Apple Pies

Some say as American as apple pie. I say As AmeriCANA as Apple Pie. Apple Pie is one of the few edible icons of Americana. It’s really at the top of the list right alongside hot dogs, hamburgers, Jell-o, and let’s not forget ambrosia! I love apple pie – always have – always will. Not the frozen type however. I’m not talkin’ assembly line made pies here and canned apple filling. No, I’m talkin’ homemade! Yes, homemade apple pie just like my grandmas made. Like all our grandmas made. Mmm-mmm, wish I had a piece right now. Flaky golden brown buttery crust filled with perfect bites of fresh cut Granny Smith apples, sweetened and cooked piping hot to perfection.

Here in Southern California there are really VERY few places that still serve homemade (made on the premises) apple pie. Du-Par’s at Farmers Market serves up a pretty good slice, and has been doin’ so since 1938. And, by the way, if you have a hankerin’ for a savory pie every now and then they also offer up a very rare-to-find steak and kidney pie too. If your timing is just right you can watch the pie makers actually making the pies through the big giant bakery picture window at Farmers Market. And while you’re at Du-Par’s make sure to check out their 50s vintage silk screened pie posters (along with a few repros) on the dining room walls.

And let’s not forget the Southern California’s last surviving House of Pies at Franklin and Vermont in Los Feliz. I remember when I was a kid the first time ever I went to a House of Pies. It was 1969 and the coffee shop chain had just opened a store near where I lived in Ontario. I don’t remember the pie as much as I recall the SHOCKING ultra-mod 60s Pepto-Bismol pink and orange interior color scheme. Every time we went there I was completely inspired, spellbound and mesmerized. Between the interior and the pie I got a very sugar-coated high. Everyone loves the apple pie at the Apple Pan in West LA. They’ve been serving since 1947. But by far the very best homemade apple pie is at Pie ‘n Burger at Lake and California in Pasadena. There since 1963, this cozy, time-warpy neighborhood diner not only serves up the best pies in town (just hearing the selection will send your taste buds into a salivating frenzy), but the best burger in town too.