scene like it apparently becomes in the evening portion.

My biggest disappointment was that Baia pasta was not there; they're only coming tonight, and I was hoping to take home some of their dried pasta. I assumed they'd be there during the day when the vendors are mostly take-away, but I now see their website says they'll only be there tonight.

Butter Love
San Francisco, CA, San Francisco, CA

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  1. dk, wonder if you could take a look at the photos I posted in this thread about Butter Love Bakeshop's pecan pie and tell me if your example was so dark?

    Also found this shot of the butter pie on the shop's FB page,

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      I've had butter pie in Canada a few times, and don't remember there being a dark bitter crust. I hope you can get something better before Thanksgiving!

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Unfortunately I don't remember the color. But I do remember enjoying that pie enough that I'd be happy to take another chance on it.

      2. That sounds exactly like old-fashioned sugar pie, but I guess "butter pie" is a traditional name in Canada. Certainly sounds more appealing.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          is this aka butter tarts? it's not a shoo fly pie with brown sugar and molasses.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I've never seen or had an "old-fashioned sugar pies" but what might distinguish them from BLB's product is the ratio of butter to sugar, or the addition of cream.

            I asked a Canadian friend to clarify about "butter tarts." He first gave me a nomenclature rebuke. The things we had shared at the St. Lawrence Market and Canoe in Toronto weren't "butter pies"-- they were "butter tarts." My bad. These looked like pecan pies minus the pecans, but taste different. They were more buttery that a pecan pie, and the filling apparently contains butter, sugar, and eggs. I seem to remember the filling being slightly grainy. These seem similar to what the OP and Melanie were discussing, only BLB seems to have a darker crust.

            In Quebec, they have "sugar pie" (Tarte du sucre), which are a similar thing but with the addition of a dairy product (milk, cream, evaporated milk, etc.). The ones I've eaten had a maple flavor, but I don't know if that's a requirement.

            1. re: hyperbowler

              That sugar pie sounds suspiciously like the sugar cream pie I had in Indianapolis, although it was more milky than pecan pie filling-like.

              1. re: hyperbowler

                Per the recipe the NY Times published, there's no milk or cream, and less butter than the one stick many recipes for sugar pie call for.