No time to indulge in the sensual pleasure of pie-baking? If you must go straight to the plate, pie shops and trucks are bubbling up almost everywhere. Here are some favorites on pie pros lists:
— Beth Howard's Pitchfork Pie Stand in Elden, Iowa, is a summer-only experience (open Memorial Day to Labor Day).
— Bud Royer's Round Top Café, in Round Top, Texas, midway between Houston and Austin. Kate McDermott loves his Pieman's Blog because it's as much about people as pie. A star on his menu is Not My Mom's Apple Pie!! It's so named because after he embellished her recipe by piling brown sugar and pecans on top Mom Royer disowned authorship.
— Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, Seattle. Top Chef Season Six contestant and food consultant Robin Leventhal (who stirred up a masterful blueberry pie filling at Kate McDermott’s Art of the Pie Camp) goes here for savory hand pies. She also likes that the shop supports local organic farmers.
— Four & Twenty Blackbirds, in Brooklyn. When Travis Rea of Williams-Sonoma wants a slice of seasonal heaven he calls ahead to see what they’re serving. But keep your eye on the apple in the Big Apple this fall: The shop was sold-out on pre-orders for Thanksgiving favorites by mid-October last year.
— Pie Sisters in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. There are a baker’s dozen of traditional pies on the menu along with the obligatory personal-size mini-pies they call “cuppies” that are dolled up with cutie-pie crust cutouts on top. Alli, Cat and Erin Blakely -- the baking trio behind the name -- launched with a TV and media blitz this winter.
— Food trucks are rolling out the pies as well. In Washington, D.C., pie-fans track the truck from Dangerously Delicious Pies. In Portland, Ore., where dozens of choices such as Whiffies, a late night spot for a hand-pie treat, are listed reader-reviewers at Ultimate Portland.