Pumpkin pie season is upon us. If you can’t be bothered to track down your own canned pumpkin, you’ll want to find a bakery that makes a pie so good that you don’t mind passing it off as your own. But it’s notoriously hard to tell just by looking if a baked good is tasty or not. Bakeries tend to be charming places–cookies stacked just so, rows of cupcakes crowned with pretty frosting caps–but a beautiful-looking confection can turn out to be inedible (see: most cupcakes).
A case in point: One of these pumpkin pies verges on the disgusting, but both of them look beguilingly homespun. The pie on top hails from Colson Patisserie, its cousin on the bottom was baked by Trois Pommes Patisserie; the two bakeries are just blocks away from each other in Park Slope, and both are cuter than a Sweet Million advertisement.
On first glance, both pies are appetizing-looking, although Colson’s is a bit more refined and tart-like, while Trois Pommes’ rendition is so rustic in appearance that your friends might actually believe you did bake it. Both garnish their pies with pumpkin seeds. Trois Pommes’ is slightly bigger and more expensive: $28 versus $20 for Colson’s pie.
We were looking for a pumpkin pie with a buttery, tender, flaky crust and a dense (but not leaden) flavorful pumpkin filling. Upon cutting both pies, Colson’s crust was noticeably tougher–and after one bite, it was clear that unless Trois Pommes had filled its pie with sawdust, theirs would win easily. Colson’s filling was weirdly spongy and watery, hardly sweetened at all, and flavorless. You felt that it would bounce if dropped on the floor.
On the other hand, Trois Pommes’s pie was very fine–the filling smooth and rich, tasting of sweet pumpkin and nutmeg. It was especially distinguished by an exceptional crust, which flaked apart at the touch of a fork.
We’ve had good rugelach and coffee at Colson’s before, so we wouldn’t write them off altogether. But for pumpkin pie, Trois Pommes wins this battle handily.
Trois Pommes Patisserie
260 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn
374 9th Street, Brooklyn