It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… It’s also beginning to smell a lot like Christmas too. The smell of apple cider simmering on the stove or a honey glazed ham baking in the oven all evoke great memories of holidays past!
One of the most delicious and nostalgic aromas of the season is a freshly baked holiday pie. Apple pie goes best with a side of freedom on the fourth of July, and there’s nothing better to go with for a dessert option after a Thanksgiving dinner than a pumpkin pie. Still, there are other pies that are closely associated with the upcoming holiday season. These pies emanate aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, luring everyone to them like the sirens of the sea and can be found on restaurant menus and window sills across the country during this season.
Sweet Potato Pie:
Sweet potato pies often masquerade as pumpkin pies. Though it might look and feel like a pumpkin pie, sweet potato pies offer a slightly different taste. If you’ve enjoyed some sweet potato fries, then you know of the delicate sweetness of this orangey spud. It’s a staple of southern cooking and a staple of the holiday season. The nutmeg and cinnamon (commonly added ingredients) give this pie its unique holiday taste. Top off a slice of this pie with a dollop of whipped cream and some marshmallows for best results.
Pecans are everywhere during the holidays. They can be served by themselves (toasted with a light sprinkling of cinnamon for added taste) or featured in salads, cookies, cakes and you guessed it, pies! Ingredients such as molasses or maple syrup, brown sugar, and, of course, butter make it one delicious pie! A little vanilla extract mixed in with those ingredients gives the pie its signature holiday aroma.
Cranberries have a bad reputation thanks to images of the chunky, dehydrated goop that slides out of a can and sits in a bowl holding the shape of its former home. It is the unwelcome guest of the holiday table, but don’t let your disdain for cranberry sauce keep you from enjoying a slice of cranberry pie. A cranberry pie is the quintessential holiday pie. Not only do they have that rich maroon color that’s synonymous with the holidays, but they have a familiar aroma too. Cranberries swimming around in a pie crust with butter, flour, sugar, and cinnamon bring out its unique sweet n’ tart taste. If you’re not ready to fully accept cranberries as your holiday pie of choice, you can always find pies with cranberries and a mix of apples, cherries, or a host of other fruits.
Meat isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about pies, but mincemeat pies are a staple of the holiday season. Mincemeat pie is a subtle combination of savory and sweet that comes from fruits such as apples and raisins being mixed in with any number of meats (popular meats include beef and venison), lightly sprinkled with some nutmeg and cinnamon and blanketed by a flaky pie crust. Digging a fork into the pie crust, watching the steam rise, and smelling the meat that has been simmering in a mix of its own juices with apples or raisins (and perhaps some molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves) is just heavenly. The smell this pie gives off has the cartoonlike ability to make people float right to the pie.
Holiday pies’s irresistible taste and bold aromas are quintessential of the holiday season. Ingredients like nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract make them unique to the holiday season. Much like apple or pumpkin pies, holiday pies can be found at restaurants and enjoyed throughout the year, but holding a special connection to the holiday season, they are far more prevalent right now and for the next several weeks to come.
What’s your favorite holiday pie? Tell us in the comments sections below.