Thanksgiving is upon us, and while I love a good roast turkey (and the sandwiches and turkey jook that ensue for days afterward), the real highlight for me is the pie. The more kinds of pie, the merrier—pumpkin, apple, pecan—but a good filling is nothing without a good pie crust. As a home baker who bakes as a form of stress relief, I’ve tried tons of different pie recipes, ranging from Ina Garten’s chicken pot pie to a New York Times pumpkin pie with a vodka-infused crust—supposedly, the vodka evaporates during baking, leaving the crust airy and flaky.
Both of those pie crust recipes were excellent, but neither can compare to Lazy Susan. For peak pie crust inspiration, look no further than the mid century-inspired Montavilla restaurant from industry vets Earl Ninsom (Hat Yai, Eem, Langbaan), Andrew Mace (formerly of Le Pigeon), and Nora Mace (formerly of Ava Gene’s), which opened in the midst of the pandemic in June. In honor of the upcoming holiday, I decided to eat a meal that consisted only of pie: the beef brisket and porcini mushroom pot pie, and a slice of butterscotch pumpkin pie with candied pepitas and whipped cream flavored with pumpkin seed oil.
I mean, just look at that individually-portioned beef pot pie, its golden brown, sea salt-flecked crust pinched into little nubs along the edges like rays of the sun. And when you bite into it—how can pie crust possibly be so light yet rich at the same time? It’s unbelievably flaky, buttery, bright, salty. Inside, the beef is tender, the carrots sweet and al dente, the mushrooms bursting with umami. A bitter radicchio salad, lightly dressed with olive oil and salt, cleanses the palate between bites of buttery crust.
The pumpkin pie crust is equally flaky, but with a darker, almost caramel-like buttery flavor that reminded me of brown butter. And that filling is unlike any other pumpkin pie I’ve tried, balancing notes of butterscotch and pumpkin without being too sweet. It’s topped with a green-tinged whipped cream that’s infused with pumpkin seed oil, plus a copious handful of crunchy candied pepitas (I’d buy these by the bag, if I could).
So while we can’t gather with friends and family outside of our households this year, just remember that there’s still pie. You owe it to yourself to try the pot pie, and a slice of the pumpkin pie for baking inspiration. You can also preorder a whole pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving via Lazy Susan’s Instagram or by phone. In all likelihood, that’s probably what’s going to happen after trying a single slice.