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In Honor of National Pie Day – a Top 10 List of Pie Flavors

| Angela Naff |

January 23rd is National Pie Day, sure to get many people salivating. We all know the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, pecan pie in the south, and others that maybe your family enjoyed during specific celebrations. Many love the flaky, crusted goodness of a great fruit pie, a fluffy meringue, or a smooth and sweet custard on the tongue. In honor of this tastiest holiday, we have listed the top ten pie flavors (and sources – don’t come for us) rated by consumers of these tasty treats down through the years.

Top 10 Pie Flavors and Trivia Facts

Photo courtesy Unsplash

#1 Apple – This simple yet at the same time complex pie combines all kinds of flavors: the tart bite of good, crispy apples, the sweetness of sugar, the buttery, flaky, and tender pie crust, and of course the spice blend which can utilize anything from cinnamon and nutmeg to cloves and cardamom. 

The first apple pie recipe was printed over 630 years ago in England in 1381. The list of ingredients included good apples, good spices, figs, raisins, pears, saffron, and cofyn (a type of pastry crust).

#2 Cherry – The bright red color of the filling, combined with the slight tartness of the cherries, makes for a more balanced flavor than you might expect.

Despite what we learned in poems as kids, there is no factual evidence that our first president chopped down any of these fruit-bearing trees. The myth was created by Parson Mason Weems, who wrote the story in a biography of President Washington to illustrate his integrity and honesty.

#3 Pumpkin – This might be a controversial pick to lead off the top three pies, but make no mistake: pumpkin pie is as delicious as it is iconic. From its depth of flavor that combines sweet, savory, and spice, to its alliterative name which can just brighten anyone’s mood, pumpkin pie is always a winner. 

In the United States after the Civil War, the pumpkin pie was resisted in southern states as a symbol of Yankee culture imposed on the south, where there was no tradition of eating pumpkin pie. Many southern cooks instead made sweet potato pie, or added bourbon and pecans to give a southern touch.

#4 Strawberry – Strawberry pie is another variation that’s usually made without a top crust, which helps to keep the calorie and fat count on the conservative side.

There are 200 seeds on an average strawberry.

Blueberry pie

#5 Blueberry – This oft-overlooked pie is surprisingly low in sugar compared to the other options on your holiday table. Plus, the berries pack a big antioxidant punch and can help your body stave off heart disease and cancer. 

The blueberry is one of the only foods that is truly naturally blue in color. The pigment that gives blueberries their distinctive color—called anthocyanin—is the same compound that provides the blueberry’s amazing health benefits.

#6 Cream – Luscious cream pies are one of the most famous American desserts. Uncomplicated and refreshing, they are usually made with a crunchy bottom crust and a rich, creamy filling, all topped with generous amounts of whipped cream. 

For a long time, the crust or shell was very thick and not meant to be eaten, but merely to serve as a hearty receptacle for baking, storing and serving.

#7 Key Lime – Key lime, also known as citrus aurantifolia, Mexican lime, and West Indian lime is a fruit indigenous to Malaysia, and it has been connected to Florida since the 1830s when a botanist named Henry Perrine started planting them on Flor

In California in the late 19th century, “Mexican” limes were more highly valued than lemons; however, in Florida, they were generally considered weeds. 

Pecan Pie
Courtesy of Unsplash

#8 Pecan – Pecan pie is one of those pies that you never know you want until you see it and then you wonder why it hasn’t always been part of your life. The base of eggs, butter, and sugar (better with molasses) is then covered in salty, roasted pecans. It’s a perfect mix of savory and sweet alongside a consistency of flaky, gooey, and crunchy. It’s kinda like a great candy bar but in pie form.

With the advent of corn syrup and a pecan surplus, the popularity of the pies spread across the country. Pecan harvesting begins in late September and extends into November, making the timing just right to fuel pecan pie baking for the holiday.

#9 Peach – Peaches have a pretty short window for perfect ripeness that’ll lead to great peach pie. Otherwise, you’re dealing with flavorless hard peaches or canned bullshit. That small window of greatness is short and wonderful when its open. 

A large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber.

#10 Lemon Meringue – Take the great citrus tart of a key lime pie and add the effervescent meringue. That added dimension of egg white and sugar that gets a crunchy hard shell on the outside while maintaining a wispy texture on the inside that makes Lemon Meringue pop just above Key Lime. It’s tart, sweet, savory, and a textural wonder.

The Quakers generally receive credit for inventing lemon custard in the late 1700s. Philadelphian Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow, a pastry chef, businesswoman, and cooking school founder, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1806, expanded on lemon custard and invented lemon meringue pie.

Did you learn a new fact about your favorite flavor? Did one make the list you were shocked to see in this revered of a listing? Maybe your tried, and true pie go-to was not on the list, much to your surprise. Whatever the case, we hope we inspired you to get out and treat yourself to a slice of goodness today. Maybe try something you never have before.

Happy National Pie Day, Suncoast!

Feature Photo Courtesy of Deposit Photos

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