There’s no doubt that pumpkin pie is a must-have Thanksgiving staple. Each year, we look forward to it. We cherish it. We make room for it—even when our stomachs are full from the myriad decadent dishes we devoured over the course of our Thanksgiving feast.
Because pumpkin pie is delicious. Pumpkin pie is worth it.
This year, enterprising Thanksgiving hosts are looking for new ways to approach old favorites. They’re reimagining classic Thanksgiving dishes and infusing them with new life. And everyone’s favorite pumpkin pie recipe has gotten something of a flavor makeover in the process.
According to our friends at Pinterest, Fireball pumpkin pie is on the menu this year. And when I say “Fireball pumpkin pie,” I mean pumpkin pie infused with Fireball cinnamon whiskey. (Yup, that Fireball.) Searches for the dish are up a whopping 6,954 percent this year—so don’t be surprised when you take a bite of pumpkin pie and end up with seriously dynamic, spicy, decadent flavor.
In times like these, I’d usually pull together a recipe roundup—an overarching look at approaches to this delicious trend. But it would just include the same dish over and over and over again.
Instead of bombarding you with every Fireball pumpkin pie recipe on Pinterest, I decided to take a different approach: I found the three most popular Fireball pumpkin pie recipes on Pinterest, cooked all three versions of the pie, and brought all three of them into the office for a taste test.
Because let’s be real—you don’t need to know Fireball pumpkin pie recipes exist. You need to know which one is best. So you can delight (and impress) your Thanksgiving companions with some seriously delicious pie—and enjoy some, yourself.
The Winner: Laura Is Cooking’s Fireball Whiskey Pumpkin Pie
By far the most low-maintenance of the Fireball pumpkin pies I whipped up (it was the only one that didn’t call for homemade crust), Laura Is Cooking’s take on the dish impressed almost everyone who tried it.
It also turned out prettier than the other two—likely because the store-bought crust made for an incredibly stable foundation.
One coworker called this pie a “flavor bomb in my mouth.” Another called it “perfect.” One wrote, “I don’t usually like pumpkin (or pie, for that matter), but this is honestly delicious.”
The only complaint? “Very strong Fireball aftertaste—would get breathalyzed.” Which is fair, considering this recipe called for more Fireball than the other two.
Quick note: The recipe calls for store-bought frozen pumpkin pie crust. I couldn’t find that at my local grocery, so I went with pre-cooked gingerbread pumpkin pie crust, instead. The crust got some texture complaints, but tons of praise, flavor-wise—I honestly think it might’ve sent this pie into winning territory and would definitely recommend it to anyone whipping up a Fireball pumpkin pie of their own.
Oh, and this recipe makes two pies. I didn’t realize that and ended up with a ton of extra pie filling.
The Runner-Up: Turquoise Toffee’s Fireball Whiskey Pumpkin Pie
This recipe was a bit more involved. It called for a homemade crust (which, as you can tell from the photo, didn’t go well aesthetically). It also took a really, really long time to cook—so long that I ended up broiling it at the end, which created the stunning charred details you can see on the pie’s surface.
Still, it was a crowd-pleaser. Those who weren’t particularly into gingerbread tended to favor this one over the first—and it got tons of compliments on texture.
“Clear winner. SCRUMPTIOUS,” one coworker wrote. “All-around amaze-(fire)balls,” another noted. Other taste-testers commented on the “creamy” texture and delicious “butter-filled” crust.
While one taste-tester appreciated the “subtle” flavor (noting that the dish tasted like a “classic pumpkin pie with a little kick”), another wished for something more: “Best overall, but wish it was spiced more.”
Everyone who tried the pie seemed to agree, however, that this one boasted the best texture—the smooth consistency that most resembled a classic pumpkin pie.
The Second Runner-Up: Delish’s Fireball Pumpkin Pie
(No losers here. Each of these pies won someone’s heart.)
Delish’s take on Fireball pumpkin pie was noticeably different from the other two. This recipe called for heavy cream, brown sugar, flour and vanilla extract—ingredients that aren’t necessarily standard as far as pumpkin pies go.
The cream left the pie lighter in color (delightfully so, I thought) and creamier in texture. Though my coworkers preferred the texture on the second pie, I thought this one had the most to offer in the consistency department.
Though many taste-testers appreciated this pie’s “pretty” appearance (as a slice, not a whole) and “very good” flavor, most lamented the subtlety of the dish. Many reported getting “no Fireball” from this one. (Fair enough, considering the recipe called for less Fireball than the other two.)
This one got tons of crust love, however. Whereas the store-bought crust from the first pie garnered tons of flavor compliments and a handful of texture complaints, this one won on both fronts. People called the crust “moist” and “good.” One coworker even noted that it “tasted like pizza,” which she “didn’t hate.” (I’ll take it.)
Another quick note: This was my first time making homemade crust ever. Both definitely turned out incredibly thick (and pretty damn ugly), but they both got some serious compliments.
The point? If you want to try the second or third recipes but feel intimidated by the prospect of homemade crust, don’t worry about it. Whatever you make is sure to come out wonderfully, and if it doesn’t, store-bought crust is always an option.
If you’re a gingerbread lover, opt for the first pie (but make sure your store-bought crust is gingerbready). If you’d prefer a subtler spin on the traditional pumpkin pie, try the second. And if you’re more into experimenting with texture than with flavor, the third is your perfect fit.