As much as we're into bucking housewife clichés, we'll readily admit the superiority of homemade baked goods to store-bought ones. And, even though we may not be personally covered in flour year-round, come the holiday season, we're willing to get our hands dirty in the spirit of
saving money on gifts giving.
To find the recipes for the most giftable pies, we were naturally drawn to the unique and perennially busy New York culinary destination that is Jack’s Wife Freda (named after the owners' grandparents, Jack and Freda). The cuisine is the gastronomic union of the restaurateurs' Israeli and South African heritages, producing a menu with everything from Green Shakshuka, a spiced poached-egg dish, to Peri-Peri Sweetbreads, a South African staple.
But, just because we're talkin' pie doesn't mean the Mediterranean fusion is lost. We tapped the spot's Israeli half, Maya Jankelowitz, for family-bred recipes that'll suit everyone's pie-eating sensibilities. Her wonderful concoctions are a sweet Apple Crisp, inspired by a trip upstate to an apple orchard with her sons, and a savory Lamb & Feta Pie, an abridged version of the ever-popular Ground Lamb & Eggplant "Lasagne" the restaurant is known for.
Ahead, the restaurateur welcomes us into her kitchen and walks us through how to bake the mini pastries, shares the best places to get local produce, and loads up a Ford Escape with all the warm goodies ready for delivery. Because, really, who doesn't love pie?