It was cloudy and not absurdly hot the other day, which got me feeling like some pie. Pie is a fall food for me. Perhaps because it makes me think of Thanksgiving, or it is the method of delivery for two of the most quintessentially fall fruits (apples and pumpkins (yes, pumpkins are a fruit! The state fruit of New Hampshire!)). Whatever the reason, Pie is fall for me. And what better way to celebrate a fall kinda day with a fall kinda food?
The destination of the day was Little Pie Company on West 43rd St. Specifically, I’m heading towards a sweet potato pie, which is a seasonal specialty recently returned. I have recently become obsessed with sweet potato. How can one say no to a sweet starch packed with some good good vitamins and other nutrients?
I walked up Greenwich street from the financial district until it became 9th Ave. One of my favorite parts about New York City is how walkable it is. There is never a moment that I’m walking around and I don’t see an interesting building or cool little shop or smell a wonderful smell. Each neighborhood truly is a little city unto itself. The west village, especially, is another world to me. I know the second I enter it without even looking at street signs by the beauty of the brick buildings, so often hugged by climbing vines and ferns. It makes walking an hour to a slice of pie an adventure rather than a workout.
As I approached the shop I had a feeling that I had made this trek before. And as I entered the door and saw the inside, my suspicion was confirmed. I have, in fact, been there before! I had the memory rush back to me of entering the shop years ago with my parents in search of a savory pie (our original desire being the chain Pie Face, an Australian sweet and savory fast food pie shop that closed all NYC locations a couple years ago, much to my family’s dismay). I cannot remember what we ended up consuming that last visit, but I was sure it was not the sweet potato pie, so this visit would still be a fully fresh experience.
The shop itself, while harshly lit, is all you would expect of a cute little bake shop: pies, cakes, and cookies displayed in a cooler, kitchen area slightly visible, milkshakes and ice cream also available, and a red counter with red spinny chairs to boot. I got my slice of sweet potato pie and sat myself down on a stool to fully experience its gifts.
The slice looked exactly like what you expect when your parent makes pie, and that’s what it tasted like. The crust, something I have constantly struggled to successfully make from scratch, was perfect. Flavorful, flaky, and supportive, it was good on its own, and wonderfully paired with the filling. The filling was plain and simple. Sweet Potato is hard to do wrong, and Little Pie Company just lets it shine. One of the beauties of sweet potato is the sense of home it provides; from smell, to texture, to taste. However, I could personally do with some more spices to fill out the flavor more and highlight the natural beauty of the potato. Speaking of filling out, I would have loved more filling period. I felt like it was a fairly thin pour of filling for a pie, especially something like a sweet potato, or a pumpkin. But what was there was lovely, easily transporting me to the kitchen of my home. A pie of love.
I was looking for a pie to kick-start my fall, and that’s what I got. Little Pie Company gave me a slice that hugged my insides with a nice little sweater and a fall breeze. The perfect slice for any homesick New Englander!