Favorite Pies for Each U.S. State – and Tips to Make Them!

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By Jill Brooke

 

Before we break down state by state the nation’s favorite pies in honor of National Pi Day, we want to share the decorating tips of the talented Helen Nugent who is the author of “Pie Style  s

Nugent’s floral embellishments are pieces of art. So how does she do it? After all, Pi is about math and you need to apply those skills for any baking success. It’s not only measurements but following directions.

1)Freeze the Pie Before Baking 

“One of the questions I’m asked most often is how I get my pie decorations to keep their shape in the oven,” she says. “The answer is simple. Freeze the pie before you bake it. The freezing process does a couple of things. First, it allows your pie dough (and glutens) to relax so decorations are less likely to shrink and more likely to behave when they hit the heat.”

2) Put the Frozen Decorations in the Oven Frozen

Her next tip is when you put the frozen pie decorations in the oven, the heat goes to work right away, “setting the dough as it defrosts and before the decorations have a chance to distort.”

3) Observe How Pie Is Baking for Needed Help

“Now that doesn’t mean you can throw a highly decorated pie in the oven and walk away,” she counsels. “These lovelies demand your attention.” Especially for the delicate petals. 

4) Sometimes Bake Delicate Flowers Separately and then Put on Pie

Sometimes, she says, you have to remove the flowers from the pie, freeze them and begin baking them separately on a cookie sheet.  She adds them to the oven 20 minutes into the pie bakes. 

 “Once they had set and begun to brown, I dabbed a bit of egg wash on the bottom of each, reattached them to the pie and continued to bake,” says Nugent. A bit more of effort but certainly worth it. 

5) For Coloring for Petals, Try Tumeric – Plus it’s Good For You 

And how did she get the sunflowers, the flower of the moment, to be yellow? She mixed turmeric with water and brushed it on. Smart right? 

Instacart

Now as far as what are the favorite pies throughout the nation – one has to dig deeper, as one does in the garden. 

Yes, apple pie is the runaway hit. But there’s also a reason for that preference. Apples, unlike peaches, raspberries and cherries are more expensive. Plus, pecan and pumpkin are often linked with the fall holidays though I love eating those pies all year round. What can I say? Many of us are traditionalists and I’m just a girl with a sweet tooth. 

This study was done by Instacart which is a leading on line grocery platform in North America partnering with 700 national, regional and local retailers. They have data from over 3.6 million pie sales – which is a lot of pie data indeed. Here are the results. 

A look at every state’s most uniquely popular pie flavor

  • Alabama – Key Lime Pie
  • Alaska – Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Arizona – Pumpkin Pie
  • Arkansas – Chocolate Pie
  • California – Pumpkin Pie
  • Colorado – Peach Pie
  • Connecticut – Apple Pie
  • Delaware – Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Florida – Key Lime Pie
  • Georgia – Sweet Potato Pie
  • Hawaii – Pumpkin Pie
  • Idaho – Pumpkin Pie
  • Illinois – Cherry Pie
  • Indiana – Cherry Pie
  • Iowa – Cherry Pie
  • Kansas – Cherry Pie
  • Kentucky – Cherry Pie
  • Louisiana – Pecan Pie
  • Maine – Blueberry Pie
  • Maryland – Apple Pie
  • Massachusetts – Blueberry Pie
  • Michigan – Cherry Pie
  • Minnesota – Banana Cream Pie
  • Mississippi – Pecan Pie
  • Missouri – Cherry Pie
  • Montana – Pumpkin Pie
  • Nebraska – Apple Pie
  • Nevada – Pumpkin Pie
  • New Hampshire – Blueberry Pie
  • New Jersey – Boston Cream Pie
  • New Mexico – Pumpkin PIe
  • New York – Boston Cream Pie
  • North Carolina – Pecan Pie
  • North Dakota – Banana Cream Pie
  • Ohio – Cherry Pie
  • Oklahoma – Cherry Pie
  • Oregon – Marionberry Pie
  • Pennsylvania – Apple Pie
  • Rhode Island – Blueberry Pie
  • South Carolina – Key Lime Pie
  • South Dakota – Pumpkin Pie
  • Tennessee – Pecan Pie
  • Texas – Pecan Pie
  • Utah – Pumpkin Pie
  • Vermont – Chocolate Pie
  • Virginia – Chocolate Pie
  • Washington – Marionberry Pie
  • Washington, D.C. – Apple Pie
  • West Virginia – Cherry Pie
  • Wisconsin – Cherry Pie
  • Wyoming – Peach Pie

Pie beg your pardon? Here’s a closer look at the findings:

  • This isn’t piti-ful. Cherry pie is the top flavor in 11 states.
  • Go big or gourd home. Pumpkin pie takes second place as the top pie in 9 states, primarily on the West Coast.
  • You want a piece of me? Connecticut, Maryland, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. purchased Apple pies more often than anywhere else in the U.S. — you can’t beat a classic.
  • Yes, pe-can. Tying with Apple pie for 5 states, Pecan pie is a beloved choice in the South, coming out on top in Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
  • Blueberry bliss. Wild blueberries are native to Maine, so it’s no surprise Blueberry pie takes the top spot in The Polar Star State, alongside neighboring Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
  • Key lime and feeling fine. Surprise, surprise — you didn’t need Instacart to tell you Key Lime pie is the #1 most uniquely popular pie in Florida! South Carolina and Alabama are also in favor. 
  • Choc it up. Tying in popularity with Key Lime, Arkansas, Vermont, and Virginia are the 3 states who crave indulgent Chocolate pie the most.
  • Two-for…five? These five pies are the most uniquely popular flavors in two states each:
    • Banana Cream pie: Minnesota and North Dakota have gone bananas. 
    • Boston Cream pie: New Jersey and New York… would New York sports fans be upset about this one?
    • Lemon Meringue pie: Alaska and Delaware — we wouldn’t have guessed! 
    • Marionberry pie: Oregon and Washington are keeping it local with this beloved berry. 
    • Peach pie: Colorado and Wyoming, you’re a peach. 
  • Not as sweet as a Georgia peach. Georgia stepped away from its homeland fruit as the only state favoring Sweet Potato pie.

Although sweet pies do make us happy, Nugent points out that savory pies can also be used as a main course. In fact, in her book, she has recipes for Easter pies filled with ham and cheese as well as quiches for a brunch, all decorated of course, with spring flowers. Furthermore, for St. Patrick’s Day, consider using a leaf motif. After all, we always need a little luck in the kitchen as well as in all parts of life.

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD and floral editor for Aspire Design and Home magazine and contributor to Florists Review magazine. 

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