Oakland Lake Merritt: Pietisserie's seasonal fruit pies

We stopped in at Pietisserie’s little store and tried two seasonal fruit pies, both of which were absolutely spectacular!

The cherry-almond was a one-crust pie with flavorful red cherries, topped with a thin layer of a marzipan-flavored custard. I have never liked cherry pie – it’s always too cloying, with an overabundance of hideously stiff red gel that barely tastes like fruit, being mostly heavily sugared goop. But this was excellent, more like fresh sweet-tart cherries in a little bit of juice, The custard wasn’t oversweetened – Jaynelle’s creations are deliberately low in sugar – and had a nice light almond flavor.

The chocolate-raspberry pie has no pie crust. It’s fresh ripe raspberries, with a bittersweet chocolate cake batter baked over the top. Warning: it doesn’t hold together neatly when cut. Owner Jaynelle never stiffens her pies with cornstarch so the fruit’s fresh, sweet flavor really shines through. There’s hardly any sugar at all in it. We whipped up some heavy cream and the pairing was sensational!

There are several pies here which we love, but the chocolate-raspberry shoots right to the top of the list. It’s hard to call it a pie, since when cut the raspberries simply ooze out over the plate. It’s more like the World’s Best Dutch Baby, or a cake version of a raspberry truffle. If you love raspberries and really intense, bittersweet chocolate together, this is one pie that’s worth going out of your way for.

$30/whole pie. $5/slice. You can get one (equivalent) pie, with 3 fillings of your choice; e.g., three different types, each wedge making 2 good-sized slices, for $30.

Pietisserie’s website is currently being revamped so is down temporarily. I usually order ahead of time by calling. Note the business phone goes to Jaynelle’s cell # if they’re busy, so just leave a message and your # and she will call you back quickly. Or you can go in and order at the counter, as well.

Hours are 3p - 8p Wed-Fri, and 10a - 8p Sat/Sun.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold