Top 10: Pecan Pies in LondonBy Alicia Grimshaw
It case you haven’t noticed, we’re currently celebrating all things nuts. As part of #MeridianNutWeek in association with Meridian Foods, we’ve gone nut crazy – we’ve found London’s best nut milks, peanut butter breakfasts and nutty cocktails. Basically, we’re going absolutely nutty for nuts. In keeping with the spirit of, you guessed it, nuts, we decided to eat our way through the best pecan pies in London. Go nuts, London:
Story: Jackson & Rye is the all-day American diner in Soho serving up buttermilk milk pancakes, creamed grits and baked avocado eggs for breakfast. It’s all about the taste of America and if you’ve got a hankering for eggs, their brekkie menu contains a shed load of egg dishes with the salt beef hash, country style potatoes, kale, poached eggs and hollandaise being the stand-out dish.
Expect: No good stateside menu is complete without hamburgers, buttermilk fried chicken and some deep-filled sandwiches. Make sure you leave room for their pecan pie – a typically, New York-style pie, it’s nutty with a gooey centre on a thin pastry base, served alongside a rye whiskey ice cream. One of the best pecan pies in London – booze and pecans is an excellent partnership.
Where: 56 Wardour St, Soho, London W1D 4JF
Story: We’re big fans of Leon. They’ve totally nailed the whole ‘fresh, fast food’ philosophy and come lunch time Leon is packed out with hungry Londoners ready to get their hands on their healthy salads, smoothies and sweet treats. For us, it’s all about the lamb kofte salad.
Expect: The menu is inspired by the flavours, variety and natural healthiness of Mediterranean food – it’s all about good food, done well without the hassle of waiting around. For the early-risers, the porridge with dates and banana is a brekkie game changer, as is the mushroom and egg bap. Their pecan pie is wheat and gluten-free – the perfect afternoon treat.
Where: Find you nearest Leon here
Story: At the helm of Manhattan Grill is Mexican-born chef Damian Trejo, who earned his steak stripes at a steakhouse in Tabasco State, where the speciality was USDA prime beef. Trejo has prepared his speciality dishes for the world’s biggest stars including President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama. If it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for us.
Expect: If you like perfectly cooked steaks paired with carefully selected wines – you’re in for a treat. We’re talking about the finest USDA cuts and Scottish Angus steaks all grass-fed and matured for 28 days. Leave room for their pecan pie served alongside a generous blob of vanilla ice cream. It’s outrageously good and who can leave a restaurant without ordering dessert, right?
Where: Marriott Executive Apartments London, West India Quay, 22 Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4ED
Story: If you haven’t heard of Hummingbird bakery you’ve probably been living under a rock. They’re into baking cakes, pies and brownies and they do them very well. Founded in 2004 in Notting Hill, they’ve know expanded to six stored across the city. It’s hard to walk by one of their shops and not be tempted to buy a selection of their cupcakes. We can fully justify those actions – four peanut butter cupcakes in one sitting is our current record.
Expect: Cakes. So much creative cake action. We’re talking whoopee pies, red velvet brownies, brownie cheesecakes and rainbow cakes. There’s a firm belief at Hummingbird Bakery that cakes should taste as good as homemade ones, hence why each shop has a dedicated kitchen and a team of in-house bakers freshly baking sweet delights using exactly the same ingredients and techniques as those used in home baking. That’s a cake result. Their pecan pie sticks to the traditional North Carolina recipe. Unfortunately you can’t buy the pie by the slice, a full pecan pie is definitely ok.
Where: Locations here
Story: A couple of professional guys moved from New York to live and work in London, but discovered that good, wholesome cupcakes, sweet pies and fresh tarts were really hard to come by. Outsiders as they both are, they set about rectifying the situation by turning a favourite hobby into an award-winning business. Outsider Tart is an authentic American bake shop and cafe which is devoted to all things sweet and yummy.
Expect: A wide selection of sweet and savoury goods, which are made fresh on the premises every day using the best quality ingredients. Think: peanut butter whoopie pies, cupcakes and all the best sponge cakes. Their spiced pecan pie is deep-filled, and goes down too easily with a cup of tea.
Where: 83 Chiswick High Road, London W4 2EF
Story: Lizzie D’s is all about bringing the taste of America to the streets of London selling all-butter cookies, sweet fruit breads and the great American deep-dish pie. They’ve also started jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon and are now baking gluten-free cakes and vegan loaves.
Expect: A whole range of different cakes all made using natural ingredients. Prepare yourself for spelt carrot bunt cake, gluten-free fruit frangipane, key lime pie and cherry and coconut bars. Find their cakes in Waterstones cafes across London. Order their pecan pie, a cappucino and sit down with a book – an afternoon well spent.
Where: Order here
Story: Bonne Bouche is a sit down cafe and take-away bakery on Marylebone high street. Come lunchtime this place is packed and the queue is out the door – people love a bargain. They serve some of the cheapest baguettes in London pilled high with loads of fillings. If sandwiches aren’t your bag, they also serve toast paninis and they are all glorious.
Expect: Good, proper well-made cakes. It feels like being a kid in a sweet shop, only this time you’re an adult and you’re surrounded by cakes – eccles cakes, scones, cheesecakes, eclairs and everything else that’s sweet. Mary Berry would have a field day here. They serve three pecan pies including a chocolate version, we say stick to the classic – don’t fix what’s not broken.
Where: 2-3 Thayer Street, London, W1U 3JD
Story: It started as a greengrocers and cafe in East Sussex and has now grown to be one of London’s most recognised coffee shops (take that, Starbucks). It’s not just coffee and cake that they serve – it’s a breakfast till dinner vibe, with each menu rustling up all time favourites – porridge, salads and steaks. You get the idea.
Expect: A wide mix of different dishes. If you’re undecided on where to eat, there’s Bills. They cater for even the fussiest eaters, who can resist a mezze board – not us. Their afternoon tea is also a delight – carrot cake, mini cinnamon doughnuts and chocolate brownies. Their pecan pie is warmed (it gets better) and is served with a generous helping of malted banana ice cream. Oh stop it.
Where: Find your nearest Bill’s here
Story: Where do we start with Natural Kitchen – it’s everything we like, fresh salads, home-made cakes and excellent lunchtime dishes. They’re all about 4am market trips to the butchers and the greengrocers – ethical food, sustainably sourced. Natural Kitchen champions organic food accessible to all, it’s all about getting your knife and fork stuck in.
Expect: For breakfast tuck into omelettes, baked eggs and porridge. Their lunchtime menu is a real treat with spiced chickpea falafel, handmade burgers and fish dishes with all fish bought from Billingsgate Market. The Marylebone branch boasts a cracking food-to-go deli, stock up on salad boxes and a Portuguese tart for afters and if you’re thirsty pick up a smoothie from their juice bar. If you’ve got the time, their pecan pie is served with chocolate ice cream and is a perfect way to round off a meal.
Where: Locations here
Story: Established in 1827, Dunn’s bakery is all about family. Christopher Freeman runs the bakery and is a fifth generation baker, baking bread and other treats using Dunn’s own traditional recipes that his Grandfather use to follow. This bakery has got soul, heart and more importantly is home to expertly made cakes, scones and bread.
Expect: Loaves that are made using the traditional slow method of baking bread with each loaf hand crafted. No large machines, just classic, simple techniques giving a distinct flavour to each bun, scone and croissant. Their pecan pie is made using sweet, shortcrust pastry, filled high with pecans (obviously) and caramel. It’s sticky, sweet and totally delicious.
Where: 6 The Broadway, Crouch End, London N8 9SN