When it comes to holiday traditions, the safest bet is to stick with what works. At least McDonald's seems to subscribe to that philosophy.
The fast-food chain has been releasing its Holiday Pie seasonally for almost a decade now, but no matter how long it's been around, the treat always manages to stir up excitement. And this year is no exception.
Every year, a distinct sense of mystery surrounds the release of the Holiday Pie. McDonald's rarely rolls it out at every one of their locations simultaneously—in fact, fans can attest that some locations don't end up carrying it at all. This season, the pie has already been spotted at restaurants in Illinois, Texas, and Ohio, and McDonald's confirmed on Twitter just a few days ago that it "won't be long" before it makes a nationwide return. "Keep an eye out for updates," the company Tweeted to those who still don't see the festive pie on their local menus. This tracks with the typical Mickey D's Holiday Pie release timeline, which usually falls between late November and early December.
Officially introduced in 2012, the Holiday Pie looks very similar to another classic McDonald's dessert, the Baked Apple Pie. But beyond the shape and basic structure of pastry and filling, the two have almost nothing in common. The holiday treat is filled with thick vanilla custard and enveloped by a glazed pie crust that appears to be slightly thinner than its Baked Apple counterpart. To top it all off, the Holiday Pie is coated in rainbow sprinkles, which gives it a playful vibe that's almost reminiscent of a Pop-Tart. It has 260 calories, 12 grams of sugar, and an undeniably jovial flavor.
The Holiday Pie is not the only custard-filled specialty McDonald's offers. Customers might remember their foray into the pumpkin arena with the fall-flavored Pumpkin and Creme pie, which was a hit this fall. The Guava and Creme and Strawberry and Creme pies were also options at one point, although neither fared particularly well on our taste test. But say what you will, McDonald's does seem to have their pie craft down to a science.
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