Apple of our eye: Best apple pies to buy for the holiday season

Alexandra Lee

As the season of turkey, pumpkin spice lattes and other autumn classics approaches, another fall treat prevails as a tasty alternative to its traditional pumpkin counterpart: apple pie. Since this dessert is such an autumn staple, it’s essential to know which cafes and restaurants provide the best pies. The Bark tasted pies from several Marin cafes: Rustic Bakery, SusieCakes, Perry’s, and M.H. Bread and Butter.

COSTING ONLY $5.50, Rustic Bakery’s apple pie supplies a sweet and creamy taste, rich with caramel flavor and seasoned apples.

Rustic Bakery: 5/5

Rustic Bakery’s heavenly caramel apple pie is definitely worth the $5.50 per slice price, with its smooth, sweet, and creamy taste. This pie has less of a cinnamon taste and more of a rich caramel flavor that melds with seasoned apples. The flaky and buttery crust sprinkled with granulated sugar completes this luxurious dessert. The pie is not overly sweet, but expertly combines all of its sugary elements into a delicious treat, ideal for enjoying as the autumn weather rolls in. Pro tip: wash it down with a signature Rustic vanilla latte.

SusieCakes: 4/5

SusieCakes is well known for their adorably-decorated cakes and cupcakes, but their pies are also notable treats that deserve more recognition. The apples are very tangy and fresh, yet also sweet enough to not be overpowering, and the crumbly brown sugar crust is baked to golden-brown perfection. All of the flavors of SusieCakes’s pie —the brown sugar, cinnamon, tart apples and crumbly crust—mix together in harmony, allowing each bite to be delectable. You will surely be licking the last crumbs off your plate. Unfortunately, the pie is not served by slice and costs a steep $10.95 for a small size.

Perry’s: 4/5

While Perry’s is a restaurant and bar that does not specialize in baked goods, its Apple Brown Betty is a delicious twist on a traditional treat. The tart, thinly sliced apples are alternated between layers of pastry, and the brown sugar crust is one of the best features of the dessert. This pie is served à la mode, and the warm apple-cinnamon flavors are complemented by the vanilla ice cream. However, the bottom crust of this pie is quite tough to conquer with just a spoon, and the pie sells at a pricey $8 per slice.

M.H. Bread & Butter: 3/5

This small San Anselmo bakery offers several tasty options for baked goods and snacks, but their apple pie did not compare to the other pies reviewed. While the presentation was stellar, with a beautifully sculpted crust, the pie itself was not very sweet. The apples were cut into large chunks, making it hard to take smaller bites, and the pie did not boast much flavor. On the other hand, the crust was a perfect mix of flaky and dense, and one slice cost a meager $5.50.