The Best Pie in Every State from Slideshow: The Best Pie in Every State
Slideshow: The Best Pie in Every State
The Best Pie in Every State
Pies are an important part of American culture, and they have been for centuries. Some say George Washington had a penchant for cherry pie, while Abraham Lincoln reportedly loved lemon custard pie. Ulysses S. Grant preferred Boston cream pie, while Barack Obama loves crustless coconut pie. The dessert has remained just as popular as the decades pass. According to the American Pie Council, about 700 million dollars in pies are sold in grocery stores every year, and about 36 million Americans say apple pie is their favorite variety. For 47 percent of us, the idea of pie brings the word “comforting” to mind.
To compile our list, we started by noting the few states that have designated official state pies; then we looked at official state fruits suitable for pies as well as non-official ones that certain states are famous for. Our list ranges from classics like apple, which is the state pie of Vermont, to Arizona's prickly pear, emblematic of the cactus that grows all over that state.
90 percent of Americans consider a slice of pie one of the simple pleasures in life, and who are we to disagree? The perfect pie crust is the key to a good pie so we’ve included the perfect pie crust recipe that can be adapted for most pie recipes. Read on and check out our list of the best pie in every state to see if your favorite dessert matches up with where you live.
Hayden Field helped contribute to this round-up.
Alabama: Buttermilk Pie
This custard-like pie is an iconic Southern specialty, so it makes sense that some of the best versions can be found in Alabama (probably in home kitchens where the instructions have been handed down from generation to generation). Ingredients include eggs, lemon juice, and freshly grated nutmeg.
Alaska: Raspberry Baked Alaska Pie
Arkansas: Chess Pie
California: Lemon Meringue Pie
Colorado: Rocky Road Pie
Rocky Road is a beloved ice cream flavor across America, but Colorado’s Rocky Mountains mean it truly belongs to this state. This pie, inspired by the ice cream flavor, is made with delicious ingredients like whipped topping, miniature marshmallows, chocolate pudding, and walnuts. Count us in.
Connecticut: Pumpkin Pie
This Thanksgiving favorite is a distinctly American treat that is fittingly matched with one of the first states settled. Ground nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon all go into the making of this classic pie, said to have been first introduced in the holiday setting in 1623 at the Pilgrims’ second Thanksgiving.
Delaware: Strawberry Shortcake Pie
Delaware is proud of the quality its strawberries — it's the state fruit — so you know the strawberry shortcake pie has got to be good. It’s made with ladyfingers and whipped topping, as well as fresh strawberries for best results.
Florida: Key Lime Pie
Key limes are grown in and are named for the Florida Keys, so this popular pie is most likely best made closest to the source of the beloved limes it celebrates. Along with Key limes, ingredients include graham cracker crumbs and sweetened condensed milk.
Georgia: Peach Pie
This pie is certainly representative of the Peach State, so we’re not sure who would make it better — especially during the summer months when peach season is at its height. Fresh peaches, lemon juice, and dark brown sugar all come into play in its classic recipe.
Hawaii: Coconut Cream Pie
Hawaii and coconuts go together like two peas in a pod (or two coconuts on a tree), and for that reason, the state’s coconut cream pie is definitely worth a taste. Sweetened flaked coconut, vanilla extract, and egg yolks enhance the recipe, and bakers can garnish the creation with toasted coconut.
Idaho: Rocky Mountain Pie
Indiana: Sugar Cream Pie
Indiana’s state pie is often nicknamed “Indiana sugar cream pie” or “Hoosier sugar cream pie.” It’s definitely worth a try if you travel to this state. Sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract play a part in the filling, which go into the flaky butter pie dough.
Iowa: Sour Cream and Raisin Pie
This typical Midwestern pie is popular in Iowa, even earning a featured spot in the newspaper Iowa Farmer Today. This is a great pie and the “raisins” can be substituted with anything from cranberries (as long as you soak them overnight) to blueberries…
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Louisiana: King Cake Pie
It’s no surprise that king cake pie represents Louisiana, as king cake itself has long been a Mardi Gras staple and tradition, inspired by the three wise men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus in the Christian nativity story. A plastic baby is baked into the cake, and whoever receives the slice with it inside must either purchase the next king cake or host the next party. Most recipes for the pie don’t include a plastic baby, but we don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t bake one inside and delight whoever receives the lucky piece.
Maine: Blueberry Pie
Maine has more wild blueberries than any other state, with 60,000 acres of fields, so it’s fitting that practically every eatery there swears by its own version of blueberry pie. Along with the typical players — flour, sugar, and butter — the recipe includes lemon juice and, of course, fresh wild blueberries.
Maryland: Baltimore Bomb Pie
Berger cookies are key in the recipe for the classic and beloved Baltimore Bomb pie, which also includes cornmeal, vinegar, and vanilla in the recipe. You can make this pie with other types of cookies, but for it to be a true Baltimore Bomb, Bergers are a must.
Massachusetts: Boston Cream Pie
Many argue that Boston cream pie is more like a cake than a pie, but its classic Boston roots earn it a place here. The Omni Parker House Hotel in downtown Boston claims to be the original home of the dessert, which was created at the hotel’s restaurant in 1856 by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian. The ganache is made from heavy cream and semisweet chocolate, and the pastry cream filling calls for vanilla bean and granulated sugar.
Michigan: Cherry Pie
Michigan leads the United States as far as tart cherries go, producing 70 to 75 percent of the nation’s harvest of the fruit annually, so it’s only natural that cherry pie serves to represent this state. Four cups of the fruit usually go into the making of cherry pie. The recipe also often calls for almond extract and butter.
Minnesota: Cream Pie
FourSquare rates Magnolias Restaurant in St. Paul as one of the best places for pie in the city, and a standout menu item there is the cream pie. Cream pies aren’t too challenging to make and usually take about an hour to prepare. Variations include banana, coconut, butterscotch, and peanut butter.
Mississippi: Mississippi Mud Pie
Mississippi mud pie gets its name from its dense chocolate said to resemble the silty banks of the Mississippi River. Chocolate graham crackers and chopped pecans go into the crust, and coffee-flavored liqueur, vanilla extract, and unsweetened chocolate help make up the filling.
Montana: Huckleberry Pie
Montana is especially proud of its huckleberries — and why shouldn’t it be? These delicious fruits may be effective in reducing inflammation, as well as lowering blood sugar and cholesterol. The filling for huckleberry pie is usually made with six cups of huckleberries, plus orange zest, tapioca, orange juice, and egg.
Nebraska: Apple-Cranberry Walnut Pie
This Midwestern favorite is made with ground cinnamon, chopped walnuts, cranberries, and tart cooking apples. It jazzes up our classic apple pie perfectly, because let’s be honest, it’s getting a little predictable.
Nevada: Pomegranate Pie
New Hampshire: Maple Syrup Pie
The maple syrup industry in New Hampshire produces close to 90,000 gallons annually, and what better way to celebrate it than with a tasty pie? But in New Hampshire there has to be some nod to a healthy lifestyle, so we went with a paleo recipe to best suit this earthy state.
New Jersey: Sweet Green Tomato Pie
New Jersey comes in eighth in the nation as far as tomato production, bringing in $38.1 million from the crop, but its tomatoes are famous all over the Eastern Seaboard. The recipe for sweet green tomato pie calls for cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and four cups of green tomatoes.
New Mexico: Green Chile Apple Pie
The cuisine of New Mexico has been influenced by Mexico, as is apparent by the frequent use of green chiles in popular dishes. It makes sense, then, that green chile apple pie is representative of the state. The recipe calls for half a cup of green chiles, Granny Smith apples, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sharp Cheddar.
New York: Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake Pie
Do we even have to explain this one? It’s an indisputable fact that New Yorkers run on coffee, and what goes better with coffee than your trusted street vendor’s hot cinnamon roll. This recipe is gluten-free because if you don’t have a diet restriction and don’t wear black in New York, you’re clearly in the wrong place.
North Carolina: Scuppernong Pie
Scuppernongs are a large variety of muscadine, a grape most often found in the South. The grape is also known as North Carolina’s official state fruit. This pie’s recipe calls for about two pounds of scuppernongs, as well as butter, sugar, and lemon juice.
North Dakota: Chokecherry Pie
North Dakota’s official state fruit is the chokecherry, a juicy red fruit commonly grown across the state. It’s so beloved that there’s even an annual North Dakota Chokecherry Festival (the 2016 event is in August). Chokecherry pie’s ingredients include chokecherry juice, cornstarch, and almond extract.
Ohio: Buckeye Pie
The buckeye, which is the official state tree of Ohio, gets its name from its supposed resemblance to a deer’s eye, and the tree's nuts are said to bring luck to those who carry them. The nuts themselves are poisonous, but people in the Buckeye State are buckeye-mad — the Ohio State University’s wildly popular football team is the Buckeyes, and there’s even a confection made with chocolate and peanut butter inspired by the appearance of the tree’s nuts. Buckeye pie, which is a spinoff of the confection, is made with crushed chocolate graham crackers, creamy peanut butter, dark brown sugar, and chopped semisweet chocolate.
Oklahoma: Strawberry Pie
A state that loves strawberries so much it claimed them as its official state fruit certainly deserves to be represented by strawberry pie in our comprehensive list. Fresh strawberries and strawberry gelatin are the key ingredients, while fresh mint is an optional one.
Oregon: Blackberry Pie
Since 65 percent of the blackberries cultivated in the United States are cultivated in Oregon, it’s only natural that the best blackberry pie can be found there. The recipe calls for four cups of fresh blackberries, as well as pie necessities like flour, milk, and sugar.
Pennsylvania: Shoo-Fly Pie
This pie most likely gets its name from the flies that are attracted to the sweet and sticky molasses and must be “shooed” away. It comes from Dutch farm wives in Pennsylvania making do with the larder’s late-winter contents, usually including lard, flour, and molasses. Other ingredients include egg and brown sugar.
Rhode Island: Coconut Custard Pie
Wayland Bakery in Providence, a family-owned bakery open since 1928, prides itself on its beloved coconut custard pie. The custard is celebrated by many, the filling is creamy, and the toasted coconut flavor is why pie enthusiasts keep on ordering it.
South Carolina: Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potatoes are popular all over the South, but the fact that over 27,000 people attend the annual South Carolina Sweet Potato Festival speaks volumes as to why sweet potato pie belongs to this state in particular. Included in the recipe are mashed sweet potatoes, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
South Dakota: Sorghum Buttermilk Pie
One of South Dakota’s well-known crops is sorghum, a plant in the grass family from which a molasses-like syrup is made, and it’s celebrated in this pie’s recipe. Ingredients include granulated sugar, eggs, and, of course, buttermilk and sorghum.
Tennessee: Tennessee Whiskey-Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is a Southern staple, but Tennessee takes that and adds some of the state’s signature whiskey to it. Along with pecans, buttermilk, dark corn syrup, brown sugar, and cornmeal, this recipe includes one-fourth of a cup of Tennessee whiskey. Cheers.
Texas: Sparkling Grapefruit Pie
The Texas red grapefruit is the state’s official fruit, so it only makes sense that sparkling grapefruit pie would represent the country’s second largest state. Included in the recipe are grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and, sometimes, strawberry Jell-O.
Utah: Cherry Rhubarb Pie
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Vermont: Apple Pie
Apple pie is a nationwide classic, preferred by one in five Americans, but it has also been Vermont’s official state pie since 1999. This iconic dessert was the first fruit pie ever mentioned in print — in 1590. In Arcadia, Robert Green wrote, “Thy breath is like the steame of apple-pyes.” Sounds like a compliment to us. Lemon juice, baking apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg all go into the recipe.
Virginia: Peanut Butter Pie
Virginia is serious about peanuts, especially its own type — Virginia peanuts are some of the largest in the nation and are said to have a unique taste. If you have any on hand, try making peanut butter pie, which also includes ingredients like chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, cream cheese, and graham cracker crust.
Washington: Loganberry Pie
Loganberries, similar to blackberries, are often used in jelly, pies, and wines. One of the states they thrive in is Washington, so when you’re next there, think about trying a hearty slice of loganberry pie. Ingredients include cinnamon, sugar, and four cups of loganberries.
West Virginia: Pawpaw Pie
Wisconsin: Cranberry Pie
Not only is the cranberry Wisconsin’s official state fruit, but the state produces 57 percent of the nation’s cranberries, making it the perfect place in which to taste a fresh cranberry pie. Most recipes call for cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries, as well as lemon and orange zest.
Wyoming: Salted Honey Pie
Honey is one of Wyoming’s larger commodities, and salted honey pie is a delicious dessert you definitely shouldn’t pass up when visiting. If you've still got itchy feet, and want to satiate your sweet tooth a little more — look out for the 25 best dessert trucks in America.