New Yorkers Should Beware of Inferior Pumpkin Pie Mix
If you're making your own pumpkin pie, beware of inferior ingredients being sold in New York.
As temperatures drop and leaves begin to fall, I instantly begin to crave pumpkin pie. While stopping at the local store to pick up a few items I saw the pumpkin pie ingredients on the shelf and decided to whip up a quick pie to enjoy later that evening.
Unfortunately, what resulted was one of the most terrible pumpkin pies I've ever eaten.
Beware Purchasing Pumpkin Pie Mix
When making pumpkin pie you have two choices. You can make the pie entirely from scratch or use a can of pumpkin pie mix. The pumpkin pie mix includes spices and other ingredients so all you have to do is add some evaporated milk and eggs and bake. Pumpkin pie snobs will tell you that you have to make it from scratch, but I'm here to say that they are wrong. In fact, we did a test with the Culinary Institute of America and found that the one made from the can was actually far superior.
What I didn't realize was that not all pumpkin pie mixes are created equal.
Pumpkin Pie Mix is Not What it Appears to Be
On the day I was inspired to make the pie I found myself at Aldi in Poughkeepsie. The discount grocer has most of the same items you'll find at other stores, only many of them are branded under their own generic label. I've learned that those generic brands are actually made by name-brand companies and secretly given a different label so they can be offered at lower prices.
When I found the pumpkin pie mix at Aldi, I actually thought that it was the same can I usually buy at my regular grocery store. It was the same color and design and had an almost identical font that says Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix.
I picked up the pie mix and a generic can of evaporated milk that looked just like the name brand and went home to make my pie.
After biting into the pie I instantly regretted purchasing the generic Pumpkin Pie mix. Although it looked beautiful, it was one of the most bland pies I've ever eaten. Even though the ingredients are almost identical to the name-brand pie mix, they obviously scrimped on the spices. There was almost no nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger or clove taste. It was so bland that I went back into the recycle bin to make sure that I didn't buy pumpkin puree by mistake.
The next day I went to the grocery store and splurged on a can of Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix and Carnation Evaporated milk. Using the exact same crust I made the pie again and this time it was DELICIOUS.
So, beware. Not all generic items at Aldi are what they appear to be. While it's nice to save a few cents, sometimes it's just not worth it. If you love pumpkin pie, stick with the tried and true can of Libby's mix. Fall is too short to mess with perfection.
Bonus Video: Homemade Pumpkin Pie Vs. One Made From the Can
The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park helped us with an experiment to see if making a pumpkin pie from scratch was really worth it.
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