As a teenager, Derek Kaplan started hawking pies on the street as a side hustle. After playing college football, he continued baking sweets while working as a Miami firefighter. He opened his first Fireman Derek’s shop in Wynwood in 2013, and it’s now one of three across South Florida. While that story might be charming, what’s made Kaplan successful is that his pies are both unimpeachable representations of the classics and also never-before-invented creations, from an apple pie with a perfect crumbly topping to a gooey salted caramel over an oatmeal crust.
For most desserts, there’s a time and place: Ice cream on a hot summer day, donuts with coffee, cake to celebrate. But pie? It’s hard to imagine a moment when pie isn’t a great idea. Hot out of the oven, sliced into a pretty triangle with vanilla ice cream slowly melting into a puddle, it’s ideal as leftovers for breakfast, a lunch substitute and, of course, at the end of a meal. In Miami, we have a bevy of shops, bakeries and restaurants slinging spectacular pies on the daily. They include familiar Americana pies (like the kind grandma made, but better), kosher options, delicious international imports and entirely new takes on the endlessly versatile confection. Clearly, it’s time for a slice. Here’s where to find the very best pies in Miami.
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