I’m an indecisive cook during the holiday season. I want to make mashed potatoes and caramel rolls, but my healthy conscience reminds me to eat kale, sliced fruit, and stay away from the sugar canister. I try to be good. Really, I do.
To dodge temptation, there are certain things I avoid making altogether (cookies, cakes, and candied concoctions). If I want to indulge, I buy something already made so that I am innocent to the amount of butter and sugar that goes into the treat. As Thanksgiving approaches, pumpkin pie is definitely on my “no-bake” list. Unfortunately, though, store-bought pies are often too dry and over-spiced. And the crusts are more like dense, crunchy biscuits than the flaky, buttery version my mom makes.
All of which means that I often go pie-less on Thanksgiving. (I know; it’s shameful.) This year, however, can be different thanks to Wednesday’s Pie’s maple-bourbon pumpkin variety ($20). The shop, which is part of Frank Bonanno’s food empire, offers six flavors that you can preorder for your holiday soiree. You won’t go wrong to pick the pumpkin classic. The subtle bourbon and maple flavors add a bit of punch to the traditional filling. But the best part is the flaky crust, which manages to stay crisp even after a few days in the fridge. And, as I truly believe that pumpkin pie is a dish best served cold, you should order extra to ensure leftovers. (Place orders online before November 24.)
More options: Happy Cakes branches out from cupcakes to offer pumpkin, cherry, sweet potato, and bourbon-pecan pies. (Order by Monday, November 25). $18–$20 for a 9-inch and $4 for a 3-inch.
For the do-gooder: Order ahead (today, November 22, is the deadline) or pick up a pumpkin, cherry, pecan, or apple pie from one of Project Angel Heart’s Pie in the Sky outlets. Each pie ($25—$20 of which is tax deductible) purchased will provide five nutritious meals for a Coloradan in need. Pies were donated by Bluepoint Bakery. To sweeten the deal, Great Divide Brewing Co. offers beer pairing options: pumpkin with Hibernation Ale; apple with Titan IPA; cherry with Hoss Rye Lager; and pecan with Yeti Imperial Stout.
Wednesday’s Pie, 1422 Larimer St., 303-893-6505
Pie in the Sky, multiple pick-up locations
Happy Cakes, 3434 W. 32nd Ave., 303-477-3556 and 449 Main St., Longmont, 720-438-2113