7 Recipes for National Pie Day

January 10, 2017
by Emily Murphy for Thrive Market
7 Recipes for National Pie Day

There are so many bizarre national holidays nowadays, like National Thrift Shop Day (August 17), National Go Barefoot Day (June 2) and National Bubble Bath Day (January 8)—some you might not even know how to go about celebrating.

But one that surely everyone can agree on is National Pie Day, a day where you can enjoy your proverbial piece, from the buttery crust to the rich filling inside.

Because it’s just around the corner on January 23, we’ve put together seven great sweet and savory pie recipes you can prepare in advance. There’s even a couple that fit into a Paleo, gluten-free, or vegan diet so everyone can get a slice.

From meat to sweet: a brief history of pie

From apple to cherry, pecan to rhubarb, the pies we cherish today are a rather recent addition to history, since pies first originated as savory types filled with meat and veggies—not with fruit and sweets.

Historians believe pie originally came from the Greeks, also thought to be the creators of the pastry shell, made by mixing together flour and water. It’s theorized that the Romans learned about pies from their neighboring country of Greece and then began making their own version with many different kinds of meats and seafood.

And, in medieval England, this dish was made with ingredients such as beef, lamb, wild duck, and pigeon, and spiced with pepper, currants, or dates. (This type of savory pie is still popular in certain European cultures). But it wasn't until the early 1600s that the Pilgrims brought these English-style, meat-based recipes with them to the colonies in America.

Because of their crusty tops that lock in moisture, the Pilgrims used pies as a means to preserve food, keeping the filling fresh during the winter months. And they weren’t bland, either. Pilgrims used dried fruit, cinnamon, pepper, and nutmeg to season meats, and as the colonies spread out, the pie’s role as a means to showcase local ingredients took hold; with it came a new wave of sweet, fruit-based pies that we know of today.

Making your own special pie

Now that you know all about how pies came to be so popular, here are seven recipes inspired by the all-time favorites (and the ingredients you’ll need to stock your kitchen to make them). Choose your pick and bake one (or two, or three) for National Pie Day!

Paleo Pecan Pie with Chocolate Crust

Paleo-Friendly Chocolate Pecan Pie

Enjoy this heartwarming pie that combines rich, nutty pecan with decadent chocolate. While the typical version of this Southern dessert is thickened with corn syrup or molasses, we've healthified ours by using maple syrup, date paste, and coconut sugar and also swap in a gluten-free chocolate crust.

What you’ll need

For the chocolate crust:
For the pecan filling:

berry_crumble_pie_blog_hero

Paleo Berry Crumble Pie

Spoiler alert: This beautiful pie didn’t come from Martha Stewart’s cookbook. Rather, it was developed in Thrive Market’s very own kitchen. With some fresh, juicy blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, you too can make this gluten-free and Paleo-friendly dessert.

The maple crumble topping and almond flour crust provide a modern twist—if you're feeling even more adventurous, sprinkle a few fresh thyme leaves and a dash of cardamom into the filling for a surprising finish.

What you’ll need

For the crust:
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
For the filling:
  • 3 cups mixed berries
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons raw honey
For the crumble topping:

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

As history has taught us, not all pies have to be sweet. Start your National Pie Day with something savory and nutritious before moving onto dessert. We gave this well-known traditional comfort food a vegan update by swapping in herb-infused lentils for the meat and creamy parsnips for the mashed potatoes. Before serving, top it off with a delicious vegan gravy and serve with warm, baked rolls.

What you’ll need

For the lentils:
For the mashed parsnips:

pumpkin hand pies

Vegan Pumpkin Hand-Pies with Maple Glaze

Take a trip down memory lane with this vegan take on the classic toaster treat known as a poptart. In our healthified version, maple-sweetened pumpkin pie filling is sandwiched between thinly rolled, flaky dough, and then topped with maple glaze.

Vegan pie dough usually doesn’t require chilling (in fact, it’s best to skip this step when using coconut oil), so you’ll find this recipe comes together fairly quick. Best of all, because of the convenient grab-and-go size you can take these to school, work, or bring on the road for National Pie Day, or any day!

What you’ll need

For the pumpkin filling:
For the coconut oil crust:
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, chilled for 20 minutes
For the maple glaze:

Apple Pie

Classic Apple Pie with Lattice Crust

Apple pie is one of the most well-known, and for good reason: It’s simple, delicious, and looks stunning with a lattice crust (or, woven pie crust). The secret to getting classic apple pie just right? Sauté the apples beforehand. This step locks in tons of flavor and softens the apples, allowing them to be more flexible and fill in gaps in the pie.

What you’ll need

For the crust:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • About 1 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached sugar
For the filling:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 10 mixed apples (ex. Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, Gala, Fuji, Braeburn)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unbleached sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar, to garnish

Peach slab pie

Earl Grey Peach Slab Pie

Slab pie is quite the crowd-pleaser. Fancier than a cobbler but just as easy as to make as a regular round pie, this dessert will be the star of any barbecue or potluck. Our version adds earl grey tea and raspberries for a modern twist on the classic peach filling, and tops it off with a beautiful woven crust.

What you’ll need

For the crust:
  • 2 cups butter, frozen
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup ice water
For the filling:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 pounds ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup unbleached organic sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Contents of 1 earl grey teabag
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Small pinch sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Raw sugar, to taste

Paleo pumpkin pie

Maple Pumpkin Pie with Pecans

This pie includes warm comforting flavors of sweet pumpkin, nutty pecan, mouth-watering maple, zesty cinnamon, and hot ginger. Topped with a decadent coconut whipped cream, this Paleo-friendly, gluten-free dessert is sure to be a hit for National Pie Day, or what ever holiday you may celebrating.

What you’ll need

For the pecan-walnut crust:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup ground raw walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup ground raw pecans
  • 6 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, melted
For the pumpkin filling
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
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