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National Pie Day

National Pie Day — the holiday so nice we celebrate it twice. The dates for National Pie Day are December 1st, and January 23rd, and this observance (both dates) is not to be confused with the math-related National Pi Day which falls on March 14th. You can eat pie on PI day, but that’s another topic for a different article.

The Next National Pie Days will be observed on Friday, December 1, 2023 and Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

National Pie Day

National Pie Day Origins

The origins of pie itself include the notion that among the earliest pies (at least in the historic record) the Roman goat-cheese-honey-and-rye might take the prize for being first. Opinions may vary but we know that pies are at least two thousand years old.

Many food-related informal holidays have no real origin story–some were created in a board room somewhere by a marketing hack, others simply started appearing and nobody knows how or why we celebrate them. But National Pie Day does have a (very brief) origin story.

The January 23rd version of National Pie Day is said to have come into being when a Colorado school teacher named Charlie Papazian declared to his students that his birthday should be known as National Pie Day.

And that’s basically the beginning and end of the story. Except that National Pie Day was adopted by the American Pie Council (yes, such an entity actually exists) and in 2014 another agency called the American Pie Council is said to have partnered with Paramount Pictures to promote a film, Labor Day, which features a pie-making scene. The movie was released a few days ahead of National Pie Day.

Celebrating National Pie Day

It’s not a national holiday, so National Pie Day won’t bring a day off or big celebrations. But you will find retailers of all kinds offering deals, discounts, and promotions–and not necessarily just for dessert pies, either.

It pays to remember on National Pie Day that pizzas, Shepherd’s pie, steak pies, hand pies, and many other types of food that technically fall under the pie banner may all be on sale on December 1 or January 23.

Retailers who have offered bargains, promo codes, freebies, or discounts on National Pie Day in the past include:

  • Baker’s Square
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Eckert’s Farm
  • Domino’s
  • Marie Callender’s
  • Perkins
  • Red Robin
  • Village Inn

Make A Pie For National Pie Day

One of the best ways to celebrate National Pie Day is to try making your own pie, whether that’s a pizza, an apple pie, chocolate pie, chicken pot pie, or even something pie-adjacent like an empanada or samosa pie.

There are plenty of recipes out there but one of the most important aspects of a homemade pie? The crust. You can learn how to make fancy preparations like fluted pie crust, you can learn how to make a vegetarian or vegan-friendly pie, or you can take your existing pie-making expertise and teach the rest of the family how to do it.

When making your pie, it’s key to handle the dough as little as possible, to keep the dough refrigerated between steps of the process, and to provide appropriate ventilation to the crust where appropriate.

Some pies are best served hot, some are best served cold, but all pies will have an issue with soggy crust if not properly stored and eaten in a timely manner. Depending on the filling of your pie it may last in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Try one of these pie recipes to celebrate National Pie Day:

Monique McArthur
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