OPINION: Thanksgiving’s best pies

Not all pies are created equal; some varieties are much more popular, tastier than others



Thanksgiving pies are some of the year’s best, but they’re not all equally good. Here’s some favorites.


Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, but it is also a time to eat. For me, pie is one of the best parts about Thanksgiving, especially since my first time having a pumpkin pie was at Thanksgiving a few years ago.

I couldn’t be more excited for Thanksgiving break. It is not only a break from classes but an opportunity for me to eat as much food as I want — pie included — without feeling guilty. The question always is: what pie is the best pie?

Before I sent out a survey to see what pie flavors people prefer, I already expected it to be pumpkin or apple. Those two seem pretty standard.

Eighty-four responses later, my pie chart was born: a pie charting pie chart. The top three Thanksgiving pies were pumpkin at roughly 32 percent, apple at around 23 percent and pecan at about 11 percent.

My personal favorite is coconut cream pie, which no one submitted as a response. Under 10 percent, but still notable, we had lemon meringue, chocolate and banana cream. Rhubarb pie, which I remember my grandmother talking about, came in at about 2 percent. Chess pie also came in around 2 percent.

My grandmother’s other noted pie, mincemeat pie, got no responses, although liver and onion pie was submitted. Close enough, I suppose. The one-percenters were key lime, lemon supreme, marionberry, blackberry, mixed berry, and liver and onion pies.

Having said that, I still don’t know the difference between a lemon meringue pie and a lemon supreme pie. Lemon-based pie is lemon-based pie, period.

For anyone looking to make their favorite pie this Thanksgiving, there are a couple of things to note. If your pie has a filling that isn’t baked or has a very wet filling, it may need to be blind baked to ensure the pie holds its shape well.

Blind baking is a method that uses pie weights, which if you’re a cheap college student like me, you won’t want to buy. There is no way I am going to bother spending $15 on some ceramic or metal balls to sit in my pie crust when I can just use dried beans. Rice also works.

Slap some parchment paper down, cover your pie crust with your beans or rice and get baking. Just don’t eat the beans after. They taste funny. Some people will use rice after and have okay results. You also can reuse the beans or rice. Just let them cool, store them with a label so no one cooks them and you’ve got pie weights to reuse.

For those who are less baking inclined, the pre-made pie crust will still work well. For pies like banana cream pie, crushing up some vanilla wafers and mixing them with melted butter can also give you a nice crust, but you still need to bake it.

I know I will definitely be making a pie or two this year. I just have to decide what kind of pie to make. To anyone else joining the Thanksgiving pie party, good luck!