Halloween has come and gone, and now we’ve begun our annual transition into cooler temperatures as the trees continue to shed their colorful leaves, meaning that Thanksgiving is near. For most, Thanksgiving brings to mind traditions such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and watching or playing some football, along with the wonderful plethora of smells wafting through from the kitchen like turkey, dressing, and of course pies.
Pies have become just as much of a Thanksgiving staple as the turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce, and with good reason! With so many delicious flavors of pies to choose from for this harvest celebration, one could almost make a meal out of these baked delights alone!
If you’re participating in a Thanksgiving potluck or hosting family and friends for the yearly feast and you’re wondering which pie to bake, then check out this list of our six favorite easy, delicious pies that are perfect to bake for Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin pie is probably one of the most popular desserts when it comes to Thanksgiving, and it has certainly earned that favor! Pumpkin pie is made with a crust that is filled with a pumpkin-based custard flavored with warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Part of the reason that pumpkin pie became such a popular Thanksgiving choice is because this is the time of the year that pumpkins are in season. It’s also become a favorite because throughout the years, it has become easier to make with the ability to buy canned pumpkin and pre-made doughs for pie crusts. Fresh or store-bought whipped cream is often dolloped on top for a light, cool balance to the heavy, warm pie.
Another favorite for Thanksgiving pie fare is pecan pie. Pecan pies begin with a crust that is then filled with a mixture of eggs, butter, and sugar, and then topped with whole or chopped pecan nuts. Pecans are also in season this time of year, making them easily attainable for pie making.
Pecan pie is another pie that is relatively easy to make whether you have modern conveniences or not, and you can substitute white sugar with brown sugar, cane syrup, sugar syrup, maple syrup, molasses, or even honey. The sticky sweet pie filling intermingles perfectly with the nutty flavor of the pecans, making for a satisfying after-Thanksgiving-dinner treat.
Apple pie is a carryover from our English ancestors, as the apple pie originated in England. Its crust is filled with delicious sliced apples, brown sugar, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and butter that have all been simmered together until it becomes thick to create a smooth, warm, and comforting flavor profile. Once it’s filled, it’s generally topped with another solid piece of crust or the crust piece is cut into strips to create a decorative lattice.
When it comes to making apple pie, it can be super easy or it can be a little more time consuming. With things like canned apple pie filling, frozen pie crusts, and even pre-made crust doughs, you can throw together an apple pie in just minutes. However, if you want to go the homemade route, it’s important to choose the right apple, because just any apple won’t do. Three of the most popular kinds of apples to use for homemade apple pies include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Golden Delicious. Apple pie also pairs well with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
More of a Southern U.S. tradition, but still a popular one nonetheless, chess pie is similar to the classic buttermilk pie and it’s made by filling a pie crust with eggs, sugar, butter, and cornmeal. Yes, you read that right, cornmeal – but just a bit for some texture in this otherwise custard-like pie. It got its name because it’s similar to a particular European cheesecake, and supposedly the southerners of the U.S. were supposedly mispronouncing “cheese pie” by instead calling it “chess pie,” so the name stuck.
Chess pie is a delicately sweet pie that goes well with a dusting of powdered sugar or even topped with fresh fruit. It’s also an easy pie to make, which is another reason it’s popular this time of year.
Another popular Thanksgiving choice, cherry pie consists of a pie crust filled with a mixture of tart cherries, sugar, cornstarch (yep!) and lemon juice that have been cooked together. It’s important to use tart cherries for your cherry pie, otherwise it won’t have the tart flavor needed to balance out the sweetness of the sugar. A solid crust or a lattice patterned crust is generally then put on top for baking.
Because of modern conveniences like canned cherry pie filling, frozen and pre-prepared chilled pie crusts, a cherry pie can take only minutes to make. However, making it the old fashioned way isn’t overly complicated, so it qualifies as an easy Thanksgiving pie to bake.
Last but not least, blueberry pie is a popular Thanksgiving pie choice as well. It’s actually one of the easiest pies on this list to make from scratch because you don’t have to peel or pit the fruit. In the crust goes a mixture of blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, butter, sometimes lemon juice and optionally cinnamon depending on your recipe of choice. It’s then topped with a whole crust, a crumble crust, or sometimes even no crust at all.
Blueberry pies make a great Thanksgiving addition because it’s also another fruit of the harvest and, depending on whether you make it from scratch or ready-made ingredients, it won’t take very long to prepare! On its own, blueberry pie can be enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
No matter what sort of pie you choose to make for Thanksgiving, whether you make it completely from scratch or with pre-made components, remember that this is the time of year to be thankful for what you have, whether your blessings are few or many. Sharing a piece of yourself by making a delicious pie for your Thanksgiving meal is just one more way to show how much you care and to make memories and even start new cherished Thanksgiving traditions.