As much as I want to grab on to these final days of summer with every fiber of my being (summer doesn’t technically end until the END of September, you guys), even I have found myself dreaming of sweater season. You should know that sweater season, to this food-obsessed mind, really means one thing: It’s time for pumpkin pie.
Recently, a controversial opinion about why pumpkin pie is THE WORST was presented on Delish—and I was heartbroken. How could someone feel this way about my all-time favorite dessert? So with all due respect to the magnanimous Kate Lewis (a.k.a. my BOSS) and her feelings on pumpkin pie, I must politely object, and present these seven reasons why pumpkin pie deserves its place in the pantheon of delicious sweets.
IT’S A SURE SIGN OF FALL.
Yes, the appearance of pumpkins (and the ubiquitous canned version) in stores is the official indicator that my favorite season has arrived. While it’s tough to say goodbye to summer (see above), fall is clearly the best of all the seasons—ideal temperature, clothes, and, obviously, food. Fall means apples, hearty chili, soft cider donuts, and roasted butternut squash. But pumpkin is the one that starts this time of year off on the right foot. Show it some respect.
IT’S A BREAK FROM FRUITY PIE.
I’ve never been a huge fruit person, but even I concede that fruit pies are a seasonal staple. We’ve been eating peach, blueberry, cherry, and lemon pies for the past four months. And at this point, everyone will start apple-picking and baking dozens of apple pies, cobblers, and crisps. Doesn’t pumpkin pie offer a nice respite from all that fruit?
IT CAN IMPROVE YOUR EYESIGHT.
So, let’s overlook the amount of sugar in the pie for just a second, and focus on the fact that a cup of mashed, cooked pumpkin contains 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. A slice a day may affect your waistline faster than it’ll give you bionic eyes, but hey, the occasional indulgence does have its upsides.
IT’S RIDICULOUSLY EASY TO MAKE.
For the cooking inept, pumpkin pie is the perfect vehicle to make them feel accomplished. The modern marvels of premade pie crust and canned pumpkin make things even easier: The most basic pumpkin pie recipes call for a grand total of FIVE ingredients. So for those of us who can barely make cookies without a disaster, a pumpkin pie is our chance to contribute to a family meal without making fools of ourselves.
IT’S INFINITELY CUSTOMIZABLE.
A big part of this argument against pumpkin pie is that it is a dessert with no chocolate. Yes, chocolate is an integral part of the dessert table, but I do not think pumpkin pie can be discounted on its lack of chocolate alone—just add some chocolate to it. Add nuts. (For goodness sake, add Oreos, if you feel like it.) Pumpkin pie is your blank canvas in a quest to make it the ultimate fall dessert.
IT’S IMITATED FOR A REASON.
Forbes reported that in 2013 pumpkin spice-flavored foods brought in $350 million a year. It’s true that pumpkin-flavor is everywhere, but that’s because IT’S DELICIOUS. I don’t necessarily condone the pumpkinization of the fall season, but you can’t blame the pie for #PSL. The pie itself stands on its own as a glowing beacon of the perfect combination of flavor and texture. It is so imitated because it is so loved.
IT’S TRADITION, DAMMIT.
While pumpkins were one of the first crops that Europeans brought back from the New World, using the vegetable in pie form didn’t become standard until the early 18th century, according to The History Channel. In fact, pumpkin pie was so important to early Thanksgiving feasts that in 1705 the Connecticut town of Colchester famously postponed its Thanksgiving for a week because there wasn’t enough molasses available to make pumpkin pie. Basically, there IS NO FALL without pumpkin pie. Accept it, then pass me a slice.