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Apr 27, 2013 06:43 AM

Looking for childhood apple pies and orange pies from Chinatown [San Francisco]

Born in SF then moved to LA in 1960, my folks and uncles always brought back pies from a Chinatown restaurant that sold the best apple pies and a orange gelatin pie... My parents are now gone and I don't recall the name of the resto... Haven't seen those pies in over 10-15 yrs. Thought someone from this SF board or maybe Chandavkl might remember those pies and resto that sold them and if the place was still around.

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  1. Sun Wah Que is long gone maybe 20 years and we miss not only the two pies but as well as many classical Chinese take on old school American food it was located on the corner of Washington and Ross Alley

    I miss most the five cents sugar donuts from them which really date me as well as most three course meals which my Dad took me too

    4 Replies
    1. re: yimster

      My mom & I don't remember the orange pies...

      1. re: TigerL

        Let see I do not remember as well as use too. But there was apple, lemon, mandrian orange, and peanut cake which I did care for. There was one more but I forget now. Next time I in the city with family we can discuss that. Next time I will tell your aunt that you are willing to come back >)

      2. re: yimster

        I loved those Sun Wah Kuh apple pies. The crust was kind of dry and mealy (in a very good way) and the apples were very sweet. Didn't the boxes have green Chinese writing on the boxtop?

        1. re: yimster

          My dad grew up in Chinatown and also remembers Sun Wah Que. He said the sugar donuts came out at 3 p.m. and were more like egg puffs with sugar on top. He didn't think the orange pies were that good, but believed the pie crusts were made with lard. My dad liked the custard pies the best, especially when they were fresh out of the oven.

        2. Yes, Sun Wah Kue was the only place I saw the orange pies.

          1. There was also Uncle's, they had some unusual pies but SWQ was probably the place, at least for apple.

            BTW, does New Lun Ting Cafe (aka Pork Chop House) serve pie for dessert? Seems like the last of the old school Chinese American diners.

            ETA: New Lun Ting still serves apple pie, might be worth checking out.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ML8000

              Well, Uncle's is gone too but more recently, their apple pie was not the same.

              Yes, I have had NLT's apple pie a few years ago but not recently. The owner is the only one who still makes the pie and recently she has not had enough time to make them. Again not as good as SWQ's.

              Red House Bakery on San Bruno Ave has a decent apple pie. Maybe worth a trip to see if it is as good as you remember. But nothing is as good as you remember.

            2. You might enjoy this thread about those now gone but not forgotten Chinatown Chinese-American diners and the recipe for orange pie.

              1 Reply
              1. Yes, New lung ting aka pork chop house still sells apple pie. Ask the owner to make it as it's not sold everyday. She makes it whenever she has time. I'm glad you like the apple pie! My grandparents would be happy to hear this. They owned NLT from 1970 to 1990s.

                7 Replies
                1. re: TigerL

                  Thanks for stopping by. What a great piece of family history! I've read that custard pie was the one to get at New Lung Ting. Is this still made too?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I wish they did. I have asked for years and without effect. Their custard is better then their apple.

                    1. re: yimster

                      Nope. My aunt doesn't make it anymore. Friends are asking me to come out in hiding. I took over as the baker after my grandma retired. I worked there part-time after school from 1986 to 1996.

                      1. re: TigerL

                        I knew that but I have the recipe for the custard from Frances somewhere. I stop trying for a few years now. I knew your grandfather from the day as my wife when to high school with your aunt.

                        1. re: yimster

                          Yah the custard is pretty tricky. The chef from the mid 80s did it the best. I only made the custard pie crust. But I bet my mom can still do it. She's Frances s-inlaw.

                          1. re: yimster

                            every now and then I notice custard pie at some of the bakeries in Chinatown ( on Broadway between Stockton and Grant )...... but haven't tried one in a long time. anybody have any experiences to share?

                            1. re: gordon wing

                              Nope, but you can tell us and try next time you're in CT.