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Costco’s pumpkin pies are made in-house at each Costco bakery. The pie crusts are made from dough that is pressed into a pie tin using a special machine. The filling, made from a mix that includes Dickinson pumpkins grown in Illinois, is added to the crust and then the pies are baked. The pie filling is prepared at Costco’s baking warehouse in Issaquah, Washington.
Every year as the leaves begin to change and the air grows cooler, pumpkin pie enthusiasts flock to Costco to get their hands on the warehouse club’s famous pumpkin pie. This seasonal delight has been a staple on Costco’s bakery menu since 1987, and it’s not hard to see why. But have you ever wondered where these delicious pies are made? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into where and how Costco’s pumpkin pies are made.
The Origin of Costco’s Pumpkin Pies
The famous Costco pumpkin pie recipe was developed by Sue McConnaha, the Vice President of Costco’s Bakery Operations. She brought her extensive experience in commercial bakeries and her collection of recipes to Costco, resulting in the creation of a pumpkin pie recipe that could be easily replicated across all Costco bakeries. This ensures that no matter where you are in the country, you can enjoy the same delicious pie that has become a beloved tradition for many families.
The Making Process
Now let’s take a look at how these pies are made. The process starts with the crust, which is made in-house at Costco bakeries. Balls of dough, about the size of a fist, are pressed into a pie tin using a special machine, creating the perfect crust for the pie.
The filling, which is made from a mix, is then added. Once a rack of 24 pies has been filled, they’re sent into the oven to bake. It’s worth noting that the process involves cooking the pumpkin twice – once after it’s harvested and again after it’s mixed with other pie ingredients.
Sourcing the Pumpkins
The pumpkins used for Costco’s pies are a variety known as Dickinson Pumpkins. These pumpkins are grown in Illinois, where approximately 90% of the nation’s pumpkin crop is cultivated. Once harvested, the pumpkins are taken to a canning facility owned by Seneca Foods, which produces the well-known Libby’s Pumpkin Puree.
The pie filling is then shipped to Costco’s baking warehouse in Issaquah, Washington. Here, workers combine the pumpkin pie filling with ingredients like sugar, eggs, milk, and spice to fill the pie crust before baking.
What Sets Costco’s Pumpkin Pies Apart
Costco’s pumpkin pies are unique for several reasons. Firstly, their size and affordability sets them apart – each pie weighs a hefty 58 ounces and is a full foot in diameter, yet costs only $5.99. Secondly, the recipe has remained consistent since 1987, ensuring that the pies’ unique flavor, partly due to the Illinois-grown Dickinson pumpkin, remains the same year after year.
Costco produces millions of pumpkin pies annually. In 2019, the company reported selling 6.1 million pies, an increase from the 5.3 million pies sold in 2015.
Other Pumpkin-Flavored Products at Costco
In addition to their famous pumpkin pies, Costco also sells other pumpkin-flavored products during the fall season. These include Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Flavored Coffee K-Cup Pods, Sugar Bowl Bakery Madeleines in Pumpkin Spice, and GoRaw Sprouted Organic Pumpkin Seeds, among others.
Costco’s pumpkin pies have become a beloved tradition for many families during the fall season. From the in-house preparation of the crust to the sourcing of Dickinson pumpkins from Illinois, the attention to detail in the production process is clear. Next time you enjoy a slice of Costco’s pumpkin pie, you’ll appreciate the journey it took to get from the pumpkin patch to your plate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I buy Costco’s pumpkin pie all year round?
No, Costco’s pumpkin pie is a seasonal product, typically available from late September through the holiday season.
Does Costco offer any gluten-free or vegan options for their pumpkin pie?
Unfortunately, Costco’s traditional pumpkin pie is not gluten-free or vegan. However, Costco offers a variety of other gluten-free and vegan products.
Can I freeze Costco’s pumpkin pie?
Yes, you can freeze Costco’s pumpkin pie. It’s recommended to wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer bag for optimal freshness.
How many servings are in a Costco pumpkin pie?
A Costco pumpkin pie is 12 inches in diameter and typically serves around 12 people, depending on the size of the slices.
Does Costco sell pumpkin pie outside of the United States?
Yes, Costco sells its pumpkin pie in many of their international locations, including Canada and the UK, during the fall season. However, availability may vary by location.