Four Los Angeles pies you should probably eat as soon as you can

(Excerpted from Los Angeles Times’ “Four Los Angeles pies you should probably eat as soon as you can” by Jenn Harris, originally posted on October 5, 2017

The perfect pie — flaky crust, filling you can eat on its own and a topping that makes all the components sing — is like the holy grail of baking. Sit down with a slice of your favorite, whether it be pumpkin, apple, banana cream or Key lime, and the effect is instantaneous. It’s nostalgic, it’s comforting, it’s potentially transformative.

Los Angeles is home to many great pies. Here are four you should likely seek out as soon as possible.

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

The buko pie from Sari Sari Store at Grand Central Market.

Buko Pie from Sari-sari Store

Margarita Manzke, pastry chef at the new Filipino food stall Sari Sari Store at Grand Central Market in downtown L.A., and at Republique, the French restaurant she runs with her husband, chef Walter Manzke, is making the best coconut pie in the city. Only it’s not exactly coconut pie, it’s buko pie. The coconut custard pie popular in the Philippines is typically made with sweetened condensed milk and young coconut (buko in Tagalog), and it’s just about the most luxurious thing you can eat on top of crust. Manzke’s version features a silky pastry cream mottled with slices of fresh, young coconut and a layer of coconut jam that together give the pie a real but subtle coconut flavor. And that crust? It’s laden with butter, the texture creating that perfect trifecta of flaky, crunchy and tender, allowing it to hold the pastry cream without getting soggy. Crowning the pie is a streusel-like topping that adds a little more sweetness and some extra crunch. The flavors and textures are so perfectly balanced that even your friend who swears he “hates coconut cream pie” will go in for another slice. 317 S. Broadway, (323) 320-4020,

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