If October is the month of Halloween candy, November is the month of Thanksgiving pies. From apple to pumpkin to unique family recipes, there’s a pie for everyone. As we look forward to this month’s holiday, the Life Section shares some of their favorite pies.
Stephanie Santillo, Senior Staff Writer
At Thanksgiving every year, my mom’s side of the family makes a sweet, soupy delicacy called Marjorie’s pie, supposedly named after an old relative who first made the pie. It’s a combination of Dream Whip, cream cheese and powdered sugar that’s poured into a graham cracker crust and topped with cherry pie filling. The pie is almost sickeningly sweet and very sugary, but it is delicious, and you cannot leave the festivities before having a piece — it’s a tradition. I say that the pie is soupy because it has a loose consistency and is supposed to be refrigerated for a few hours to set, though it doesn’t seem to help. Nevertheless, my family wouldn’t have it any other way and will not stand for any changes to the recipe. One year, my aunt bought a different type of cherry pie filling that was organic. When she opened it to pour on the Marjorie’s pie, we realized that it had a more jelly-like consistency than the usual soupy, so-processed-it-might-be-fake stuff we normally use, and my family was worried that the pie wouldn’t taste the same. Thankfully, my other aunt had a spare can of the regular filling and the pie was saved. My family has since joked that the pie cannot ever be made with organic cherry filling.
Hollianne Lao, Staff Writer
I’ve just thought about it and I literally love so many different pies: apple, pumpkin, chicken pot, shepherd’s, chocolate, peach and probably more that I’m forgetting. It makes me sad that despite my love for pie which I haven’t really realized until now — I don’t get to eat it often. However, maybe the shortage of pie in my life is what makes it so precious — that, and a delicious pie crust. Now, you might have noticed that I forgot to mention the cream of the crop: pecan pie. We’ve got two pecan pie lovers here, so that’s a testament to how top-tier it is. I’m not saying other pies aren’t as delicious, and I’m not going to waste words barraging others’ choice of pie (cough), but pecan pie and its sweet simplicity has a special place in my heart. My mother would buy pecan pie every once in a while when she was at the store because luckily, it was one of the desserts she could eat. (She developed a milk allergy in her late 30s, RIP, so thank goodness for the rise of milk alternatives and vegan-friendly foods.) I used to love eating it, but would actually pick off the pecans because I was a child and sugar is delicious. Now, I’m definitely much more sophisticated and keep those pecans on. The pie is fairly simple itself with just the base and pecans, but the flavors of molasses and brown sugar are some of my favorite and bring such a sense of fall nostalgia. The pecans add a much-needed salt and crunch to the pie, and it’s such a unique flavor that I’m glad has not been commercialized into other foods like ice cream or cookies. Keep pecan pie pure, in its all autumnal, delicious goodness.
Daniel Cohn, Staff Writer
Preface/Hot Take: A couple of my colleagues decided to spend a half-hour of their precious time on Earth writing about how pecan pie is the best one, and that’s truly saddening. Most pecan pies are just a clever way to eat straight sugar. The average pecan pie has like, a dozen pecans, masking the swimming pool of sludge below. There are good pecan pies, which are, you know, PECAN-BASED, but they’re far and few-between, and are still nowhere near the quality of a good fruit pie. Have some self-respect.
Of all the fruit pies, apple sits atop the throne. Pies should be about simplicity, and apple pie is the epitome of it: butter crust, apples, sugar, spices. That’s it. If prepared right, the apples should sauce themselves, and great apples don’t need flourish. The best apples for apple pie are Jonagold, but you really can’t go wrong if you do some research on what flavor profile you’re going for. What IS important is the crust, and butter is the only way to go — take your shortening-based crusts back down South, and don’t get me started on margarine.
If someone asks you if you want to whip up a pie for your Thanksgiving dessert, you should only have one question: How do you like them apples?
Brandon Barzola, Staff Writer
This doesn’t have much to do with Thanksgiving pies. Instead, these are pies to always be thankful for. When thinking about my favorite pie, I wasn’t sure what to pick because there’s just so many great flavors. At first I wanted to pick something that tastes great, like pecan pie, but decided to go with something that reminds me of home.
Last winter, I traveled to Hawaii to visit my family. Since it was the holiday season, we decided to try something new by checking out this popular bakery called Hawaiian Pie Company. It’s a cute little family-owned bakery, and all of their pies are great. The pie we tried was the Hawaiian Passion Pear Pie, their most famous option. Trust me when I tell you that it was probably one of the best pies I’ve ever had. It has a nice and flaky crust that encapsulates a filling that combines the sweet flavors of pear with the tangy flavors of lilikoi (passionfruit). To top it off, the pie is covered in their “signature Hawaiian topping,” which I think might be coconut-based, making it even better. I loved it, my family loved it, it was a great time to be eating pie and spending time with family.
If you’re ever in Honolulu, be sure to check this place out and try some of their amazing pies. It’s worth it.
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