Get pumped: Best pumpkin pies for the fall season

Sam Sheridan

With fall in full swing and Thanksgiving just around the corner, there’s no better way to enjoy the season than with a pumpkin pie. There are a plethora of pumpkin pies available, but finding the perfect pie is no small task. The Bark set out to find the best in Marin by reviewing pies from Beckmann’s, Rustic Bakery, Upper Crust, and Safeway based on flavor, texture, aesthetics, and price.

Beckmann’s (5/5)

Beckmann’s pumpkin pies are baked in Santa Cruz and can be found at Woodlands and other markets for $19.99. Each pie is prepared with three leaf-shaped sugar cookies on top that provide an extra sweet treat. Though aesthetically pleasing, the cookies make the pie significantly more difficult to cut into even slices. The crust is dry and flakey with a more-than-subtle taste of butter. The pie has muted tones of nutmeg and cinnamon that add more flavor to the ordinarily plain pumpkin pie, and a dash of ginger that is evocative of holiday season gingerbread houses. There is a light savory taste that can easily be complemented with the addition of whipped cream. Beckmann’s sets the standards for a pumpkin pie.

BECKMANN’S PUMPKIN PIES, baked in Santa Cruz, come with three leaf-shaped sugar cookies on top and costs $19.99 per pie. It was ranked as the best pie overall, while Safeway was ranked as the worst.

BECKMANN’S PUMPKIN PIES, baked in Santa Cruz, come with three leaf-shaped sugar cookies on top and cost $19.99 per pie. It was ranked as the best pie overall, while Safeway was ranked as the worst.

Rustic Bakery (3/5)

Rustic Bakery offers delicious pies both by the slice and by the pie, for $5 and $45 respectively. Rustic’s pies are visually appealing, with decorative leaves made of crust adorning the top of the pie. When served in the bakery, the slice of pie comes with a large dollop of whipped cream on the side. Rustic’s pumpkin pie lacks the variety of flavors Beckmann’s offers, but makes up for it with its superb aerated and fluffy texture. It sits upon a thin, soft crust that doesn’t distract from the pure pumpkin flavor. Though it’s worth the money for one slice, the tremendous sum of $45 is too much to pay for the full pie.

Safeway (2/5)

Safeway’s pumpkin pies have the best bang for their buck. A decently sized pie only costs $7, which is a steal when compared to the cost at places like Rustic Bakery. However, while the price may be an upside, the overall taste is definitely a downside. The pie was disappointingly dry, a noticeable flaw when compared to Upper Crust or Beckmann’s. Safeway’s pies also lack the aesthetic appeal provided by Rustic, and the flavor displayed by Beckmann’s. This leaves the pie extraordinarily average, and while most pumpkin pies don’t taste bad, this one is noticeably worse than the others.

Upper Crust (4/5)

Upper Crust pumpkin pies are baked locally in San Rafael. These pies are only sold whole, with a small pie for $9.99 or a large pie for $19.99. The pies have a dense interior that feels much thicker than Beckmann’s and Rustic’s. Upper Crust pies also have a moist texture, giving it an almost pudding-esque feel. The pies lack subtle notes of spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, making them dull. Despite the lack of flavor, this pie has a satisfying texture.