Best places for the perfect pie in Toronto

It’s true, nothing beats the smell of a home-baked pie wafting through summer air. However, if you think learning how to flute a pie crust involves playing a musical instrument, don’t fear — has picked Toronto’s top three pie shops.

So turn your oven off, and be prepared to get the perk without the work.

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky

Perhaps no one knows the rewards of a fresh baked pie more than Wanda Beaver, a Niagara-region transplant who has been in the pie business for 25 years. Her most recent shop in Kensington market offers between 30 to 40 different pie flavours, all made with natural ingredients. We recommend the award-winning Peach Praline Pie.

What makes Wanda’s pies so good? We asked the pie-master herself: "They’re the real thing. The pastry is made by hand and it’s finished by hand. The pies are deep, just like your grandmother used to make, and there’s a lot of filling and it’s fresh."

$4.25 for a slice, 287 Augusta Avenue, 416-236-7585

The Pie Shack

While there’s nothing quite like cottage eating — a picnic table, barbecued everything, and a slice of pie and ice-cream to top it off — a treat at Toronto’s Pie Shack is a pretty close second. Walk inside the Beaches pie shop and you’ll feel like you’re at the cottage: summer reading on the bookshelves, an array of board games for rainy days, and pies, pies, pies.

Tim McConvey, the advertising salesman turned pieman, works with the help of his neighbours and Cordon Bleu trained chefs Erez and Karen Hadad. We asked McConvey what the pie of the moment is. His answer: a Bumbleberry Pie that uses blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and peaches. Another perk? You can satisfy your late-night pie craving on Thursday, Friday and Saturday — the shop stays open until midnight.

$5 for a slice, 2305 Queen Street East, 647-351-1411

The Flaky Tart

Madelaine Sperry knows there’s nothing like a home-baked pie. Which is why the former Rosedale Golf Club pastry chef is doing her best to help locals step up their dessert offerings: she’s happy to have you bring in your own favourite pie plate that she’ll use to bake a fresh tart just in time for a dinner party. Sperry says her secret is in the ingredients.

"We peel all our own fruit and use fruit from the farmers," she says. Her pies don’t use a lot of sugar, and The Flaky Tart offers both sugar-free and wheat-free options. While many of the pie offerings are seasonal, there are usually an apple and a sour cherry on the counter. Our tart pick? It’s a tie between a Wild Blueberry Pie with wild blueberries from Quebec, and a Sweet Cherry Apricot Pie.

$5 for the Sweetie Pie – a tart made for two, 711 Mount Pleasant Road, 416-484-8278