Photo courtesy of Sophie Myers

WCHS junior Sophie Myers baked a blueberry pie with her her family as a way to spend time with them and produce a yummy dessert.

By Rachel Mattison, Online Editor-in-Chief

After stomping through leaves, enjoying the beautiful surrounding colors and spending time  with family, many students end their fall nights eating pie. A dessert that can cater to a diversity of pallets, pie has become a quintessential part of the season as a whole. 

While there is nothing particularly binding between fall and pie, many associate the two together. Many people serve pie because it is tradition or they feel it is necessary, but there is actually history behind pie’s spot on the table. Thanksgiving began as a celebration between Native Americans and English colonists and England has a strong pie culture. The British love to put fillings into pastry shells: Steak pies, Cornish pies, British fish pies etc… and they brought that to Thanksgiving dinners, where it evolved into a sweet dessert.

In addition to British pie culture as a byproduct of their migration, pies were introduced to Thanksgiving through Sarah Josepha Hale. Dubbed “The godmother of Thanksgiving” she is who tirelessly advocated to Congress and Governors that Thanksgiving should be a national holiday based on its ability to unite the country. Eventually she won that designation for Thanksgiving and transformed it into the holiday we know today. In her promotion efforts she released recipes for classics such as stuffing and turkey as well as pumpkin pie, forever cementing it as a staple. 

Key Lime Pie

Breaking the traditional narrative of pie being a food for fall, Key Lime Pie has connotations as a summer and beachy dessert with its airy texture, punchy flavor and bright color. Although sometimes forgotten about in the pie realm, it deserves consumption by all because of the combination of a smooth flavorful lime filling and light graham cracker crust. Key Lime Pie originated in Key West, Florida where it can be found with chef specific variations at almost every restaurant. The classic dessert can even be spiffed up with meringue as a topping instead of whipped cream.

Pumpkin Pie

The go-to for most families on Thanksgiving, a bite of pumpkin pie will instantly put every taster into the fall state-of-mind. Compared to other pies, it is a much smoother filling, resulting in every bite having a perfect crust to filling ratio. These bites can also be constructed and shoveled onto a fork and into a mouth much easier, given there are only two layers to consider vs. pies also topped with a dough layer. Pumpkin pie spice, composed of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, is the main ingredient that fills the pie with the fall flavor everyone loves. The nutmeg is the main contributor to what many people internalize as fall’s “taste”. A pumpkin pie ingredient fun fact: canned pumpkin is not actually from pumpkin, it is made out of Dickinson squash.

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie, while still sweet, is less refreshing and has a darker, more heavy flavor. The pie itself is also denser, instead of a fruity compote it is a sticky nut filling. Instead of contrasting the flavor of the crust, the two work hand in hand to develop the flavor. While most pies could be consumed year round, pecan pie is definitely a fall pie and does a great job filling that role. The dark brown color compliments the scheme of Thanksgiving and the deeper flavor matches the heavy vibe that the meal offers. Pecan pie is not only divisive between families in the fruit vs. non-fruit pie debate, it also can spark a discussion on if it is pronounced pe-CON or PEE-can.

Apple Pie

A classic in American culture: Apple Pie. A flaky crust, pieces of apple and a sweet, flavorful compote compose this year-round great pie choice. Cinnamon is the key ingredient in this pie to enhance the apple flavor. Apple pie is the most universally enjoyed and therefore a solid choice for a Thanksgiving feast. The process of making apple pie is enjoyable and has many different components suitable for different ages which makes it a great activity to do with cousins of all ages. Apple pie may be considered basic and nothing special, but its mouth-watering flavor and crowd appeal makes it a sure favorite to be eating while discussing what everyone is grateful for.

Berry pie

Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, mixed berry, the list goes on of different berry pies. They all are a delectable dessert. The sweetness of the berries themselves bring punchful flavor and sweetness to the deliciousness of the dessert, but it is never too tart due to the doughy crust that balances it. Good in the summer or winter, and even better with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, berry pie is a popular choice. The simple, creamy flavor of vanilla ice cream combined with the sweet, light flavor of the pie’s “sauce” makes it an elite combination.

Cherry Pie

Sometimes considered too sour, sometimes considered too sweet; cherry pie has an iconic flavor that sends reverberations through the mouths of consumers. Tart cherry pieces surrounded with sweet cherry sauce fill the space between the crust that helps calm the flavor. Cherry pie can be served warm or room temperature, both providing benefits. A warm bite of pie has a soft consistency and melts in your mouth. Room temperature pie is also enjoyable and allows for the flavor to truly come through without your taste sense focusing just on the heat. 

Pies offer the perfect fall dessert. The masterful combination of sweet filling with flaky dough drives everyone to take a piece for themselves and sharing a dessert around a table with friends and family is exactly how the “godmother of Thanksgiving” intended it to be enjoyed. No matter one’s preference on flavor, all offer their unique benefits. Making pie can be an enjoyable activity in itself, with the benefits able to be consumed. This fall, put on a sweater, light a candle and enjoy a slice of pie.