National Pie Day

Next Thursday, 23 January 2025

Few desserts are as 'American as a pie'. That is why on January 23 we celebrate National Pie Day. This day is all about celebrating anything and everything pie - bake them or buy them, the important thing is to enjoy them. The buttery pastry that encases a pie can be filled with anything, from fruit and berries to cream and chocolate, which is why pies are such a crowd-pleaser and no one can say no to a nice, warm slice of this delicious dessert. 

apple pie on a wooden board next to a rolling pin.


National Pie Day was created in 1975 by pie-lover Charlie Papazian, a teacher in Colorado. Papazian loved pies so much, that he decided to declare his birthday, January 23, as the official day to celebrate his favorite dessert. He even had birthday pies instead of birthday cakes to blow his candles on!

Because pies are such a big part of American culture, this unofficial holiday quickly grew in popularity around the nation, and in 1986, the American Pie Council began sponsoring National Pie Day. That's right, pies are so loved in America that there is a special organization dedicated to "preserving America's pie heritage and promoting America's love affair with pies". The American Pie Council is so committed to spreading National Pie Day even further, that in 2014 they joined forces with Paramount Pictures to promote this holiday with a pie-making scene in the movie "Labor Day".

The History of Pies

There are many reasons to celebrate pies, and one of them is the fact that they are one of the oldest prepared foods in history. There are written recipes for pies dating back to as early as ancient Roman times. The Romans' preferred pie fillings were fruits, meat, and seafood, and the oldest pie recipe known to date is for goat cheese and honey pie. The Greeks had similar pie habits, filling their water and flour shell pastries with meats, fruits, and honey. 

Pies were popular through to the Middle Ages when people preferred them filled with meats and vegetables. However, the dough in these pies was used merely as a container for the food inside, to keep it from drying and to make transporting it easier. This meant that the dough was often inedible so people only ate the pie filling. 

Pie came to America via the English settlers and pilgrims. American staples such as pumpkin pie and pecan pie became very popular in the 17th century. As settlers began to spread around the new nation, they started making pies with whatever natural ingredients were available in their regions. This caused a huge boom in the variety of pies made in the United States. 

Nowadays, pies are still a traditional American staple. Americans love their homemade pies, but there are a few that stand out as most people's favorites. They are apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate creme pie, key lime pie, and cherry pie. 

Sweet or Savory

Pies hold a special place in the heart of British cuisine, but for many savory is king. Among the array of pies loved in the United Kingdom (and some 'nearly pies such as Cornish Pasties), three classics stand out; Pork Pies, Shepherd's Pies, and Cottage Pies:

The Melton Mowbray Pork Pies: 

This could be peak British culture; the venerable Pork Pie, whose birthplace is Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. These pies are recognizable by their distinctive handcrafted appearance, their hot water crust pastry, and a savory blend of seasoned minced pork along with jelly. What ensures Melton Mowbray keeps it's that its pies have a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, so only those crafted in the traditional way within the specific region can bear the famous name.

The Shepherd's Pie/Cottage Pie:

This pie is traditionally made with minced lamb or mutton (hence it being a "Shepherd's Pie"!). Shepherd's Pie is a mix of meat and vegetables topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes. Served with brown sauce. This dish, baked to golden perfection, is a British home cooking classic. Although being topped with mash and cheese, it has often become subject to the 'is it a pie' argument. 

Cottage Pie is a close cousin to Shepherd's Pie. The only difference is that it is made from beef.

The Steak and Ale Pie:

Perhaps the most famous and beloved of British pies, the Steak and Ale Pie is a hearty and flavorsome classic. Sold in British pubs across the country it is the perfect combination of chunks of beef, ale, gravy, and onion in a golden, flaky, or shortcrust pastry.

A cottage pie in a ceramic dish, with green vegetables in the background
Shepherd's Pie - a classic dish

How to Celebrate National Pie Day

Celebrate this day by eating some pie! Whether you want to bake one or buy one from a bakery or the supermarket, this day is the perfect excuse to eat as much pie as you want - for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 

Five Fantastic Dessert Pies

  1. Apple: A Classic and versatile dish, apple pie is a staple in many dessert tables.
  2. ​​​​​Pumpkin: Especially popular in America during the fall/Autumn and Thanksgiving seasons.
  3. Cherry: Sweet and tart, cherry pie is enjoyed in various forms, including fresh or canned cherries.
  4. Blueberry: Blueberry pie is loved for its sweet and juicy filling, often enhanced with a hint of lemon.
  5. Pecan: Pecan pie is known for its rich and gooey filling, usually made with a mixture of pecans, sugar, and corn syrup.

National Pie Day
National Pie Day

National Pie Day - Next years

Friday, 23 January 2026

Saturday, 23 January 2027

Sunday, 23 January 2028

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