Why I Hate Pumpkin Pie

published Nov 22, 2016
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Confession: I hate pumpkin pie. It feels crazy to admit this because, like Star Wars and Fitbits, pumpkin pie has so many die-hard fans. And I want to like it, I really do, but store-bought or homemade, I’ve been consistently underwhelmed with every bite.

It’s not welcoming like a slice of warm apple pie, or impressive like a proud, browned lemon meringue peak. It’s just there, inert on my plate like a bored cat. Key lime pie has tang; pecan pie has warm sweetness; pumpkin pie is basically baby food in a pie crust.

Because I didn’t grow up eating pumpkin pie as a kid, my expectations were sky-high the first time I dragged my fork through a slice. With the explosion of pumpkin pie-flavored, well, everything, I figured it must be a rapturous experience — right?

Wrong. My little slice was mushy and cold. Sure, there were traces of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice — the classic pumpkin pie spice mix — but it didn’t blow my hair back. “Circle of Life” didn’t start playing in my head and angels didn’t sing. I didn’t even finish my plate.

Why do I hate it so? Here are five (very scientific) reasons why pumpkin pie is the worst.

1. There’s nothing fresh about it.

I associate pies with seasons. They should be a celebration of the season’s harvest! There’s apple pie in the fall, and blueberry, cherry, and peach pie in the summer.

While pumpkins are autumnal, most pumpkin pies are devoid of anything seasonal and fresh. They’re made with canned pumpkin, which tastes as fresh as instant pudding — which is to say not fresh at all.

2. Canned pumpkin is a ruse.

Hold onto your hats, but canned pumpkin is actually made with squash. That pumpkin on the front of the can is a lie. Pumpkin pie is basically a pan of over-hyped squash custard.

3. The crust is never great.

Maybe I’ve been eating the wrong pumpkin pie, but I’ve never lost my mind over pumpkin pie crust. It’s usually a standard flaky affair; gummy underneath and a crumbly, flavorless bore up top. It’s useless as a flavor component and not as interesting as, say, a well-executed lattice or deep-dish crust.

4. It’s redundant.

Didn’t we just dig into a huge pile of sweet potatoes a half hour ago during the Thanksgiving meal? Why are we digging into the exact same flavor profile half a Spotify playlist later during dessert?

5. It’s bland.

Sorry, guys. I know some of you go bonkers for pumpkin-spice flavored products, but pumpkin pie doesn’t have too much flavor — just a jumble of baking spices suspended in a dense glob.

So, even though I know it’s borderline heretical, next time someone offers me a slice, I’ll politely decline and ask for a slice of anything else instead.

Do you hate pumpkin pie, too? Or maybe you have a recipe that will change my mind?