July 20, 2019 | 78° F

Appreciate classic American dessert on National Pie Day

Photo by Cassie McTighe |

It's hard to name a dessert as sweet, iconic and American as pie, yet the classic dish tends to be overshadowed by other sweets and only served on special occasions such as Thanksgiving. Luckily, Jan. 23 is National Pie Day, a holiday created simply for celebrating the quintessential American dish. The “pie” part of pie day often takes on a number of meanings: Pie obviously can refer to a delicious dessert, or a savory dinner or a mathematical constant (pi). Because of this, there are multiple ways in which you can participate in the festivities. A pie by any other name would smell as sweet (unless it’s pi). 

So whether you’re seeking a delectable blueberry crumble dish, a gooey slice of cheesy, tomato-y goodness or a math problem, you’re in luck. 

Bake a pie

Pies aren’t as easy to find in the wintertime. You can’t heat up a slice of your grandmother’s luscious leftover Thanksgiving apple pie to celebrate. You can’t prance over to your favorite orchard and pick one up that's been baked with perfectly in-season fruits. Grocery stores sometimes have a pie selection, but they never capture the feeling and taste of something homemade. 

You don’t have to let your dreams be dreams — you can very easily bake yourself a nice pie that’ll taste just as lovely and enticing as it will smell in your kitchen. 

Pie filling options are as vast as they are luscious, so part of the challenge with pie-crafting is picking your filling. Cherry, obviously, is a solid decision. In “Paparazzi,” Lady Gaga once crooned, “loving you is cherry pie.” Lady Gaga thinks cherry pies are amazing and you may think so, too. Other simple and delicious choices include apple, blueberry and strawberry rhubarb.

If it’s from scratch, you will need several hours to craft a pie. You’ll have to forge floury, buttery dough into crust, which, though seemingly daunting, is quite simple. But then you must crimp it, mix up and pour in a filling of your choice, top it with more crust and bake for a little under one hour. It can be a time-consuming project, but it is a rewarding one. 

Follow your favorite recipes, pie crust, fillings and all, until you find yourself with a golden crust containing something berry delicious inside.

Pop over to a New Brunswick-based restaurant

If making a pie is not something you’d like to try, or if you don’t have access to a kitchen, dining out is a fun option. You don’t need to go crazy and break the bank, though — you can always go out for a modest dinner Old Man Rafferty’s and top off your meal with a lovely pie slice. The restaurant has a tempting display case full of mouthwatering choices. A few top picks include cherry crumb, pecan and blueberry crumb pies, and a slice will only set you back $6.45. 

Order a pizza pie

If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, National Pie Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in the greasy goodness that is pizza. If not now, when? And New Brunswick, like all of New Jersey, is home to a plethora of pizza places that serve up good slices — standout shops include Daniel’s Pizza, PJ’s Grill and Pizza and Krispy Pizza. Also, who doesn’t enjoy delivery from the classic Italian restaurant, Domino’s? That’s amore.

Grind out a math problem

Just kidding — unless you actually have pre-calc homework that you need to work on. You should always do your pre-calc homework. 

Pie day may mean one thing for lovers of delicious desserts and savory dinners, and another for math majors, but regardless, it surely is a good day to get your pie on.

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