Before I start in about my aversion to most pies and my jokes about package warnings, you should know that getting this pie was one of the most singularly awkward experiences I've ever had at a McDonald's, including that one time two friends and I walked through a drive-through after skinny dipping one summer. Or the time Dillinger got out of the car and danced to the Time Warp in the drive through and then ordered as though nothing had ever happened. More awkward than that.
Keep in mind that I ordered this pie at around 10 in the morning while getting groceries for brunch. A little dessert apertif, if you will. While deciding what I wanted and opting out of a morning McGriddle, I thought it would be a good idea to stock up on hot mustards for my next few meals. Like my friend Justin
, I've had a torrid and longstanding relationship with the hot mustard. Long story short, the woman at the front would only sell me the mustards once I reassured her that I wouldn't be dipping the pie in the sauce.
Not that it was any of her business.
Anyway, I went through all that stress to purchase a product I wasn't entirely keen on ordering. I've never been a fan of pie crust or pies, not since the end of my grandfather's legendary desserts, but I was feeling seasonal today and saw that there was a deal on pies, two for a buck. The pie comes housed in a shell that has a pair of anguished white kids making out on it and says, no less than six times, "CAREFUL- I'M HOT." The "I'm" is what really creeps me out. Not only was this pumpkin once sentient, it implies that, even mushed up and rendered far beyond its original form, it is still thinking, breathing, and generating heat. It can hear you have sex, is all I'm sayin'.
The normally unadorned pie crust is covered in a brown blend of spices, a practice I think should apply with all of McDonald's fruit pies. It greatly enhances the flavor and texture of the crust with a homey ginger, cloves, and nutmeg touch and gives it a little more depth than the typically flavorless crust on their apple pies. For fifty cents, it won't evoke images of a Thanksgiving dinner, but you won't cry as hard eating it alone. The crust was flaky and crisp. With the effort the crust took in coming close to a real pumpkin pie, I was surprised at how much the filling felt like an afterthought. While packed well in the corners and crannies of the pie, the filling's flavor was bland, with a texture and flatness tasting nearly identical to the canned pumpkin pie filling I use in our oatmeal. My suspicions were confirmed when I scooped a spoonful of pie filling out of the nearly empty can and a bit of filling out of the pie. At room temperature, they're practically the same. Normally I'm not a fan of overly sweet fruit fillings, but I know three things if I know anything- I like m'whiskey neat, m'cigs filtered, and m'pumpkin sweet.
While I admire their restraint in a world of Coldstone PB&C shakes
and candy, in this case, underseasoning was a detriment and took the focus away from the delicious crust. I still appreciate the effort and variety of desserts McDonald's is putting out. Needless to say, it's a worthy contender in the crop of pumpkin-themed desserts that have been appearing in fast food restaurants and convenience stores and is a classic way to get your cucurbita on.
Labels: 6, dessert, fast food