Thanksgiving is around the corner once more and with the holiday comes a delicious buffet of holiday treats such as mashed/sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and of course, turkey. However, despite how stuffed we get, we always seem to find room for dessert. Why? Because Thanksgiving desserts are arguably the best (and most) Traditional parts of Thanksgiving. The three quintessential pies every Thanksgiving are Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and Pecan pie, which you will probably never eat at any other point in the year. With so much food consumed at dessert and only room for one of the three pies, which one is superior to the others? Let’s briefly review each pie and find out:
Pumpkin Pie: Many people consider pumpkin pie to be the most seasonal pie of Thanksgiving. Pumpkins are out of season from Winter onwards and grocery stores usually don’t distribute pumpkin pie after Christmas. This makes pumpkin pie even more special because, according to psychologist Jessica Migala, “eating foods that we know are only available scarcely strengthens the dopamine released into our cortex as we will never taste this food the rest of the year”. Aside from psychological impacts, however, pumpkin pie can taste delicious, especially when made from fresh, carved pumpkins. The problem, however, is the precise preparation required to make pumpkin pie. While it is fairly quick to make (at least compared to apple pie and pecan pie), the measurements of cinnamon and nutmeg must be exact and even the slightest imbalance can make the pie taste too spicy or too sweet, which overpowers the taste of the rest of the pie. However, when you hit the perfect balance of each ingredient, YOU HIT IT!
Apple Pie: Considered to the be the most “American” pie, it is no wonder over 3.5 million Americans purchase Apple Pie for Thanksgiving. And there’s a good reason why people purchase apple pie rather than make it themselves. Homemade apple pie, according to Pillsbury, can take almost three hours. Steps include “peeling and slicing 4 to 4(1/2) pounds of baking apples approximately ¼ inch thick, covering the apples to dry and rest, adding sugar and cinnamon, filling and covering the pie plate, trimming the dough while tucking it underneath and fluting the edges, washing eggs, adding more sugar, mixing the ingredients, and baking”. One apple pie only serves about 10 people in the family, so it is best to buy it from the store. However, apple pie is usually fresh and delicious and is more reliable than pumpkin pie in this regard. Add some whipped cream and you have a harmonious mixture of sweetness and tartness.
Pecan Pie: Pecan pie is the best of both worlds. Not only does it constantly satisfy our taste buds no matter where we buy it from, but is slightly easier to make than apple pie. There is just something satisfying and delicious regarding the mixture of pecan nuts, egg batter, and the pie crust. The pecan nuts provide strong flavor while the batter and crust enhance the pie’s smoothness. There are also many variations of pecan pie such as salted pecan pie or even chocolate pecan pie! Even the “runny” middle of the pie is flavorous and remains as the least messy of the three pies, meaning we can comfortably carry it around as we talk with our family.
To answer the question of which pie reigns dominant, we have to choose pecan pie. While pumpkin pie has potential to be the tastiest, the requirements necessary to produce this taste are very difficult to pull off. Apple pie, while generally better tasting than pumpkin pie, requires too much preparation for only 1 pie! For these reasons, our vote goes to pecan pie (but we encourage you to eat all three if you’re up for it). Dig in!