Would you travel for pie? We would. Really, we can’t think of a better place to sample some of America’s best pies than the bountiful, beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
We asked around and found some serious pie-eaters up and down the Valley who were only too happy to dish about their personal favorites. Here’s a “baker’s dozen” (in no particular order) that they came up with:
- Mile-High Blackberry Ice Cream Pie — Enjoy the views and the food at Skyland Lodge’s Pollock Dining Room, after a hard hike in the backcountry of Shenandoah National Park. This pie has been called “mountain-sized,” “signature,” and “famous.” All the superlatives apply. (Check for season-opening dates.)
- Very Berry Pie is one of many irresistible baked goods at Woodbine Farm Market in Strasburg. A wide variety of pies and cakes, plus many fruits and vegetables in season, plus local wines and cheese will tempt you as well. (Call ahead for season-opening dates 540-465-2729.)
- Coconut Cream Pie at Mrs. Rowe’s in Staunton–Author Mollie Cox Bryan wrote: “The most popular pie with the locals is the rich and creamy coconut cream pie, which is the same recipe the restaurant has served since at least 1947.”
- Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie–Edinburg Mill’s Abbey Sherwood said without hesitation, “Our most popular dessert is Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie. Try it with Butter Pecan Ice Cream.”
- Lemon Meringue Pie at The Southern Kitchen in New Market. Casual and hospitable, Southern Kitchen serves highly regarded fried chicken and fresh pies, particularly the Lemon Meringue and Coconut Cream, as well as cheesecakes in a family atmosphere.
- Flourless Double Dutch Chocolate Cake, with chocolate ganache, gluten-free at Stella, Bella & Lucy’s in Waynesboro. The Apple Cobbler deserves attention, too; it’s served with house-made vanilla ice cream.
- Southern Pecan Pie at the Southern Inn in Lexington– A sublime offering of Spiced Caramel Sauce, Crème Anglaise, Whipped Cream, and Toasted Marshmallow.
- Cherry Pie is part of family-style dining at Capon Springs and Farms in West Virginia, with Apple and Blueberry gracing their tables as well. See the Cherry Pie recipe and watch a video of its preparation here. At Capon, you can explore 4,700 acres of breathtaking scenery and feast on delicious baked goods prepared on-site daily. (Visit website for season-opening dates.)
- Sweet Potato Pie is a local favorite at Daisy’s Diner, located at Cooter’s Place in Luray. Pecan is a close second, along with a no-nonsense menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and more, all reminiscent of what characters ate on the Dukes of Hazzard.
- Peanut Butter and Coconut are the favorites at Valley Pike Farm Market in Weyers Cave, just off I-81. Open year-round, they sell fresh homemade pies every day of the week. Sydney at the Market told us, “Our most popular pies are definitely the peanut butter pie and coconut pie.”
- Choices Galore at the Down Home Comfort Bakery in Front Royal–Apple Bourbon Pecan, French Apple, Peanut Butter Fudge Truffle Mousse, and of course all your traditional pies, all in large or personal sizes.
- Apple and Pecan Pie–At Shaffer’s Catering in Woodstock, a wide pie selection includes Apple, Cherry, Peach, Pecan, Lemon Meringue, Chocolate Meringue or Chocolate Cream-Butterscotch Meringue, Key Lime, Pumpkin, Mixed Berry-Coconut Meringue or Coconut Cream. “But our bestsellers are Apple and Pecan,” said staffer Raya.
- Pumpkin Pie Macaroons— At the Pressed Flour Bakery in Shepherdstown, WV. This small establishment produces all sorts of creative baked goods in addition to pies–chocolate croissants, cinnamon brioche rolls, and chocolate peanut cheesecake to name just a few. At the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley.
Photo credit: Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant in Staunton