There are a lot of divisive food topics in this world. When times were simple (as in, before Twitter unleashed a fusillade of food feuds), it was "potayto" versus "potahto."There's the whole pineapple-on-pizza debate, arguments between mega chains on who has the best fried chicken sandwich and then more tame discussions on whether a certain allium is called a green onion, scallion or spring onion.
But the one thing we can all agree upon (unless our collective humanity has been completely led astray) is that pie is a wonderful thing. I'm not saying we have to agree upon every type of pie. You can be partial to fruit pies with crumble toppings and reserve a quiet disdain for Key lime. You can remain forever devoted to a moist, custardy sweet potato pie or go for the most decadent, chocolaty pie every time. Whichever pie speaks to you is wonderful, but let's let pie bring us closer. (Unless, of course, you'd like to debate whether it's "PEA-can" or "puh-CON.")
Pie, in general, is a peacemaker. It's a symbol of coming together over a table with two forks, whether it be in a classic American film or in real life. It's a beacon of light behind the diner counter and a reminder, to many, of someone special. Pie is something to share with the people we love and a reason to let go of the things we don't.
In honor of this timeless, feel-good dessert, here are some of our favorite pie recipes that are bound to inspire a warm, glow inside. Life can be hard. So bake, sit back and let pie work its wonders.
All kinds of fruit pies
Marcela Valladolid's apple pie recipe is scented with cinnamon and decorated with leaf designs. Top it with a little vanilla ice cream when it's fresh out of the oven for ultimate results.
Honey-balsamic blueberry pie might sound unexpected but it's supremely sensational! A touch of tangy balsamic vinegar combined with honey, cinnamon and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper magnifies the sweetness of the blueberries.
Key lime pies are an iconic American dessert, but they're not always so easy to make. They've got to be decadent but light, cool and creamy … and this one has it all!
Sunny Anderson's gorgeous, picture-book pie is so easy and fresh. One of the best parts is that you never even have to turn on the oven to enjoy the treat.
What's better than baking a fresh pie crust and filling it with fresh fruit and ice cream? It's simple and nostalgic. Alex Guarnaschelli recommends store-bought or homemade strawberry ice cream with a drizzle of aged or reduced balsamic vinegar for some grown-up acidity.
Individual apple pies topped with golden, flaky crust are the perfect finale for a cozy dinner. Store-bought puff pastry (all butter, please!) makes them easy and a boozy apple filling makes them feel gourmet.
These hand pies are packed with a sweet cherry and goat cheese filling and topped off with a savory salt-pepper-sugar coating. The filling is made using both frozen and dried cherries, which adds a complexity of texture and tartness.
Soft apples, caramel and buttery homemade pastry: What could be better?
This is the ultimate hybrid! A combination of banana and toffee makes one incredible pie, especially when topped with heaps of whipped cream and luscious caramel.
This is slab pie, meant to feed a crowd and usually a rustic affair, is beautiful inside and out. And the beautiful lattice on top of the pie is a showstopper.
"This is my daddy's absolutely favorite recipe," says Jocelyn Delk Adams. "I make it for my family several times a year. The raspberry twist was something I added to bring in color and fun to the recipe."
There isn't a soul that doesn't love a good slice of classic apple pie. Making an apple pie very well is the difference between a good baker and a great baker; this pie will help you remain great.
This classic Southern dessert is one that's dressed to impress. Piled-high, cloud-like meringue floats over a well-balanced, zesty layer of lemon custard.
An easy, no-bake pudding pie is almost simple enough for kids to make on their own! From the beginning to end, this recipe is perfect a perfect dish to enjoy the weather as it warms and is always fun for kids to help in the kitchen.
Dewberries are a really popular berry in Texas and are used in this apple pie for a sweeter, moist combination that oozes with flavor.
Wild blueberries not only help reduce inflammation and boost memory, but they are also the most radiantly hued blueberry. Typically smaller in size, they are often wonderfully sweet and look gorgeous piled into pie filling.
The secret to this amazingly easy lemon meringue pie is to use sour cream to make a forgiving pie dough that bakes into a flaky pie crust.
Can't decide between blueberry and apple pie? Have both in one! Juicy blueberries and crisp apples make this the perfect pie to serve for any celebration.
Cool down with this refreshing and ultra easy frozen berry cream pie that highlights the beauty of plump strawberries and raspberries.
"This recipe is a total throwback to the first time I went to Hawaii with my wife and we had traditional lilikoi chiffon pie," says Ryan Scott. "I just fell in love with the amazingly light and creamy texture of the filling with the tangy-sweet flavor of the passion fruit."
With five ingredients, a grill and a lattice topping, Sunny Anderson makes life feel a little sunnier with her gorgeous apple pie recipe.
"This was the first pie recipe I ever made, and it has been my favorite to make ever since," says "Pie Lady" Stephanie Hockersmith. "This is my award-winner; the flavors of this filling are so layered and delicious."
This recipe is great because it has the flavor of Key lime pie without having to squeeze all those tiny limes. Plus, we love anything topped with meringue!
"When I was growing up, my family made apple pie and, without fail, my mother would melt a piece of American cheese over the top before serving it à la mode," says Angie Mar. "As strange as it sounds, I loved the interplay of the sweet-tart-molten-frozen elements, and it inspires me to this day."
A classic slab pie is also known as a crust-lover's pie because the filling is fairly thin — it's like a giant Pop-Tart.
Creamy, chocolaty and caramelly pies
Anyone who loves a sliver of saltiness in their desserts will flip for this gorgeously gooey pie. With rich ingredients like espresso and cocoa all swirled together a brown sugar-based caramel sauce, it will have you slicing up seconds.
Love brownies? How about pie? Peanut butter cups? Indulge in all three with this irresistible pie that swaps out traditional pie crust for a thick, chewy brownie bottom.
Make Giada's gooey-yet-crunchy chocolate caramel pie (really, a multi-textural work of art) right now to transport yourself to food heaven.
This amazing, eye-catching pie will be sure to have guests asking if they can have s'more. It incorporates all the elements of the classic campfire treat into a rich, decadent pie that's impossible to resist.
A chocolate crust makes this creamy and rich pie ultra chocolaty. It's definitely a crowd-pleaser for the folks who lean towards flourless chocolate cake.
This devil's chocolate cream pie is an insanely smooth and rich treat with meringue on top and an Oreo cookie crust. In the middle, there's a creamy peanut butter layer, which can be swapped for a strawberry flavor.
With it's crispy cookie crust and airy filling, we can't get enough of this coconut-chocolate cream pie. The perfect finishing touches are toasted coconut and a chopped up Mounds bar.
This is a wonderful dessert recipe for classic diner-style chocolate pie. The secret ingredient: A few spoonfuls of chocolate malt Ovaltine, which adds to the old-fashioned appeal.
Satisfy all your sweet cravings with this decadent dessert pie that combines brownies, cheesecake, caramel and chunks of Milky Way candy bars into one creamy, dreamy recipe.
Combine rich, creamy chocolaty flavor with the cool, crisp taste of mint in this easy to prepare, delicious and crowd-pleasing pie.
This pie, an ode to a classic flavor combo, couldn't be simpler to make. Whether it's eaten warm out of the oven or cold the next morning for breakfast, your family and friends go crazy for it.
"Cane syrup is a Louisiana staple. It's typically thicker than maple syrup, more like molasses, and it's what we always had on pancakes and waffles growing up," says Isaac Toups. "My grandmother used to make these sweet hand pies and they were always my favorite dessert."
This recipe is a showstopper. People are amazed by its beauty and inventiveness. It looks great, tastes great and is a fun one to make with the kids on a rainy day.
"I'm obsessed with coconut," says Ryan Scott. "Coconut cookies, coconut brownies ... anywhere there are baked goods with coconut in them, chances are you will find me."
This chocolaty, minty, sweet and seasonal cookie pie is the perfect sweet treat to serve for the holidays. It's fun, unexpected and adds festive flair to any celebration.
Pumpkin, pecan and sweet potato pies
Patti LaBelle's famous sweet potato pie has a thin layer of brown sugar on the bottom crust. This "black bottom" doesn't just add flavor, it also helps keep the filling from making the crust soggy. The end result is a luscious pie as smooth as LaBelle's voice.
Adding Chinese five-spice powder to the pumpkin pie filling may seem unorthodox, but two of its components (cinnamon and clove) can already be found in standard pumpkin-pie spice. The dramatic crust is delightfully easy to create.
Delk Adams' recipe is full of indulgent flavors with an extra dose of everyone's favorite campfire treat: s'mores! Sweet potato is a go-to for so many and this is truly a dream dish for pie lovers.
The answer to creating a less cloyingly sweet filling was simple — paht! The red bean paste is far less sugar-y than the typical custard-like filling of a traditional pecan pie and binds the fragrant ingredients together beautifully.
This recipe is easy and it can be made in advance so you have more time to spend with your family on Thanksgiving Day — or any other celebratory day!
The pronunciation of pecan pie is always a little different depending on what the region of the country you come from. But, no matter how you say it, we can all agree that a sweet pecan pie with a perfectly flaky crust is always a special treat.
Talk about a crowd-pleaser! This is a fun recipe that will please everyone, even the pickiest people, on holidays and special occasions. You can have three different flavors of pie all in one, so everyone is satisfied.
This pie is an interpretation of a beloved classic, rich in chocolate filling with nutty undertones from the pecans and sweetened coconut flakes. In other words, it's an absolute dream.
Sweet potatoes and plantains are a match made in dessert heaven, and Maya-Camille Broussard's pie is proof. This recipe will become a staple for special occasions.
This recipe is like having the most delicious cloud of pumpkin pie. It's light and fluffy yet with all the deep flavors of the heavier classic version. Exactly what you want after eating an indulgent meal (or for breakfast depending on what kind of day it is).
If you've never had pecan pie without the chocolate, prepare to have an epiphany. The chocolate chips and bourbon are a lagniappe, a Louisiana term for a little extra surprise.
Every element of this decadent dish is evocative of s'mores (minus the chocolate), yet the flavor is so sophisticated. It's like creating the campfire classic for adults to enjoy.
Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without this classic on the table at the end of the meal.
This is a recipe that dates back to the 1670s. It's a pumpkin and apple pie hybrid using wine. It's definitely different from a modern recipe, but its old-world charm and seasonal flavors make it a timeless dessert.