Thursday 29 December 2016

New York Pie Review: Apple Pie from Billy’s Bakery

Start spreading the news… I’m reviewing New York pies today…

Admittedly I haven’t made much of a song and dance of it for a while – it has been a good few months since my e-pie-c adventure to the land of the free and home of the sweet pie, the U-S-of-A! But with holiday season comes an op-pie-tunity to catch up on a few reviews I should have written up from my notes a long while ago! So in the next few days, I’ll give you a whistle-stop tour of the American pies I ate. And being The Big Apple, it would be rude not to start with an apple pie…

Apple Crumb Pie from Billy’s Bakery
$5.50 per slice
Three outlets across Manhattan, New York City
(I visited 9th Avenue as it stays open late)

Billy's Bakery Apple Pie Review
Billy's Bakery Apple Pie Review
It was late at night when we picked up this slice of pie – post checking out some comedy at the aptly named “New York Comedy Club”. With a little sweet hole to fill, I searched the pie selection for pastry encased pies on their counter. Unfortunately there was only the one option when it came to fully encased pastry – and even that was slightly debatable due to the “crumb” topping. But hey, we’re in America! They drive on the right, they call rubbish “trash” and the American pie-deal is certainly something far different to us Brits! (Have you seen a pumpkin “pie”?!)

Still, I wasn’t going to turn down a good looking pastry pie – and one is better than none!!!

The Apple Crumb Pie was $5.50 (that’s £4.50 in English money) and a decent slice for that. It seemed pretty much the going rate for a slice of pie from a pie shop round these parts – though I did manage to get a slice for $4.50 at a shop in Brooklyn (more about that later in the week!) Not too bad for a slice of pie, considering the central New York location and it equating to a posh slice of cake in a London deli, but compared to a lot of pies it’s still quite pricey!

Still, it’s hard to argue when you hear an opening line on their website like this: “It all began in 2003 with two friends from business school who shared a sweet tooth and a dream of baking.” Tucking into their pie, I can see why they got involved in a business that sells and makes quality pies! The fresh ingredients and rich buttery taste make for a wonderful pie.

Billy's Bakery Apple Pie Review
The Apple Crumb Pie was amongst a range of more typical American dessert pies.

The chunky, crisp apple pies are held together by a tasty, buttery bottom crust and then a crumbly, oaty topping is layered on top. It reminds me of a number of “crumble pies” I’ve had before in the UK, which combine a pastry base with a crumble like lid. Sure, if I’m being strict it’s not quite a proper pie by our high standards, as it is more a layer than a lid, but it was at least fully encased. It was also darn tasty!

While the topping did slightly crumble off in transit back to our hotel (as it was almost closing time in the shop by the time we’d got there) it was captured in the lovely pie box I was given to transport it in. And the crisp pastry base held together perfectly and gave a delicious crunch to the pie. All in all, the condition was decent apart from the crumbling, while the colour was quite golden and the capacity was strong, with plenty of apple chunks. A bit chewy at times but a good slice of pie!

Co-founders Marc and Wayne have done a great job in providing that 1940s “grandma’s kitchen” feel to the store and it appears New Yorkers have fallen in love with their wares too, with three stores across Manhattan. With a Pierate Recommended pie, I can see why. Great work Team Billy!

Apple Crumb Pie from Billy’s Bakery
Score: 5.18/7
[Colour 6/7; Consistency 5.75/7; Cheapness 2.5/7; Chewiness 5/7; Condition 5/7; Content 6/7; Capacity 6/7]

Lower Manhattan - Surely there's some pie in there somewhere?!

Summer and Fall of 2016 was American Pie Season at Pierate! Just like London buses you wait a long time for a Pierateer to head stateside and then we go over twice within a couple of months! In August work took Pierateer Sam over the Pond and you can take a look at our Chicago Pie Tour to see where Sam went.

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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