Pumpkin pies
This Thanksgiving, you can make the perfect pie in minutes with canned pumpkin. Getty Images

Did you know the origin of your grandmother’s apple pie dates back to ancient Egypt? Egyptian bakers in 1,300 B.C. folded bread dough around nuts, honey and fruits in the form of today’s rustic tarts or galettes. These fillings were often used in reeds rather than dough, simply to hold the pie together as it cooked. The Greeks and Romans carried on the pie-making tradition by wrapping meat in a flour and water paste, according to the American Pie Council. Fast forward a couple thousand years and those primitive pastries evolved into the pies we know today. In honor of National Pie Day on Friday, stop by one of the locations below for a slice of free pie.

CALIFORNIA: Buy four mini pies from the Petaluma Pie Company store on Friday and get the fifth one free.

MASSACHUSETTS: Head over to the Beverly Public Library for a pie potluck and story swap with local storyteller Tony Toledo from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The potluck is open to all, just bring a homemade or store-bought pie (sweet or savory) to share.

MICHIGAN: All 15 locations of Grand Traverse Pie Co. will offer a free slice of apple or cherry crumb pie with any purchase.

NEW YORK: You could win a fresh pie from Little Pie Company by sharing a photo of one of their pies from their website or social media pages, along with the hashtag #LittlePieDay.

OHIO: Stop by Doughbox Bakery, located in the village of Archbold, for free samples and $1 discount on pies between 7 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. while supplies last.

TEXAS: Eat at Norma's Cafe in Dallas and get a free slice of pie.

If you feel like channelling your inner Betty Crocker, however, whip up a homemade pie from one of these scrumptious recipes:

Salted Caramel Pie

This was a winning pie in the 2012 American Pie Council National Pie Championships. Recipe courtesy of the American Pie Council via Matthew Zagorski of Arlington Heights, Illinois.


  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of Planters peanut butter, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 tablespoon of superfine sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the ingredients until they look like a paste, approximately 1 minute. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a deep dish pie pan with your hands. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the crust is no longer wet and the edges and center are lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.


  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter, preferably Planters
  • 1 cup of Cool Whip

Place the first 3 ingredients in a stand mixer and combine. Fold in the Cool Whip. Set aside.


  1. 8 oz. of Smucker’s Topping, Hot Caramel, divided
  2. 6 oz. of Planter’s Smooth Peanut Butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups of crushed Planter’s peanuts


  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar

In a stand mixer, whip the whipping cream and sugar to stiff peaks. Set aside. In the cooled peanut crust, place 1/2 of the Peanut Butter mousse. On top of the mousse, pour 4 oz of caramel. Place the pie into the refrigerator for a few minutes so that the caramel has a chance to harden. Once the caramel hardens, pour 3 oz. of peanut butter over the caramel and top with half of the crushed peanuts. Place the pie back into the refrigerator to harden. Once the pie has firmed up, repeat all of the layers and garnish the top with the whipped cream.

Deep-Dish Vegan Apple Pie

This pie is completely vegan, which means it contains no animal products including butter, eggs and milk. Recipe courtesy of the Food Network Kitchen.


  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • Fine salt
  • 1 cup of unrefined virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 8-10 tablespoons of ice water

Put the flour, sugar, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the coconut oil in small spoonfuls, and pulse until the largest pieces are pea-size. Add 8 tablespoons ice water, and pulse until evenly combined. Squeeze a handful of the dough together; it should just hold its shape. If the mixture is very powdery, pulse in an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water. Divide the dough between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap, pat each into a 1/2-inch thick discs and chill for at least 1 hour up to overnight.


  • 4 pounds of mixed apples (8 or 9), such as Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and McIntosh
  • 2/3 cup of vegan granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons of unrefined virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or apple-pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond or soy milk

Peel and core the apples; cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toss with the sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the firmer apples soften but hold their shape, about 12 minutes. Add the flour, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and stir to combine. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely. (The filling can be made up to 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.)


To make rolling easier, let the dough soften a bitit should be slightly soft when pressed at room temperature (this may take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen). Roll 1 disc of dough out into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface or between two pieces of floured parchment or wax paper. If the dough gets too warm, refrigerate it to firm it up. Ease the crust into a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan. Add the cooled filling, mounding it slightly in the center.

Roll out the remaining dough disc into a 12-inch round; place it over the filling, and press the 2 crusts together around the edges. Fold the overhanging dough under itself, and crimp as desired. Brush the top and edges with the almond milk, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Pierce the top with a knife (or make decorative cutouts) a few times to let steam escape. Chill for at least 1 hour. Position an oven rack in the lowest position in the oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit; preheat for at least 30 minutes. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet, and lower the oven to 375 degrees. Bake until the pie is golden and the filling is bubbly, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, rotating as needed. (Cover the edges with foil if they brown too quickly.) Transfer to a rack, and cool until set, about 3 hours.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

This pie is made with gluten-free ingredients. Recipe courtesy of the New York Times via Martha Rose Shulman.


  • 1 1/4 cups of corn flour or finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 1/3 cups of oat flour (make sure it is from a gluten-free facility)
  • 6 oz. of butter, preferably French style Plugrà
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 extra large + 2 teaspoons of beaten egg

Sift together the corn flour and the oat flour. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a rubber spatula, cream the butter and salt on medium speed for about 1 minute, taking care not to whip. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula and add the sugar. Combine with the butter at low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the almond flour and vanilla extract and combine at low speed. Gradually add the egg and one fourth of the flour mixture. Beat at low speed until just incorporated. Stop the machine and scrape down the bowl and the paddle. Gradually add the remaining flour and mix just until the dough comes together. Scrape the dough out of the bowl, weigh it and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Place each piece between sheets of plastic wrap and gently roll out to a 10-1/2 inch circle. Place on a sheet pan and refrigerate for 1 hour or (preferably) longer. Very lightly butter a 9-inch tart pan or pie dish (depending on the recipe you’ll be using this for). You should not be able to see the butter. Remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator, and if it is very stiff set it out for about 5 minutes, until it’s pliable. Ease the dough into 9-inch tart pan or pie dish. If the dough cracks, just pinch the cracked edges together. You do not have to worry with gluten-free dough about over working and stiffening the pastry, but try not to press the dough thinner in some places than in others.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the rack on the lowest setting. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and brush the pastry lightly with the beaten egg. Place in the oven and prebake 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of puréed roasted pumpkin or uncooked canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon of packed light brown sugar or raw light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ¼ cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of drained yogurt (or crème fraiche)

Combine the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, almond flour, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring with a heat-proof rubber spatula, until the mixture begins to sputter. Turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor fitted with the steel blade or to a bowl if using a hand blender. Add the eggs, milk, and yogurt and blend until thoroughly combined and the mixture is very smooth.


Scrape the purée into the pie shell. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean and the pie jiggles when gently shaken. It should not bake until it cracks. Remove from the heat and cool on a rack.