Thanksgiving Pie: Make It, or Fake It?

When Thanksgiving rolls ’round, as it’s apt to do in November, many of us are faced with a sobering conundrum:


Do I slave over a hot oven to make ravishing rows of Sunset magazine-worthy homemade pies, or do I pay someone else to do all that and watch Home for the Holidays three times in a row while drinking hot buttered rums in preparation for having to spend three entire days with my crazy family?

It is a very serious seasonal dilemma.

Should you decide to take the rum and Robert Downey Jr. route over the domestic goddess/god scenario, here are a few local pie-xperts who can help you fake it, and fake it good.


randomorder2Random Order
1800 NE Alberta St.

Like the sun, Random Order’s bakers rise every morning without fail (okay, so maybe they take a few major holidays off, but hey, Mr. Sun takes almost every day off in winter!) to provide Portlanders with some of life’s essentials–like Flirty Berry pie, cardamom pistachio brownies, cheap cava, and a warm haven in which to sip espresso and read Travel + Leisure magazine, which, coincidentally, recently named this scrumptious bakery the bearer of one of America’s Best Pies. Top honors went to Random Order’s Vanilla Salted Caramel Apple Pie, a sweet-salty pie beauty the famous glossy praises for proving that “time-old techniques and recipes can coexist with unexpected, mold-breaking tweaks.” If unexpected, mold-breaking Vanilla Salted Caramel Apple Pie is not your thing (thereby rendering you a “weirdo”), you can also choose from Random Order’s Brandied Pear with Dark Chocolate & Candied Ginger Streusel, Kentucky Pecan, Spirited Pumpkin, “Old World Apple Farm” Heirloom Apple, and Coconut Cream. Pies are baked in a glass dish, which adds an extra bit of “of course I made it” flair, and if you manage not to break the dish over a boorish family member’s head over the course of the holiday and return it within 14 days instead, you’ll be refunded $5.

Pie-1-1: Pies are $33, and can be ordered by calling 971-340-6995  or stopping into the bakery. Order by Sun. 11/21, and arrange for a pickup slot sometime Tue-Thu mornings. West siders–orders can also be made and picked up at the Pearl District’s Little Green Grocer.


twotartsextTwo Tarts Bakery
2309 NW Kearney St. Portland

In honor of Turkey Day, Portland’s undisputed champions of teeny tiny cookies put away their teeny tiny ovens, drag their big belligerent 72″ Wolf Challenger XL (you know, the one with the extra deep pull out crumb tray and optional convection) out of the back of the pantry, and bake big fat beautiful pies. Oops, sorry, I was just projecting my own Wolf-related hopes and dreams there. Tiny-cookie queen Elizabeth Beekley and crew actually use their regular ovens, but the big beautiful Thanksgiving pies part is true–choose from fresh-roasted sugar pie pumpkin or a chocolate hazelnut pie made with local Freddy Guys hazelnuts and rich Kakao Berlin dark German chocolate. They’re only baking 200 pies this year, so you might want to quit Googling Wolf ranges and call right this second. Two Tarts always wins Best Fake-It Pie Dish, their pies come baked in a lovely fluted ceramic pie plate just like the one you bought from Sur La Table with the noblest of intentions, but realistically only use  as a back up water dish when your bulldog hides their real one in the back yard.

Pie-1-1: Pies are $25 and can be ordered by calling 503.312.9522, or stopping into the shop. Order pies by Sun. 11/21 and pick them up either Tue. 11/23 or Wed. 11/24.


dovetailextDovetail Bakery
3039 NE Alberta St. Portland

Dovetail Bakery, purveyor of some of Portland’s prettiest pastries (seriously, their cinnamon bun is the pastry equivalent of Giselle), would like to make you a pretty vegan holiday pie or tart too. This year they’re baking a golden pecan streusel-topped Bartlett pear and vanilla bean pie, and a pumpkin pie made with organic pumpkin, fresh ginger, and coconut milk, which they recommend both for the big dinner event  and your Black Friday Breakfast, in lieu of turkey pancakes. Should you prefer the shallow beauty of a tart, try the Chocolate Hazelnut–rich dark chocolate ganache blanketing toasted hazelnuts and topped with homemade salted hazelnut brittle. The menu claims it’s a “show stopper,” which is great, because something has to put a halt to all that rampant T-Day gluttony before the whole family explodes all over your brand-new Ikea Bjursta dining table and white cotton-covered Hendriksal chairs.

Pie-1-1: Pies and tarts are $20-$25, and can be ordered by calling 503.288.8839 or stopping into the shop. Order by Mon. 11/22, pick up Wed. 11/24 (it’s possible that Dovetail may be open for a few hours on Thanksgiving morning for your pickup convenience, they’re still deciding).


bakerybarneextBakery Bar
2935 NE Glisan St. Portland

Sometimes you read things, like good books and love letters and eviction notices, and they genuinely move you, often to tears, or maybe even to new apartments. That’s how I felt about Bakery Bar’s Thankgiving Menu. They had me at “pie,” and then again at “brown butter,” but I was able to hold it together until I came to the description for the Fall Harvest pie, which reads “Apples, cranberries, and apricot spiked with brandy, then baked into vanilla bean-brown butter custard with almond praline.” And the floodgates opened. You too can get teary-eyed over a brown butter and bourbon-soaked Maple Bourbon Pecan pie,  classic Pumpkin Pie, or Fall (sniff) Harvest. I’d also recommend picking up a side order of cinnamon-pecan and cheddar-scallion-bacon scones for the post-Thanksgiving day breakfast, just in case you can’t find your favorite scone pan amidst all the packing boxes in your new kitchen.

Pie-1-1: Pies are $24-$28, and can be ordered by calling 503.477.7779 or stopping into the bakery. Order by Sun. 11/21 (by 1pm) and  pick up on Wed. 11/24 between 7am and 2pm, or Thu. 11/25 from 7am to 11am.


misszumsteincardMiss Zumstein Cakes and Desserts

The lovely Anja Spence, aka Miss Zumstein, quietly bakes up a storm in the North Portland kitchen she shares with Culinary Artistry, seeding the city with her sweet somethings (if you haven’t tried her handiwork yet, check the Pastaworks’ pastry cases). For Thanksgiving, she creates a classic Pear Frangipane Tart glazed with apricot preserves, a Haselnuss Torte–hazelnuts and housemade orange liqueur-soaked raisins smothered in a dark ganache, chocolate-curl topped Mocha Cream Tart, Caramel Nut Trio Tart, and her signature Sweet Potato Pecan Tart, made with Steen’s cane syrup. If your family has trouble cutting and/or sharing large tarts and tortes, her 4″ tartlets will allow everyone to have their own clearly-defined individual serving–choose from ganache-smothered peanut butter mousse, caramel nut trio, pear frangipane, and butterscotch custard with banana and a chocolate-dipped La Quercia bacon topper.

Pie-1-1: Big tarts are $28-$35, and little tarts are $5.75 each. Orders should be placed via telephone at 503-234-7707 or email at Order by Sat. 11/20 and pick up by appointment Wed. 11/24.


laurettajeanlogoLauretta Jean’s

If you’ve ever plunged your fork into a dish of sweet cherry pie a la mode at the Sugar Cube or a piece of vanilla rhubarb cardamom pie after a hearty wood-fired dinner at Tastebud, then you’ve experienced baker Kate McMillen’s flaky (in a good way) crust-encased goodness. Working under the motto “Everybody has a hungry heart,” this holiday season Kate’s baking rum-spanked Heirloom Apple pie, Pumpkin Custard pie in a gingersnap pecan crumble crust, Ellis Bros. Pecan pies with bourbon and fleur de sel, and a rich Chocolate Cream Pie jauntily capped with fresh whoop. And in case you’re wondering who Lauretta Jean is, it’s Kate’s grandmother,  pie muse, and as she says, “the first pie-stress.”

Pie-1-1: Pies are $30, and can be ordered by calling 503.890.6172 or via email at Order pies by Sun. 11/21, and pick them up at Tastebud on Wed. 11/24.


ppcintPacific Pie Company
609 SE Ankeny St. Portland

Southeast Portland’s source for authentic pie thunder from down under will be baking five special sweet pies for Turkey Day–a ginger-streusel-topped Pumpkin, Old-Fashioned Apple, Pear Hazelnut Crumb, Chocolate Cream, and the classic combination that makes me go weak in the knees even faster than when I see Hugh Jackman on the telly–Chocolate Peanut Butter. As though that weren’t enough, you can also pick up a side of owners/bakers Sarah Curtis-Fawley and Chris Powell’s turkey, sage and cranberry sausage rolls or pear, gorgonzola and hazelnut cocktail pasties. Clearly, I need to get down to Australia for Thanksgiving more often.

Pie-1-1: Pies are $22 each or 2 for $40, and come in glass plates ($10 refundable plate deposit required). Order them via phone at 503.381.6157 or stop into the shop. Order by Thu. 11/18, and pick up on Wed. 11/24.



With a selection and quality that rivals Mrs. Smith’s…ha, caught ya! A real foodie would never get their Thanksgiving pie at Shari’s and you know it, even if the Oregonian doesn’t. Move along, please.





DiPrima Dolci Italian Bakery
1936 N. Killingsworth St. Portland

Apple, Apple Crumb, Honey Walnut, Pumpkin pies are $12-$15. Place your order by Mon. 11/22 and pickup Wed. 11/24. A few extra pies may be in the case the day before Thanksgiving for pie-crastinators. Call 503.283.5936  or stop by the shop to order.


Grand Central Bakery

Pre-baked Apple, Bourbon Pecan, Pumpkin pies ($16.95-$18.95), U-Bake Apple Pie ($15.75), U-Bake Pie Dough ($6.95), and U-Bake Pie Shell ($4.95). Place your order a few days ahead of time, and pick up during normal business hours Wed. 11/24. Call your nearest Grand Central to order.


Immortal Pie and Larder
8029 SE Stark St. Portland

Jamaican Pumpkin, Bourbon Pecan, Caramel Apple, Maple Apple Bacon, and Lemon Chess pies ($25-$28), Brown Butter Cranberry Tart ($20), savory Turkey Dinner Pie ($40), and Chicken Pot Pie ($35) may all be ordered by calling or stopping into the shop. Place your orders by Wed. 11/17 and pick up Tue. 11/23 or Wed. 11/24.


Pie Spot
3221 SE Division St.
Wed-Thu 11am-8pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 12-10pm

Thanksgiving orders accepted until Mon. 11/22, call 503.913.5103 or stop by the trailer, located in the new D-Street Noshery cart pod on Southeast Division.


Ken’s Artisan Bakery
338 NW 21st Ave. Portland

Apple, Poached Pear, Pecan, and Pumpkin tarts ($23.95) may be ordered by calling 503.248.2202 or stopping by the bakery. Order by Mon. 11/22 and pick up Wed. 11/24.


1221 NW 21st Ave. Portland

Apple, Pecan and Pumpkin pies are $20 each may be ordered by calling 503.248.9663 or stopping by the restaurant. Place your pie order by Thu. 11/18, and pick up Wed. 11/24 after 2pm.