The Hunt for the Best Apple Pie 

 

Words by Carmen Macri and Ambar Ramirez 

 

This month’s edition of “The Hunt” is a little different — mainly because we dropped the ball and did not realize how impossible it would be to find bakeries still selling apple pies during Thanksgiving break. That being said, we were able to score two delicious apple pies from two local bakeries, so here is our review of those. 

 

1748 Bakehouse

We started off very strong with our Best of Jax 2022 Best Bakery winner, 1748 Bakehouse. The bar was set excruciatingly high for this apple pie, and it did not disappoint. We were a bit worried when we stepped into the bakehouse located in Springfield the day before Thanksgiving. Our luck had been running thin the last few days in trying to locate a bakery that was still taking walk-in orders. And when we walked through the sky-blue doors we were met with a line that reached the back of the homey bakery —  making us a bit nervous. But as we reached the cashier and solemnly asked if they had any apple pies left, our luck took a turn for the better. With a pie in hand, we made our way back to the office and wasted no time.  

 

The first thing we noticed was that this was no store-bought filled pie. They filled this classic apple pie with fresh, crispy apples sautéed to perfection in a bath of brown sugar and cider, tossed with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Their crust is crafted with an all-butter, flaky short double crust covered in crystalized sugar. Usually, the pie is all about the filling, but real pie enthusiasts know the crust will either make or break the pie — and in this case — the crust had us dreaming about it for days, not to mention this 1748 Bakehouse partners with local farms, gathering only fresh produce for their menu. 

 

We tried to be modest with just one slice heated up in our office microwave, but after the first bite, we were already preparing for a second serving. Even after being sauteed and bathed in cinnamon cider, the apples still had a crunch. There was no overwhelming — for a better lack of words — goop-filling. It was like biting straight into a slice of spiced apple. The integrity of the crust remained flaky and sturdy, which is important since no one enjoys a soggy pie. Each bite was better than the last, even after three days of it being in our refrigerator. This is one winner living up to their title: “Best of Jax.”  

 

Atmosphere: 5/5

Pie: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Perfect for people looking for the classics with a modern twist.  

 

Pie Heaven

Situated on Mayport Road, this local pie bakery is more than just a means to an end. During her childhood, Anita Hyde, the owner and master pie baker, found her happy place in her grandmother’s kitchen. There, she would observe her grandmother skillfully baking pies with fresh ingredients from the garden, never relying on a measuring cup. Driven by a desire to honor her inner child and to provide delectable treats for the hungry, Hyde opened Pie Heaven with a singular goal in mind.

 

As soon as we walked into the shack-like bakery we were hit with the smell of freshly baked pies, and dare I say, the smell alone was heavenly. But we weren’t there just for the smell. We were on a mission — to find a pie that could compete with the 1748 Bakehouse. And that we did. 

 

Right off the bat, we noticed that the pie was dense — three pounds of fresh apples dense. And it wasn’t just the apples baked in cinnamon, sugar and butter that had our mouths watering for the next bite, it was (surprise, surprise) the crust. It was everything one could hope for in a pie crust. Pie Heaven uses only fresh ingredients, and for their homemade crust they use unbleached flour, pure butter and pure lard, making this crust extremely flaky and slightly savory, creating a perfect balance of rich flavors. 

 

We will say though, for the sake of an honest review, this pie had more goop-filling than that of 1748 Bakehouse’s pie. But that in no way took away from how fresh this pie tasted. Each bite was filled with memories of my grandmother’s pie. 

 

It’s all in the name. This little slice of heaven was to die for.

 

Atmosphere: 3/5

Pie: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Perfect for people looking for a pie worthy of their grandmother’s.  

About FOLIO