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For the past couple weeks, I've been tasting Thanksgiving pies around Sonoma County when there's an opportunity to buy a sample slice. Tough work, but someone's gotta do it!
Quail and Condor, Healdsburg
Pumpkin pie - Deep dish format for a hefty serving of rich pumpkin custard (that could have used a touch more sugar to taste as decadent as it looks) is nestled in a wondrous flaky and buttery crust that borders on puff pastry.
Marla Bakery, Windsor and popping-up in Santa Rosa on Saturdays and Sundays through year-end
Pecan tart - Extra points for mostly pecan halves, the high point is the signature rich tart crust. However, the anemic custard looks unappetizing and lacks depth of flavor.
Sugar pie pumpkin tart - Most excellent silken pumpkin custard made with roasted sugar pies that's so deftly spiced and just sweet enough to be dessert. And such wonderful sandy-textured tart crust with a nuttiness that almost approaches beurre noisette.
Noble Folk, Healdsburg and Santa Rosa
Maple pecan pie - Buttery and homey crust, broken pecan bits, the maple notes add complexity to the sugary mass that's sweet as candy.
Pumpkin chocolate cheesecake - Very striking appearance with the crunchy chocolate cookie crust, this low profile pumpkin cheesecake filling with the mirror of velvety smooth chocolate glaze and shavings tastes as good as it looks. This year's happy new find!
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by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...