Thursday, October 08, 2015

Mission Pie

Update Review, October 2015

If you didn't read my original Mission Pie review, I suggest you start there, and then return to this update, since I'm skipping the background this time around.  See "Original Review, June 2015" below.

One Friday in July, a mere month after I published my original review of Mission Pie, I was sitting at my desk when an e-mail with a very appealing subject line showed up: "Peach and berry pie in the kitchen".

It had the following explanation: "I was at Mission Pie on my way to work and it looked awesome so I got one.  Because Friday.  Help yourselves.   Its still warm."

I love my coworkers.  Now, it was only 9:30am, but I rushed to the kitchen area.  Pie is totally legit breakfast, particularly if it has fruit, right?
Peach Blackberry Crumble Pie.
I apologize for this photo.

As I mentioned, I dashed to the kitchen moments after seeing the e-mail at 9:30am, and there was indeed a whole, hot, fresh pie.

I grabbed my slice, made a cup of coffee to enjoy alongside, went back to my desk to savor it, and then returned to take a photo.  I don't think it was more than 20 minutes later.  Definitely still before 10am.  And ... this is what was left.  Turns out, others were just as shameless as I was about eating pie for breakfast, and it was nearly gone.

For good reason.  This was a very good pie.

Inside were huge chunks of peach and blackberries.  The fruit was crazy sweet, definitely sweetened, but still quite tasty.  It really needed some whipped cream or ice cream on the side to counter it, which, if you got it at the shop itself, they would serve it with.

The topping was delicious, sweet, crunchy, and the perfect crisp topping.  The crust was buttery and flaky.

Overall a winner, and I love this concept of getting the best of both a crisp and a pie in one dessert.  Pie crust AND crisp topping.  YES!

I'd definitely eat this again.

Original Review, June 2015

Mission Pie is, you guessed it, a pie shop, located in the Mission.

Apparently they also sell some savories, such as soups and salads, plus quiches, pot pies, galettes, and tarts, although I'd argue that quiche, pot pie, galettes, and tarts are basically pies themselves, even if savory.  To go alongside your pie you can also get coffee or tea, or, if you stop in earlier in the day, they make scones and muffins too.  But basically, they make pie.

They do care about sourcing, and use local and organic ingredients as much as possible, even including the flour.  The pies use an all butter crust, which they make in large batches and then hand roll (except for vegan varieties, that use coconut and conola oil).  You might not expect a company whose business is pie making to care about health, but they do purposely use 1/3 white and 2/3 whole wheat flour and not too much sugar.

I was really excited when Mission Pie came to San Francisco, because, well, dessert.  And people all raved about it constantly.  Hype was high when they opened, and I eventually trekked all the way to the Mission for it.

I remember not being very impressed.  I visited perhaps two or three times a few years ago, and then moved on, and haven't thought about Mission Pie since.  But, recently, a co-worker showed up with a fresh whole pie, so I was eager to try again.

I also dug  up the tasting notes I somehow still have, from when I tried the banana cream pie, clearly something I got with Ojan, since it is often a favorite of his.  My notes were simple: "Not very good.  Crust not yummy.  Pudding layer totally generic.  Whipped cream totally generic".  Hmm, I wasn't impressed!  I hoped this time would be better.

And indeed it was.  I'm glad my co-worker brought the pie in, because now I'm eager to try Mission Pie again.
Strawberry Rhubarb, 9 inch, $24.
If you've read my blog for a while, you might recall how I feel about rhubarb in general.  It was the ingredient that ruined jam for me as a child.  I still have a thing against it.  So I wasn't thrilled when I saw the variety of pie my co-worker had chosen, but still, I persevered.

The pie did not have not the tartness I expect from rhubarb, although there were generous chunks of nicely cooked down rhubarb (and strawberries of course).  The fruit was in a very thick sauce, which I think was highly sugared, even though they claim they don't use much sugar.  The filling was far to sweet to be just from the strawberries alone.

It was double crusted.  The top crust was perfect, although the edges were pretty crisp.  It had a rich butteriness that reminded me of a croissant.  I guess all butter crust will do that.  The bottom crust was quite doughy, not actually cooked through, but, I liked it that way.

Right after lunch I had a slice alongside a cup of black coffee, and it totally satisfied my sweet tooth.  The super sweet pie plus the black coffee made for a great pairing.  However, when I went for a second slice later, it was just too sweet for me.  It clearly needed whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, to cut the sweetness (which I would have gotten if in the shop itself).

You can get pie by the slice ($4), or a whole 9 inch for $24.  If you get a slice in store, it comes with complimentary Straus Family Creamer organic whipped cream, or you can add Strauss vanilla ice cream for $1.50, and I'd clearly opt for at least one of those with this pie.

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