lemon pie

Photo: Heather Baird

A Unique Way to Play the Sweet and Salty Game
If crushed graham crackers can make a delicious pie crust, then why can't saltines? That's the thinking behind this unusual pie from Heather Baird's new book, Sea Salt Sweet. You combine the ho-hum crackers with butter and sugar for an unexpected flavor that's terrific with a lemon filling. Add a sprinkling of fleur de sel before serving, for one more salty hit.

Get the recipe: Lemon Pie with Soda-Cracker Crust
banana-nilla pie

Photo: Steve Legato

The Banana Cream Pie with a Crunchy Surprise Layer
Banana pudding and banana cream pie are both classic comfort foods, but we had no idea how well they went together until we tried this twist from Magpie: Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia's Favorite Pie Boutique by Holly Ricciardi. The recipe has you spread banana-pudding filling into the pie shell; top it with a layer of Nilla Wafers and banana slices, then cover them with more pudding, so you get a perfect ratio of creamy to crunchy.

Get the recipe: Banana-Nilla Pudding Pie
cafe mocha pie

Photo: Steve Legato

Dessert and Coffee, All in One Delicious Slice
Making a chocolate-bottom pie is as easy as pouring some hot custard onto chopped, semisweet chocolate, whisking to melt the mixture together and spreading it along the bottom of a pie shell. The next and last layer is a coffee mousse; then, finally, you top this rich and flavorful dessert from Magpie with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Get the recipe: Cafe Mocha Pie
coconut rum pie

Photo: Steve Legato

The Desert-Island Dessert
Coconut milk is the secret to making a pie with full, lush coconut flavor, which Ricciardi demonstrates in this intriguing recipe. The other ingredient that brings the pie to another level: Jamaican rum. The Caribbean spirit plays up the coconut's tropical taste, and a smattering of toasted coconut chips on top adds a lovely finishing touch.

Get the recipe: Coconut Rum Pie
banana cream pie with pretzel crust

Photo: Caren Alpert

A Double-Pretzel Pie
Another version of the crushed-up, salty crust comes from Duff Goldman and Sara Gonzales' new book, Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home. The wonder ingredients here are the finely ground crumbs from both long, thick pretzel rods and peanut-butter-filled pretzels. Inside this flavor-bomb of a crust, you spread melted chocolate, then pastry cream and bananas; then, finally, whipped cream.

Get the recipe: Banana Cream Pie with a Pretzel Crust