Celebrating National Pie Day

Happy National Pie Day! The American Pie Council has a list of events happening throughout the country today to celebrate this very American holiday. Looking for a more local way to celebrate? Boston’s Omni Parker House, the hotel that claims to have created the Boston cream pie, will be giving away free pies today starting at 4 p.m.

Pies have been making a resurgence in popularity recently. Though cakes and cupcakes have been dominating the dessert scene for quite some time, many bakers and pastry chefs have predicted that 2011 may be the year pie makes a comeback.

In the Boston Globe’s Jan. 19 article “What trends are chefs seeing in the area?”,  Bistro du Midi pastry chef Sarah Ewald declared small pies to be the new “it” dessert:

I have noticed whereas cupcakes were the big thing a few years ago, small pies are now.

But pies aren’t just a Boston thing. The Cleveland site of local content network website Examiner.com announced that pies – both big and small – were the #2 dessert trend for 2011 according to places like the Center for Culinary Development.

All of this talk of pie as the new trendy dessert has left many feeling free to attack cupcakes as a fad that has been overdone and needs to die.

In fact, NPR’s Bonny Wolf recently admitted she makes a yearly prediction of the death of the cupcake. This year, she said, pie will prove to be a real challenger to the cupcake. The New York Times had a feature back in November chronicling the rise of pie’s newfound popularity, and how bakers, especially in New York City and San Francisco, are innovating the old diner standby.

Perhaps the new pie craze will result in less demand for cupcakes. Maybe pie shops will edge out some of the cupcakeries that seem to be popping up everywhere. But Jessie Oleson of Cakespy believes that isn’t such a bad thing, writing:

…undoubtedly, the ubiquity of cupcakes will falter. Like the cookie shop fad that started with Mrs. Fields in the 1970s but began to fizzle with the recession of the 80’s, this cupcake shop phenomenon is bound to have an arc. The weak will not survive, but maybe we don’t want them to (because there’s no bigger bummer than a bad cupcake).

Hopefully the reemergence of pie will mean more competition in the bakery world, which is a good thing for lovers of all baked goods.

Photo (cc) by mackenziephoto under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

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