If you think you need a rolling pin and elbow-length oven mitts to enjoy homemade pie, think again. You can still capture the nostalgic warmth of made-from-scratch pies from your friendly neighborhood farmers market. These tins contain more than just crust and filling, they cobble family history and tradition with carefully chosen ingredients.
Everything looks good on the Pi Bake Shop table at Studio City Farmers Market. The sweet potato pie sports a handsomely coiffed marshmallow toupee. Apple pie is neatly topped with tempting crumbs, and the maple bourbon pecan pie fashions a nutty layer for the season. Yet in spite of winter, the key lime pie is available and remains a top seller. Though you can try a little of everything with free samples offered at their booth, you could also take home a little of everything with a mix of sizes: mini pies are 3 inches, midsize are 5 inches, and full size are 9 inches wide.
Studio City Farmers Market / 818-986-1441
For many Angelenos, San Bernardino would be a long way to drive for famous homemade pies. But thankfully The Original Mommie Helen’s Bakery makes the trek to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Farmers Market to put many a dessert on display at their booth. A massive cheesecake draws your attention to their table, which also champions cobblers, cookies, pound cakes, and red velvet slices. But if you have a hard time choosing, the sweet potato pie is the favorite among dozens of celebrities, such as Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Angela Bassett, Steve Harvey, and Mariah Carey.
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Farmers Market / 909-384-7052
Pie fanatics are just as susceptible to Cobblermania. The main difference between pies and Cobblermania cobblers is all in the crust. Between the freshly made blankets of dough on the top and bottom, the natural flavors of the fruit or sweet potato fillings speak for themselves – lightly sweetened with organic agave instead of sugar. The flaky top crusts on these cobblers are carved with hearts to convey a key ingredient also listed on the label: love. You’ll find a Cobblermania booth as a mainstay at several farmers markets and vegan food events with classic flavors including apple, peach and sweet potato, plus mingled fruit mixes such as strawberry mango and blackberry apple.
Culver City, Hollywood, and Torrance farmers markets / 323-316-4793
The word “Heavenly” in the company name is a bold description of their goods, but one that came straight from their customers’ praise. While peach and mixed berry cobblers and pecan sweet potato pies are top sellers for Sharon’s, their array at farmers markets also includes savory pot pies, puddings, cakes, cheesecakes, pound cakes, and quiches. The business is a family affair that serves customers at four farmers markets with plans to open a storefront in Culver City called Crustees. All items are also available online.
Playa Vista, Brentwood, Calabasas, and Malibu farmers markets / 310-560-6145
It doesn’t get any fresher than this. Marcie’s Pies are made fresh daily at Jimenez Family Farm in Santa Ynez where Marcie Jimenez lives and grows many of the fruits used in the filling. These farm-to-crust pies are sold alongside the recently harvested fruit and vegetables at farmers market stands. Marcie’s Pies are bursting with farm fresh apples, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb, and strawberries. Among their seasonal varieties, pumpkin pies are currently on stage, either plain or covered with a buttery chopped pecan topping.
La Cienega, Hollywood, Mar Vista, and Santa Monica Main Street (Sun.) farmers markets / 805-688-0597