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National Pie Day!

Updated on December 29, 2016

A Celebration of Pie on January 23!

Eating pie is as American as baseball, so it's befitting that we should have a special day to celebrate the beloved pie (and not just the sweet kind) and want to indulge in some on that day!

However, National Pie Day is about more than just yummy pie. It's a chance to exchange favorite recipes, to bake for friends or even with friends, to take a break from a busy day for dessert with loved ones or a lost love, or to rediscover the smells of your childhood.

This January 23rd eat some pie! In fact, share some with a friend, family member, neighbor, coworker or even a stranger because pie is too good not to partake in some at least one day a year, even if it's just a few bites.

Creative Commons pie photo by Maggie Hoffman.

The Historical Truth Behind Pie Day...

and I'm not just filling your dough...

It's amazing where a lack of information will lead a person. In this particular case, it lead me home (I was raised in Colorado) and to the humble beginnings of National Pie Day & the American Pie Council. It was indeed started in Boulder, Colorado by Charlie Papazian, whose birthday is January 23, as a project at the school where he was teaching. His friend and fellow pie lover, John Lehndorff, helped stage The Great American Pie Fest a few years later, was the spokesperson for "Pie Day," and eventually took over as executive director of the original APC in 1996, ten years after it was started and was made into an actual organization at the convincing of some corporations. He left after a falling out over a pie judging that involved one of the first couple National Pie Championships ever held.

Charlie and John just love pie, but more the simple, not too much sugar or fancy stuff, homemade kind, made with tender loving care, not so much the buy it in a box and toss in the oven kind (yes, it takes love to do that too, but it's just not the same thing, you know?).

Now days the American Pie Council holds a festival and contest with corporate sponsors that takes place near Orlando, Florida, in late April. Honestly though, their list of commercial winners make the entire thing seem like something very different from the National Pie Day John that I emailed.

I'd like to think that Charlie, John and all the good folks in Boulder who started out sharing pie won't be forgotten when January 23rd rolls around every year. Hopefully people everywhere will think of them and how they love pie. Good, wholesome, yummy, delicious pie...the way it was meant to be, the way American was founded: with a little determination, hard work, ingenuity, a few fresh ingredients and no one telling us we have to do it "their" way! I think I just heard my oven timer ding; I'd better go check on my pie!!!!

P.S. A big thank you to John Lehndorff for personally sharing some information on how it all began with me! I owe you some pie, good sir!

References not listed:

Westword "Slice of Life"
Denver Post "National Pie Day a day to eat, savor and share"
Orlando Sentinel "I Brake For Pie, Said The Crusty Columnist"

After the Meal or AS the Meal? - in other words sweet or savory?

Pie comes in so many varieties is it possible to pick the better type of pie? So many yummy sweet dessert pies, yet so many tasty savory pies. I know I can't pick...can you?

Which Type of Pie is Better?

See results

National Pie Day Activity Suggestions - makes sure you stretch first, we don't want anyone getting hurt

  1. Have pie at every meal or for every meal.

    A breakfast quiche (it has a crust, so we'll call it pie for this), slice of pie for dessert at lunch, chicken pot pie for dinner, etc.

  2. Host a pie eating contest!

    Oh yum! Please invite me if you do this one!

  3. Host a pie throwing contest/bake sale! (For charity, of course)

    This way you can raise money selling yummy pies and throw pie tins with cheap canned whipped cream at someone to raise more money all for a good cause!

  4. Share some pie with someone who is pieless!

    Oh, me me me! I'm pieless right this very second!

  5. Share some pie with someone you care about!

    Isn't sharing nice?

  6. Teach someone how to bake your favorite pie!

    Oh yes, this is a selfish thing really, because later maybe they will make one for you! muahahahaaaa

  7. Play a pie eating game!

    Watch a television show or movie or even listen to the radio and every time a particular word is said (pick any word you want) you take a bite of pie. If you play with close friends, everyone can have a different kind of pie and pass the plate each time. Then you get different yummy bites! Oh, can I play?

  8. Have you own neighborhood or office pie contest!

    Don't forget to make ribbons (or let the kids get involved and let them make the ribbons) for the winners and let everyone enjoy the pies after the judging is done!

  9. Have pie races!

    Don't ask me, I'm making this up as I go along! It can be whatever you want it to be!

  10. Try to beat the world record for the largest baked cherry pie held by Oliver, British Columbia: 39,683 pounds!

    Wow, that must have fed their entire town and surrounding area for a week or more!

Get Pied for Charity

Plain or With a Little Something?

What's the most scrumptious thing to add to a slice of sweet pie or plop down next to it to make it irresistible?

What goes best on or with sweet pies?

See results

Recipe from from Beryl Jacobson in Westword "Slice of Life" in page 2.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups shortening at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar in 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar

Instructions

  1. 1. Stir together flour, salt and baking powder.
  2. 2. Cut in shortening until the mixture is the size of peas.
  3. 3. Put vinegar in measuring cup and fill to the 3/4 cup mark with warm water. Add brown sugar and stir well.
  4. 4. Mix liquids into the flour mixture gradually, using a fork.
  5. 5. Roll out on well floured surface to desired thickness.
Cast your vote for Foolproof Crust
nectarine-blueberry pie
nectarine-blueberry pie

Nectarine-Blueberry Pie Filling

Recipe tweaked and image from Country Living.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds nectarines
  • halved & sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsps quick-cooking tapioca (ground)
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • Foolproof pie crust (recipe above)
  • 1 egg & 1 tbsp milk (beaten together for egg wash)

Instructions

  1. 1. Place oven rack in low-middle position and preheat to 450°F.
  2. 2. Place nectarines in a large bowl & toss together with blueberries, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice & lemon zest. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. 3. Roll out two pieces of pie dough to 1/8" thick & about 12" in diameter. Fit one piece onto a 9" prepared pie pan.
  4. 4. Drain the excess liquid from the fruit, reserving any for later use if needed, and fill the pie shell. Cover with the second piece, seal and flute the edges. Brush the edges with the egg wash and make a few decorative slits in the top.
  5. 5. Bake 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 425° F & bake 25 minutes. (Check half-way through; if edges brown too quickly, cover with foil.)
  6. 6. If desired, brush with remaining egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar, and continue to bake until golden brown, about 5 more minutes.
  7. 7. Cool before serving.

Oh for the Love of Pie! - some literary help with pies

Pie or ...

What's better...pie or oh my goodness, don't say it, something else?

Pie beats the rest because it's the best...

Pie beats the rest because it's the best...

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    • golfspice 3 years ago

      Perfect comfort food.

    • Michey LM 5 years ago

      I definitely like pies, easy to make, easy to eat...

    • goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i like any kind of pie but most of all, apple pie. got 2 pie lenses, one savory and one sweet..

    • Vicki Green 5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      A good pie is hard to beat!

    • Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      I love home made pie, especially on Pi Day (the other one, on March 14, or 3.14 !)

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Pie its always pie lol

    • JoshK47 5 years ago

      Definitely pie - it's so versatile!

    • joannejgg lm 5 years ago

      My favorite kind of pie is pecan pie Yum! I'v even had pie served on my birthday instead of cake.

    • girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      Pie, because it's a lens about pie! Pie comes in so many yummy flavors, how can that not be divine?

    I like something more than pie and I'll tell you why...

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      • WriterJanis2 5 years ago

        My favorite dessert is chocolate melting cake.

      Let them eat PIE!!! - well, are you gonna or not?

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        • girlfriendfactory profile image
          Author

          girlfriendfactory 3 years ago

          @Gayle Dowell: I'm with ya on that one!!!!! I love pie!

        • Gayle Dowell profile image

          Gayle Dowell 3 years ago from Kansas

          To me every day could be National Pie Day! Why restrict the celebration to just one day a year!

        • profile image

          othellos 3 years ago

          Living in Europe it's a little strange to celebrate this "Pie Date" but I will do it now! Delightful lens. Thank you for publishing it.

        • profile image

          golfspice 3 years ago

          A national pie day is a good idea. I don't know if there is one in the UK. As it happens having a savoury pie today for Sunday dinner "steak and onion" with a little English mustard, of course.

        • mrsclaus411 profile image

          mrsclaus411 4 years ago

          I must have a belated celebration of this day.

        • goo2eyes lm profile image

          goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

          i missed this pie day because i arrived from a month-long holiday on the 18th and i had a terrible jet-lag. squidangel *blessings* granted. your lens is simply "divine" and pie with "caramel" topping or ice cream is just heavenly.

        • PNWtravels profile image

          Vicki Green 5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

          I missed it this year so can I celebrate belatedly? ( I'll put it on my calendar for next year so I won't miss it again.) Great lens and I appreciate the nectarine-blueberry pie recipe which combines two of my favorites so I don't have to choose between the two. ~ blessed

        • WriterJanis2 profile image

          WriterJanis2 5 years ago

          What a tasty lens!

        • Mary Crowther profile image

          Mary Crowther 5 years ago from Havre de Grace

          Happy Pie Day and great lens!

        • girlfriendfactory profile image
          Author

          girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

          @favored: I hope I'm invited! That goes for anyone making pie on Jan 23rd! Well, any day really! lol :)

        • favored profile image

          Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

          I have some fresh apples, so I better get busy. It's 2 days away!

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          great site, I'm a pie man at heart.

        • Lee Hansen profile image

          Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

          Yum, hand pies are my favorite ... empanadas or the apple variety at Rodale Farms.

        • smithlights profile image

          smithlights 5 years ago

          Awesome lens! Very well done!

        • Blackspaniel1 profile image

          Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

          Nice lens!

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          By making myself stare at a pie...stupid New Year's Diets

        • profile image

          JoshK47 5 years ago

          I certainly want to now! Mmm... pie... Blessed by a hungry Squid Angel!