The Rule Of Thumb For Preparing The Right Amount Of Thanksgiving Pie

What's Thanksgiving without pie? Whether you're hosting an intimate dinner or a blowout meal for extended family and friends, you may wonder just how many pies you need to satisfy everyone at the table. Well, this depends on a few different factors.

The first factor is the type of pie you're serving. If it's a rich pie, like gooey chess or decadent chocolate, your guests may be happy with smaller slices. If it's the lighter Thanksgiving mainstay that attendees will absolutely expect to appear on the dessert table (hint: we're talking about pumpkin pie, made with an autumnal squash that has been cultivated in the Americas since as early as 5,500 B.C.), assume they'll serve themselves a larger portion. Somewhere in the middle will be fruit or nut Thanksgiving pies, like cherry, apple, or pecan. 

Once you choose your pie, next consider how many guests you will have. You'll also want to think about what else is on the menu and whether you are serving any other desserts. If you have turkey, another protein, all the sides, and another dessert, some of your guests may (gasp) not even have room for pie after all.

Abide by the pie equation

When anticipating how many pies you need for your Thanksgiving dinner, food wholesaler Bremer Authentic Ingredients says the rule of thumb is to expect each guest to have one three-inch slice of pie. Assuming your pie is the typical nine inches across, by this standard, it would serve up to six people. This means that if you're serving four people, one pie will be enough, but if you're dining with a group of 12, you'll need two pies. Easy as pie!

Of course, this "pie equation" doesn't take into account any specific quirks your guests may have. Feel free to amend it if your party includes, for example, a couple who always shares one dessert or that person with a sweet tooth who always wants seconds of pie. 

Finally, before you calculate how many pies your Thanksgiving guests will want, take a moment to consider which recipes will delight them the most. Mashed surveyed people about their favorite fall pies, and the results might surprise you. (Just be aware that if you make one of these sought-after sweets, your guests will likely want a second slice.)