You may decide to ditch the heritage turkey for Tofurky this Thanksgiving, or trade the green bean casserole for sauteed Brussels sprouts. Fine. But tread carefully when it comes to pie. Showing up to the Thanksgiving table with a fancy dessert like crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©eÂ â€” even a pumpkin version â€” is just asking for raised eyebrows and polite excusings from the table (trust us, we’ve learned the hard way). Homemade pie is best, even if your crust isn’t perfect, but if you don’t have time, here are a few bakeries that will give you that psuedo-homemade touch. Call soon â€” this weekend is the order cut-off time for most, some as early as Friday, and be sure to check web sites as many have their Thanksgiving menus online.
These classic pumpkin, apple and pecan are sold at such great prices ($18 to $19) that you can afford to toss in a bag of frozen ready-to-bake currant scones for Macy’s parade watching.
4616 Eagle Rock Blvd., Eagle Rock, 323.255.0800; auntieemskitchen.com
The bake-at-home apple pie ($28) will make you house smell like you’ve been cooking for days, plus there are plenty of ready-made options, including banana cream, key lime and chocolate cream ($24 to $26) for that crazy aunt who doesn’t “believe” in apple, pecan or pumpkin pie.
1751 Ensley Ave., Century City, 310.552.1080, clementineonline.com
Apple-walnut, silky chocolate and spicy pumpkin are on pastry chef Zoe Nathan’s menu this season. You can rest assured they’ll be loaded with flavor and will look beautifully rustic, the kind of desserts that instill pause upon sight, as they do at Huckleberry and nearby Rustic Canyon. But quality comes at a costâ€” these are $45 pies.
1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.451.2311, huckleberrycafe.com
Apple ($32), pumpkin ($21) and pecan ($28) are the main draw here, but it’s the powdered sugar pecan balls ($10.20 per dozen), an old-fashioned candy, that satisfy the holiday-urge to dress up dessert plates with cute and tasty garnishes.
8350 1/2 W. 3rd St., Beverly/Third, 323.655.2285,Â joansonthird.com
Nobody loved Thanksgiving more than Sue Campoy, and all of Pasadena loves her pumpkin pie with an orange-pecan crust. It serves eight and is a reasonable (by Julienne standards) $27. Thatâ€™s the only pie on tap, but you can get other Thanksgiving desserts, including turkey-shaped gingerbread cookies and individual spiced-apple croustades. Option three: Hand the gorgeousÂ cookbook over to eager young nieces and nephews and let them do the baking honors.
2649 Mission St., San Marino, 626.441.2299, juliennetogo.com
The Little Door’s bake shop next door is turning out bourbon pecan pies. Still not sure you want to show up at your mother-in-law’s house this year? Take the bourbon pecan pie + a bottle of Jack (an absolutely necessary Southern pairing in this situation), or just send the pie via the Little Door’s delivery service.
8142 W. 3rd St., Beverly/Third, 323.951.1010,Â thelittledoor.com