The SFoodie Advent Calendar counts down the days before Christmas/Nondenominationalwinterholiday, one treat at a time.
"Are you in the mood for a juicy pear pastry like the pear ginger pie or a more adult pear flavor like the pear frangipane tart?" asked the shop clerk as I struggled to decide at Mission Pie. I waffled, and just as the clerk was ready to suggest her pick (she was leaning toward the pie), I told her the tart's pretty, fanned-out Bartlett pear slices and glossy egg wash were calling out to me.
She was right, though, to refer to it the frangipane as an adult flavor. Not adult as in it was filled with booze (which I would have welcomed, don't get me wrong) but adult because it doesn't hit you over the head with sugar or spices. Instead, its subtle winter pear flavor marries well with the almond-flavored frangipane custard and slivers of toasted nuts (they add nice texture). All in all, it's the kind of holiday dessert you expect from a European-style pastry shop, not the down-home slice Mission Pie does so well.
But sometimes you have to mix it up. In a season of sugary peppermint and spicy sweet snacks, sometimes it's nice to taste something subtle and adult. Now pardon me while I track me down a double Scotch on the rocks ― I have a family gathering to
Mission Pie: 2901 Mission (at 25th St.), 415-282-4743.
Dec. 1: Fruitcake from Schubert's Bakery
Dec. 2: Vegan Peppermint Joe-Joes
Dec. 7: Panettone from Dianda's
Dec. 8: Clarine's florentines
Dec. 9: Boccalone's truffled mortadella
Dec. 10: Plum pudding from John Campbell's
Dec. 13: Buche de Noel from Les Elements
Dec. 14: Thorough Bread's gibassier
Dec. 15: Charles Chocolates' edible box
Dec. 16: Drinkwell Softers' wassail
Dec. 17: Cookies and more cookies!
Dec. 20: Hungarian poppyseed roll from Crixa
Dec. 21: Sweet tamales from La Espiga de Oro