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Mission Pie is named not only for the famous San Francisco street where it’s located, but also for its overarching philosophy: to provide at-risk youth with a meaningful, community-based work experience in baking pies. Its promise of sustainability ranges from locally farmed ingredients and reclaimed building materials to offering tap water in lieu of costly bottled water and a 25-cent bring-your-own-cup discount on coffee and tea drinks. It’s all part of the Bay Area’s—and the state of California’s—long-standing commitment to the environment, but pie-lovers come here for their impeccable baked goods.
The fun of visiting our foodie pal Erin often involves trying new foods. She’d never had sweet potato pie before, and we’d never even heard of Lemon Shaker Pie. The sweet potato was smooth, creamy yet substantial, and redolent of cinnamon. The Lemon Shaker was baked with whole lemon rinds but was not at all tart as one might expect: sweet lemony pulp sheathed in flaky crust with coarse sugar sprinkled on top. This pie was so delicious that we immediately bought a whole one to take home. And let’s not forget the banana cream! This is definitely the best example of this classic west of the Mississippi, with soft banana slices, custardy thick filling, and light cream topping. These pies are not tall and showy, but Mission Pie produces some beautiful pies with lots of love and a wise vision for the future.