Eight Mouthwatering Not-So-Humble Pies in Boston

It's the one dessert that's never gone out of style.


Photograph by Nina Gallant, styling by Molly Shuster

Foams, gelées, and other grandiose flourishes might turn pastry chefs into Instagram stars these days, but pie—that lattice-topped hallmark of diners and cartoon windowsills—is the one dessert that’s never gone out of style. Here’s how Boston’s most progressive bakers are rethinking that most timeless of flaky, sugary epilogues.

Island Creek Oyster Bar

A classic English dessert, banoffee pie (1) has also developed a cultlike following on this side of the pond. Just ask ICOB pastry chef Lauren Kroesser, whose version—dulce de leche, whipped cream, and caramelized bananas— instigated a minor riot when she tried to take it off the menu. “My inbox was inundated with hate emails,” she says.


Whisk continues its metamorphosis from itinerant pop-up to full-scale fine-dining experience, as it converts J.P.’s Fazenda coffee shop into its new restaurant, Brassica. Helming the pastry side is Daniel alum Arthur Haynes, whose French patisserie program detours into comforting American dishes like this bourbon-spiked plum-and-caramel pie (2).

Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

After years behind the scenes at Flour, baker Rachel Gibeley broke off to spearhead Rosebud’s incomparable pie program in Somerville. Alongside more traditional fruit-filled treatments are options like Gibeley’s grapefruit-caramel meringue (3) and the Dark and Stormy (4), which imparts the flavors of its namesake cocktail with blackberries macerated in rum, ginger, maple syrup, and lime.


Photograph by Nina Gallant, styling by Molly Shuster

The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

At the casual, “jeans-and-a-T-shirt” limb of his culinary empire, chef Tony Maws’s final course is a paean to childhood, with choices ranging from ice cream sandwiches to peanut-butter-mousse pie with an oatmeal-cookie base (5). Not so kid-friendly: the drizzling of cider-bourbon-caramel sauce.

Myers + Chang

To counter her fiery dan dan noodles and other Sichuan-inflected offerings, confections queen Joanne Chang created the ultimate palate balm: a nutty pâte sucrée crust cradling toasted-coconut pastry cream and a pillowy pompadour of lime-infused whipped cream (6).

State Park/Mamaleh’s Delicatessen

Pastry wiz Rachel Sundet admits there’s a “savory tooth” to her sweet tooth. So when former colleague Barry Maiden asked her to reimagine the canon of saccharine southern desserts, Sundet turned to a few unorthodox ingredients, like sour cream in a tangy “soufflé-like” buttermilk pie (7), and dark Valrhona chocolate, sorghum, and sea salt in her chocolate-bourbon pecan pie (8).