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Her Pieness

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Jaynelle St. Jean turns her pie in the sky idea into a permanent Oakland-based reality.


RobinJolin.com/Styled by Lillian Kang

Pietisserie owner and founder Jaynelle St. Jean has been looking forward to her own pie shop for quite some time now. “If you had asked me when I first started doing this, I’d have thought I’d have at least four stores by now,” the San Francisco native says. “This is a long time coming.”

St. Jean got her start distributing “random acts of sweetness”—homemade slices of pie—out of her mother’s home, which led to a temporary pie pop-up in Oakland’s Warehouse District. But now, St. Jean has finally found the bakery’s first independent location, a tiny shop just a block from Lake Merritt.

And just in time, too. Although Pietisserie was due to open its doors in mid-October, online orders for St. Jean’s Thanksgiving pies started piling up back in late September. Pies like her pumpkin, made with roasted organic pumpkins from Riverdog Farm inside a dark chocolate crust, riff on traditional flavors. Other holiday favorites include spiced apple, ginger-lemon cranberry, black-bottom walnut, and chocolate cream pretzel.

While the shop will be open on Thanksgiving Day, what St. Jean can’t guarantee is that she’ll have many—or any—pies left.

“Every year, I up the number of pies I make so people can walk in and buy them, but they always sell out in advance,” she says. 1605 Second Ave., Oakland, (510) 859-7437, pietisserie.com.

Scroll down for St. Jean’s recipes for roasted pumpkin and spiced apple pie. Show us your pies on Instagram by tagging @diablomagazine.


DIY Thanksgiving pies

From her kitchen to yours: PieTisserie owner Jaynelle St. Jean shares her popular holiday pie recipes.


Roasted Pumpkin Pie

Crust and filling recipes used with permission from PieTisserie’s blog

Crust [pietisserie.com/holiday-chocolate-piecrust-cookies-for-giving-and-sharing]

4 large egg yolks
8 oz. cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1 cup), cut into small cubes
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp cocoa powder

In a food processor, combine the yolks, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla; pulse until the mixture resembles scrambled eggs. Sift together the flour and cocoa; add half the flour mixture to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the remaining flour and pulse until the dough becomes smooth and homogenous. Turn the dough onto a work surface, gather it up, and divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.


Filling [pietisserie.com/the-key-to-your-at-home-pie-success-jaynelles-piecrust-clinic]

While the dough is resting in the fridge, roast your pumpkin or squash for the filling:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Some pumpkin varieties yield more water than others, so prepare an oven-safe dish, not a cookie sheet. Roast just about any pumpkin or squash of your choosing in the oven until it is soft to the touch. Let cool, and then peel the skin away or scoop the flesh out. Puree with a food processor, or mash it until smooth. Once smooth, watery purees should be drained through a fine mesh sieve. This drained mixture will be used as a wet ingredient in your pie filling.

Take your pie dough from the fridge and mold into a pie baking tin (you should only need one of the dough disks).

Preheat the oven to 350.


Prepare filling

Note: Visit PieTisserie’s blog to watch Jaynelle prepare the pumpkin pie filling.

3 eggs
1 lb pumpkin or squash puree
½ stick of butter
1 c condensed milk (see note on making your own below)
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp ginger
1 c sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt

Note: This recipe calls for condensed milk. To make your own, reduce 2 cups of milk and a half-cup of sugar in a heavy stock pot. Store finished mixture in the fridge.

Whisk three eggs in bowl. Add remaining wet ingredients to bowl: pureed pumpkin or squash, condensed milk, and vanilla. Zest about ½ teaspoon ginger into wet ingredients. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Mix together. Add dry mixture to your bowl of wet ingredients and mix together. This is your pie filling.

Pour the filling into your prepared piecrust. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes, or until most of the jiggle in the pie is gone. 



Spiced Apple Pie with Cardamom Crumble

Courtesy of Jaynelle St. Jean


1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 oz. butter, very cold
1⁄4 cup ice water

In a large bowl, blend flour and salt.

Using a cheese grater, grate half of the butter into the flour and salt. Toss the ingredients together with a two forks to coat the butter with the flour. Repeat with the second half of the butter.

Sprinkle half of the water over the butter and flour mixture, stir with the fork.

Using your hands, press the dough together and set to the side any parts that form a ball. Repeat, adding the remaining water to the dry sections of the butter and flour mixture.

Add just enough water so that the dough comes together when pressed firmly. Form one ball of dough. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.



½ c brown sugar
¼ c sugar
¼ c flour
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp clove
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced (five apples is usually enough to yield a pound and a half)
2 oz butter
2 tbsp fresh ginger juice or ½ tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp water

Combine brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Toss the dry ingredients over the apples to coat the apples.

In a pot, melt butter into ginger juice and water. Add the coated apples. Simmer for five minutes, or until apples soften, taking care not to let the sugars burn.


Cardamom crumble and assembly

¾ c flour
¾ c oats
1 c brown sugar
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
4 oz cold butter, cut into five pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a food processor, combine flour, ¼ cup of the oats, brown sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt.

Add butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and not dry. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining ½ cup of oats.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out for a 9-inch pie dish. Place the apple filling inside and top with the crumble. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the crumble and crust are a golden brown. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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