Maggie's No-Fail Pumpkin Pie - Detail - © 2013 maggiejs

Thanksgiving Facts: Pies Rule Turkey Feast Dessert

When you think of Thanksgiving Dinner, what comes first to mind when you think Dessert? Pie, of course! And for the majority, I dare to predict that it’s either Pumpkin, Apple or both. But the Harris Poll Turkey Day Exposé says there’s more to it than that…

Thanksgiving Pie Prefs - © 2022 Instagram

Okay, but…

Not all the pies tallied for the above infographic were guaranteed to have been consumed on Thanksgiving. Though the period surveyed covered the week immediately leading up to the holiday. Take the numbers with your own personal grain of salt…

Yes, I can certainly see how Pecan Pie (a Southgern classic) rates right up there with the two leaders. And I can also appreciate the rationale behind the mid-line placement of Cream Pies. A Cream Pie, or Lemon or Key Lime Pie is a fail-proof back-up for the Turkey Feast Classics.

However, I suspect the lowest three pies on the list may be unconnected with the Thanksgiving Dinner dessert profile. They sound like year-round faves, to me. Varieties that just showed up in the Top 7 because they are always ‘up there’.

No surprise, really…

I don’t think there’s anyone out there who’s surprised to see Pumpkin Pie lead the popularity list for Thanksgiving Dinner Dessert. It’s my go-to sweet finish for any Festive Feast. And as hinted in the intro statement to this post, I often make an Apple Pie, too. To ensure that everyone at the table has something they like, to top off the meal. On behalf of my pies, I am proud to say that some folks actually ask for a slice of each.

Pie garnishes and add-ons

If you serve Pumpkin Pie, you’d better have Whipped Cream. That’s all there is to it. And it’s also going to be expected by your diners when you serve Cream Pies.

Ice Cream is also mandatory, especially if you are serving Apple or Pecan Pie.

Meringue should always at least be considered for Lemon and Key Lime Pies.

And don’t forget the Sharp Cheddar Cheese for the Apple Pie!

Make it yourself or buy it in?

New Englanders – led prominently by Vermont – came out strongly in support of home-made pies for Thanksgiving Dessert. Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma were close behind, leading the enthusiastic Midwest as a region.

Folks in the western states – from Washington, Idaho, Utah and Arizona to the coast – were most likely to buy dessert for Thanksgiving Dinner. Hawaii – the farthest-west state – was the one state where the most folks were likely to buy their Thanksgiving pies.

My take

There’s no reason not to make your own Thanksgiving dessert. I humbly offer the recipe for my (and my Mom’s) Perfect Pumpkin Pie.

And I also direct your attention to my previous post on Fruit Pie Basics.

All you really need to know, specifically, about my go-to apple pie recipe is:

  • Slice the apples uniformly, no thicker than about 5-6 mm. This way they’ll cook evenly.
  • Mix up a small bowl of: 4 tbsp. corn starch, 4 tbsp. plain white sugar, 1 tsp. of powdered cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp. Cloves.
  • Dust the bottom of the lower pie crust with a generous dose of this mixture. Then arrange the apple slices evenly in single layers. Dust the top of each layer of apples with the sugar-and-spice mix before adding the next layer. And so on. Spread the remaining mix on the top of the last layer of apples and crimp-on the top crust.
  • Bake at 425 F for the first 15-20 minutes to ensure the bottom crust does not turn out soggy. After that initial high-heat bake, turn the temp down to 375 F.
  • Leave the finshed pie at least 20 minutes to set and cool before cutting.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Turkey Feast – especially your (hopefully) home-made dessert!

~ Maggie J.