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12 New Spins on Classic Fall Pies

By: Patty Lee

Move over, pumpkin. Step aside, apple. This season's pie lineup brings some unexpected flavor combinations to the table. From sophisticated new takes on fruit pies to Southern classics revamped with different ingredients, here are a dozen alternatives to get excited about this fall.

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Cranberry Orange Chess Pie at Winston Pies, Los Angeles

Self-dubbed "Chief PieSmith" Brianna Abrams studied law before Los Angeles' farmers markets inspired her to get into the food business. Fusing the city's abundant fresh produce and the Southern pie-making customs of Abrams' North Carolina upbringing, Winston Pies offers a mix of classic and seasonal specials. For fall, Abrams drew inspiration from her mom's holiday treats to conjure up a sweet-tart cranberry chess pie. The custard-like filling bursts with whole berries that are brightened up with freshly juiced and zested oranges and baked inside a buttery crust.

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Photo: Anjali Pinto

Oh My! Caramel Pie at Beatrix, Chicago

This decadent slice was dreamed up by pastry chef Yasmin Gutierrez as a way to incorporate Beatrix's beloved cookies into another standout dessert. Gutierrez pulverizes her shortbread treats to form the crumbly cookie crust, which holds a flan-like caramel filling that's at once luxurious and homespun. Each slice is accompanied by a simple dollop of freshly whipped vanilla-bean cream.

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Maple Whiskey Walnut Pie at Petee's Pie Company, New York

Pecans are usually the starring nut at Thanksgiving tables across the country, but baker Petra "Petee" Paredez may change that tradition with her walnut pie. Spiked with whiskey and sweetened with maple syrup from Soukup Farms, the filling boasts the same gooey texture as its pecan sibling, but it's punctuated by crunchy whole walnuts and encased in Petee's signature grassfed-butter shell.

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PB&J Pie at Theorita, San Francisco

The combo of peanut butter and jelly grows up in the nostalgia-inducing pie at this Divisadero diner named after co-owner and pastry chef Angela Pinkerton's grandmother. Theorita passed her love of pie baking to Pinkerton, whose PB&J dessert features a juicy fruit mixture made from seedless Thomcord grapes and a crunchy peanut-and-oat crumble spiced with nutmeg.

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