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Where to find great pies on Long Island

A freshly baked blackberry pie at Hometown Bake

A freshly baked blackberry pie at Hometown Bake Shop in Centerport. Credit: Heather Walsh

The best dessert to visit upon a gathering of family and friends? A homemade pie. The second best? A store-bought pie that you can pretend is homemade without tipping them off. Doubting Thomases out there may, well, doubt it, but fact is, a number of Island establishments are uniquely skilled at virtual scratch pie-baking. Here are just a few that will happily conspire to pull the wool over your loved ones’ eyes.

Diane's Bakery Cafe (23 Bryant Ave., Roslyn): Blue. Straw. Rasp. Three berries that combine to produce what remains the most popular pie at this venerable bake shop. But almost as popular are Diane Margaritis’ chocolate mousse and banana cream versions, followed closely by pecan and perennial favorite apple. New York State fruit is the key to the latter, along with a light hand when it comes to starch. Apple aficionados take note: when it comes to the cinnamon-nutmeg divide, Diane’s allegiance is to the nutmeg camp. Together with lemon juice, the bewitching spice tends to heighten and not mask fruit flavors. More info: 516-621-2522, dianesroslyn.com

Briermere Farms (4414 Sound Ave., Riverhead): It’s destination one on any new Long Islander’s list, but don’t be fooled by the aw-shucks farmhouse facade. Briermere is nothing short of a pie factory, a well-oiled (buttered?) machine whose two dozen flavors sell by the hundreds on gorgeous fall weekends. And for good reason: much of the fruit used is grown right there on the premises. Don’t miss various iterations of its "cream pie," an open-faced pie filled with fluffy cream and topped with fruit. More info: 631-722-3931, briermerefarms.com

Hometown Bake Shop (2 Little Neck Rd., Centerport; 16 Havens Ave., Patchogue): With the opening of its Patchogue location last fall, Hometown baked goods became equally accessible to South and North Shore fans. The same has long been true for fans of savory and sweet pies. And while the British meat and chicken pot varieties have their fans, it’s the compendious and creative list of dessert pies that commands the most attention, and deservedly so. The menu includes plenty of traditional favorites, but also some nontraditional pies, from devil’s food to salted caramel pretzel to s’mores to a burnt butter chess pie. More info: hometownbakeshop.com

Carissa's The Bakery (68 Newtown Lane and 221 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton): Summer’s big hit was a mixed-berry pie topped with golden meringue, edible flowers and chocolate curls, but Carissa Waechter has plenty to satisfy fall patrons, including a double-crust apple pie and other creations subject to fruit availability and a baker’s whims. Past inventions have included pies with such flavors as local Concord grape, cranberry-pear maple meringue, pumpkin-delicata squash pie, and an intriguing apple number with a bacon lattice and rosemary crust. More info: 631-527-5996, carissasthebakery.com

Kerber's Farm (309 W. Pulaski Rd., Huntington): Its pandemic-inspired Kerb-side menu (get it?) may be perfect for contactless pie lovers, but there’s no substitute for going inside and checking out the selection yourself, a handy excuse to savor the delirium-inducing aroma of freshly-baked pies. Breathe deep: there’s apple, blueberry, cherry, coconut-cream, s'mores, strawberry-rhubarb in the air. And the Kerberry — a mélange of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and orange rind — counts Oprah among its fans. More info: 631-423-4400, kerbersfarm.com

Torta Fina Bake Shoppe (80 Deer Park Ave., Babylon): What Jericho Cider Mill means to Nassau, Torta Fina means to Suffolk, its year-round selection of apple pies running from the stalwart double crust to streusel crumb to an irresistible caramel number. Fall brings companion fruits like cranberries to the apple mix, along with its ever-popular coconut-custard, bourbon-pecan and pumpkin pies. More info: 631-669-0824, tortafina.com

Jericho Cider Mill (213 Route 106, Jericho): Apple-raspberry crumb, apple-peach, apple-berry — are you detecting a theme? A new (and cute) outdoor seating area is the latest addition to Nassau County’s favorite apple-palooza, which is to say that immediate consumption is now an ongoing threat. A matchless selection of New York State’s favorite homegrown fruit finds its way into equally matchless variations on an apple theme. More info: 516-433-3360, jerichocider.com

Youngs Farm (91 Hegemans Lane, Glen Head): For some, pie-buying means farm stands and there are few quainter than this charmer, located on a quiet Old Brookville lane. The pastry for the terrific pies is made in an unorthodox fashion: Youngs’ pie crusts are an unusual blend of shortening and flour, bringing small-batch credibility to a large-batch affair. Autumnal apple pies are always big sellers, along with such summertime hits as pear crumb, sugarless blueberry-peach, and a dark-cherry lattice pie made from Washington state Bing cherries. More info: 516-626-3955, youngs.farm

Olish Farms (75 Eastport Manor Rd., Eastport): Owner Donny Olish prefers to source fruit locally for his prodigious shop, although given the variety of pies on offer — more than 30, several with no sugar added — he’s sometimes forced to look elsewhere. Berry fans, meanwhile, need look no further than this Suffolk stalwart and Olish’s Fruit of the Forest, in which strawberries, rhubarb, apples, blackberries and raspberries join forces to produce a pie for the ages. More info: 631-325-0539, olishfarms.com

Wickham's Fruit Farm (28700 Main Rd., Cutchogue): One of Long Island's premier fruit farms is also a premier Suffolk County pie shop, its orchards and fields forming the basis of an exceptional selection. Not since Aesop has an entity been so good at setting aside fruit for the winter, which is why Wickham’s is a mecca for anyone with a December hankering for fresh-baked strawberry, blackberry, apricot, nectarine or plum pies. One note of caution: take care to avoid the shop’s legendary apple cider doughnuts, or you might never make it to the pies. More info: 631-734-6441, wickhamsfruitfarm.com

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