Now that we've provided you with Turkey 101 (you have ordered your bird, right?), it's time for our Pie Primer. Because, really, when you think about it, if you have a great finale to the meal, your guests will forgive any transgressions that occur before dessert (for some holiday "horror" stories, click here).
Tartine Bakery has a full compliment of holiday pies and breads. Maybe you want a classic pumpkin, an apple nougatine, or a frangipane tart with cranberries and orange zest (all $38)? Yeah, we didn't think you were planning to make that one at home. You can also preorder bread (country, walnut and olive with herbes de provence), cornbread, gougeres and a host of other delights. Order online by 2pm on November 21 for pick-up on November 24.
Bike Basket Pies won't be pedaling your selections over to you (she'll be busy baking!) but you can pre-order and pick up at Mission Minis (3168 22nd St.) on November 24 from 4-6 p.m. and November 25 from 9-11 a.m. She'll be offering two sizes of her pies--a 9-inch (all flavors $25) and her signature minis ($4 each)--in seven flavors: pumpkin, pumpkin-chocolate chip, sweet potato maple pecan, pear ginger, apple walnut, apple cranberry and plain apple (the latter four can be also made vegan). You must place your order by November 19. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the flavor, size and quantity of pies you'd like--you can even ask to have your pies baked in a returnable, reusable tin (a $5 deposit).
At Mission Pie, choose from apple, pear-cranberry, walnut, pumpkin and vegan apple with brandied raisins (9-inch, $19)--or pick-up a savory galette with wild mushrooms, leeks and Stilton cheese for a pre-meal snack ($18). You can also purchase dough--both all-butter ($3) and vegan ($4)--should you prefer to bake your own pies. You have until November 21 at 9 p.m. to order, and you can pick-up November 22, 23 and 24th. To place your order, visit Mission Pie or call 415-282-1500.
The Inner Sunset Arizmendi Bakery will be baking up a storm. Order your sweet potato pie, pecan pie with shortbread crust, pumpkin cheesecake with shortbread crust, and stock up on dinner rolls, cranberry brioche knots and tea breads. Orders should be placed by November 23 by calling 415-566-3117.
Bi-Rite Market is Thanksgiving headquarters, from turkeys on down to cranberry sauce and, of course, dessert. They're offering 2 sizes of their popular pies, a 9-inch ($19.99) and 6-inch ($9.99) in three classic flavors: pumpkin, apple with crumb topping and pecan. You can also order a pumpkin bundt cake with salted caramel glaze ($16.99). And speaking of salted caramel, you may also want to pick up a quart of ice cream (vanilla, pumpkin or salted caramel), which will be available first-come first-serve. Order by 5 p.m. on November 21 by calling 415-241-9760.
Mission Beach Cafe 's pie-obsessed baker Alan Carter be baking some amazing selections, including pumpkin hazelnut, plain pumpkin, chocolate pecan, cranberry-apple, pear-sour cherry, huckleberry pie (!) and sour cherry pie (not traditional, maybe, but let's not be a hardliner against delicious, alright?). Pies are priced from $32-$36 and must be ordered by November 23 for pick-up November 24. To order, call 415-861-0198.
For Marina-dwellers, Susiecakes is your best bet. The bakery will be whipping up traditional pumpkin pie, spiced pecan pie, apple with cinnamon streusel and a pumpkin cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, topped with cinnamon sour cream. Pies are priced between $18.95 and $24.95, and all pies must be ordered by Friday, November 19. Call 415-474-2253 to place your order.
** Semi-Homemade Options Want to make your own pie, just not the crust? Try new, locally-owned Star Dough, which makes a tender, pre-rolled frozen dough enriched with butter and crème fraiche. Better yet, $1 of each package goes to Meals on Wheels SF. Just thaw, unroll and bake. (Available at Rainbow Grocery, Canyon Market, Faletti's Market and Goodlife Grocery.) Also worthy of note: Prather Ranch is currently selling lard pie crusts, for those DIY bakers, available at their shop at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Want to take it a step further? Fatted Calf's Hayes Valley shop has packages of rendered leaf lard.