Few things in this world are as delicious and comforting as a homemade pie straight out of the oven. There’s just something a magical about the aroma of buttery crust and warm, fruity filling floating in the air. Something that feels like home.
Although it is rumored that pie has its origins in ancient Greece – in both sweet and savory form – the confection has long held an honored place on American tables. Pie has been woven into our nation’s history, art, and literature. Did you know that Mark Twain was not only a gifted writer but also a life-long pie aficionado? One of his most famous characters, Huckleberry Finn, was named after Twain’s favorite dessert – huckleberry pie. It’s even rumored that when the mood struck him Twain would consume half a pie for lunch and polish off the remaining half at dinner time. Now that’s pie devotion!
Of course, pie doesn’t have to be a staple in your diet to enjoy a great slice. If you’re anywhere near the Upper Nyack, NY area I would recommend stopping by a lovely little place called Pie Lady & Son. Located on North Highland Avenue, the pale yellow building with red doors and shutters beckons to you from the grey roadway. Although the shop is only a few years old, Deborah Tyler, aka the “Pie Lady of Nyack” has actually been in the business of baking pies since 1996. She started out selling fresh, homemade pies from her back porch and she found that her pies were in such demand that she and her son Wil later worked together to open Pie Lady & Son.
As the name suggests, the specialty at Pie Lady & Son is fresh-from-the-oven pies which are available in three sizes – 5”, 7”, and 10”. A rotating array of seasonal pie selections makes the shop a must-stop for Westchester, Rockland and Bergen visitors and residents. (Sources tell us David Letterman had pie picked up for him on a weekly basis before the shop on 9W existed and Deborah operated out of her home in Nyack with a small hand-written street sign and an arrow pointing to the backdoor entrance.) Their current list includes classics like apple, pumpkin, and pecan as well as options like apple pear walnut crumb and cherry walnut crumb.
Will, the son of the “Pie Lady” who helps her run the business, was generous enough to let me sample their apple pie. I’m pleased to report that it was as delicious as it looked. The buttery crust had a nice, flaky exterior with a slightly doughier interior. It was sprinkled liberally with sugar which complemented the tartness of the filling. The apples were fresh, well-spiced, and had just enough “crisp” to them.
When I asked Will what sets their pies apart, he answered, “What really makes us special is that we have stayed true to the ingredients that my mom has always used in her pies. Nothing here comes from a box or a mix – everything is made from scratch using my mom’s recipes. We use pure butter in our dough instead of shortening and only fresh fruit. It’s all about doing things the old-fashioned way.”
Pie Lady & Son orders are completely booked for Thanksgiving but a limited number of pies will be available for purchase on Tuesday, the 26th and Wednesday, the 27th – first come first served! Muffins and cookies are also available.
366 N. Highland Ave/Route 9W
Upper Nyack, NY
Monday through Saturday: 8am-7pm
Thanks to Kimberly Conner for writing this post. (And eating plenty of pie for research purposes.)