Besides the soothing cooking method, pies filled with seasonal ingredients add to their ubiquitous autumnality. Yes, pies are so autumnal that we have just invented that word to make it work. Through a highly unscientific method, we have scoured the depths of the Internet looking for the most autumnally inspired pies. In doing so, trends started to appear.
To help make sense of all the different recipes billed as "Fall Pies," we've created this handy Fall Pie Pie Chart to guide you. As expected, apple pie is the most popular by far. Anyone with a farm-share will tell you that apples abound in the Fall months, and making America's favorite pie is a simple way to use up your bounty. (That is, until William-Sonoma starts selling counter-top cider mills).
Pumpkin pie came in second in our survey for this time of year (probably because of the importance of Thanksgiving), followed by the biggest surprise in the lot—pears. For the purposes of this data, we've considered tarts in the same lot as pie, which explains the bottom-heavy fruit's strong showing. Next came pecan pie (thanks, Thanksgiving) and sweet potato pie (which tastes an awful lot like pumpkin pie, if done properly). Our stragglers rounding out the top picks brought about a bit of confusion. Cherry pie made the list, even though cherries are not a fall fruit (good job, Internet!). We also saw assorted nut pies—though that excludes pecan—and peanut butter pies (which don't have a season at all). Finally, raisin pie barely made the list.
A quick note on cranberries: Many of the recipes we examined contained cranberries in addition to one of the other fruits. Cranberries are of course a beloved autumnal fruit, but they are just too bitter and fragile to support an entire pie on their own. But don't despair, cran-lovers, just toss some into your favorite apple or pear pie recipe! They add a great contrast in flavor, acidity, and texture.
Of course, don't forget that every great pie is based on a great crust recipe.