Home » Taste of Marblehead: Shubie’s showdown: Pumpkin vs. Apple pie

Taste of Marblehead: Shubie’s showdown: Pumpkin vs. Apple pie

Much about Thanksgiving food is debated — what should be in stuffing? Is cranberry sauce a crucial element of the table or should it be left canned? And, perhaps the most important debate, what pie should conclude the meal? Pumpkin is, of course, the traditional favorite but other contenders like apple and pecan make a strong case for their inclusion. We here at Marblehead Weekly News couldn’t make up our minds about this debate, and set out to sample what we deemed the two essential pies — pumpkin and apple — at Shubie’s to determine once and for all what is truly the best pie. 


Apple Pie

By Ryan Vermette

Marblehead Weekly News


Let’s get something straight here. We carve pumpkins for Halloween. We drink pumpkin beer during Halloween, and we go pumpkin picking during Halloween. So why should pumpkin pie be the go to Thanksgiving treat over apple pie? In no way am I disregarding the great taste of pumpkin pie, but a warm slice of apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it is the perfect way to end your Turkey Day. 


The apple pie from Shubie’s was exactly how your pie-eating experience should be. The temperature is finally starting to dip below 40, so what better way to warm up with a hot slice of pie, loaded with sweet and soft apple slices and a crunchy crust. The glazed apples melt in your mouth and leave a burst of flavor for the taste buds to soak up. 


Now I would be lying if I said I didn’t try (and enjoy) the pumpkin pie as well, but I stand by my statement. The pumpkin pie was creamy, and loaded with pumpkin spice that was very refreshing, but it still doesn’t do enough to change my mind. Apple pie has so much more going on inside of each slice than pumpkin pie. For instance, you don’t know how much apple-to-crust ratio you might get in each bite and each bite is it’s own adventure. With pumpkin pie, you are eating the same bite over and over again, not to mention that it doesn’t have as much of a desserty feel to it as apple pie does. 


Overall, my family has always been in favor of apple pie after a filling Thanksgiving meal, so it’s only natural that I follow suit in this debate. I’m not sure how much I can sway the opinion of those that are in favor of pumpkin pie, but I can simply state that I will be having a warm, sugary, and flavorful piece of apple pie when I watch my Patriots play against the Vikings on Thanksgiving night. 


Pumpkin Pie

By Charlie McKenna

Marblehead Weekly News


I am a long-time pumpkin pie lover and defender — in fact, as long as I can remember I’ve made it a priority to make sure my Thanksgiving celebration includes pumpkin pie. There’s something intoxicating about the combination of flaky, buttery crust and a creamy, spice-filled pumpkin custard. Shubie’s delivered on that experience fully — my slice of pumpkin pie was perfectly creamy and while the crust didn’t deliver maximum crunch, it provided the right balance of flavor to offset the delicious pumpkin filling.

My plastic fork was able to cut through the crust just fine to deliver delightful bites of pie to my mouth. The pumpkin filling had just enough cinnamon-y, nutmeg-y flavor to deliver the wonderful blend of warm spices that comprise the iconic “pumpkin spice” while not overpowering the more subtle flavor of the pumpkin itself.


While the aforementioned apple pie was also delicious, and apple pie is undoubtedly an American staple, it just can’t hold a candle to pumpkin pie when it comes to Thanksgiving. After all, what is more associated with fall than pumpkins? Thanksgiving, despite what the weather outside might suggest, is definitively a fall holiday. Of that, I hope, there’s no doubt. 


Pumpkin pie, according to a quick Google search, earned its place on the Thanksigving table in the 19th century — and pumpkin itself was likely featured at some of the very first Thanksgiving celebrations, per History.com. 


“When the surviving colonists were joined by a group of Wampanoag for a three-day harvest celebration, it’s likely that pumpkin was on the table in some form.”


Even beyond the fact that history is on my side in this great debate, a sampling of both pies revealed what I expected — the pumpkin was just better. The apple pie was delightful too, and I would happily conclude my Thanksgiving meal with a slice, but it just didn’t deliver the flavors I want to cap off my turkey, stuffing, mashed potato feast.