Five Essential Local Slices of Apple Pie
In Europe they use the metric system, but here in ‘Merrica, the primary unit of measurements are mom and apple pie. And since it would be weird to write about the five best moms available at local restaurants this Fourth of July, we’re going to focus on that lovely spawn of Mr. Appleseed and Mrs. Smith: the pie.
Here are The Messenger’s five favorite locally-baked patriotic slices of heaven for your piehole.
Punky’s Diner and Pies
If you’re wondering how good the pie is at Punky’s, notice that it’s right there in the name of the place. Punky’s retro vibe harkens back to a simpler time when pie was a meal to itself and worth giving considerable thought. That’s why Punky’s Diner and Pies have not one, but four varieties of apple pie. You can have apple or apple-cherry with the standard double crust, or those same two options with a Dutch style crisp on top. All are made with approximately two pounds of fruit per pie. Yeowza, that’s good pie-ing.
953 Medford Center, 541-494-1957, punkysdinerandpies.com, Mon-Sat 6:30am-3pm
Buttercloud Bakery in Medford took two awards in this year’s Best of the Rogue: Best Dessert, and Best Bakery. So if you want to find a better slice of apple pie, you may be looking for awhile.
It’s a thick, tall slab of baked wonder-wheel, with big chunks of ripe apples and a flaky, sugar-browned crust. The 9-inch pies are big enough for 8-12 people, but are good enough that you probably won’t want to share.
The desserts at Buttercloud Bakery rotate monthly, so if you want to be sure that apple pie is on the menu, be sure to check the website before heading down for a slice.
310 Genessee St., Medford, 541-973-2336, buttercloudbakery.com, Mon-Sat, 7am-3pm, Sun 8am-2pm
Beckie’s Cafe in Prospect
Beckie’s sits just behind sasquatch in the ranking of Oregon backwoods legends. The historic cafe is part of the Union Creek Resort betwixt Shady Cove and Crater Lake, where it has been bewitching hungry travelers with its freshmade downhome grub since 1926. And the biggest attraction? Pie. Real pie-o-philes are known to drive hundreds of miles from Bend or Portland for a slice .
And for good reason.
Pies are baked fresh daily using rotating seasonal ingredients. But there are some that stay there year round, including the sumptous apple pie, made with big chunks of fresh apple and a crust so flaky, you’d think it’s majoring in art history at community college.
If you’re going north, stop at Beckie’s for a slice. If you’re going south, then stop, turn around and head north to Beckie’s. California can wait.
Union Creek Resort, 56484 OR-62, Prospect, 541-560-3563, unioncreekoregon.com/beckies-cafe, 8am-9pm
Debbie’s Diner in Phoenix
The apple pie at Debbie’s Diner in Phoenix is Wolfman Jack approved, with retro ‘50s diner style in everything from the booths to the menu, which includes a wide selection of fresh pies baked in-house.
The apple pie follows in the grand tradition of homemade pies, with its structural integrity being less important than the crisp flavor of the cinnamon-spiced apples. It crunches like a carrot and sings on the tongue, especially if the slice is dressed up with a drizzle of caramel from the server—the recommended way.
But you gotta get there early to get a slice. Most days, Debby’s is closed by 3pm. The bonus there is you have a really good excuse to have pie for breakfast.
3808 S Pacific Hwy, Medford, 541-512-1560, debbysdiner.com, Sun-Thu 7am-3pm, Fri-Sat 7am-8pm
When we made our initial list of the best apple pie around, there was a minor revolt from the next room of The Messenger’s office. Certain staff were incensed that we would even think of publishing a guide to the best apple pie around without including The Green Springs Inn, whose apple pie “is just like grandma’s,” provided your grandma is a pie-wizard anyhow. The Green Springs Inn sources locally and bakes daily with love for an unmatched slice of Americana. Even if it weren’t off in the middle of nowhere, there would still be nae better apple pie for miles in any direction.
Green Springs Inn, 11470 OR-66, Ashland, 541-890-6435, www.greenspringsinn.com, 9am-8:30pm