When it comes to McDonald's fast food "pies" (I use the quotes on purpose there because what McDonald's serves I've always regarded as closer to Hot Pockets than pies) fried is better than baked and the special fillings are better than the standard old apple.
I actually liked the Strawberry and Creme one that they offered for a limited time earlier this year, and don't get me started on the sublime haupia pies that Hawaiian McDonald's sell on the islands, pies that were not only deep fried to bubbled, blistered crispiness but luscious when that creamy coconut pudding oozed out from the center.
We'll never see the haupia pie offered here on the mainland. Instead we get special pies like the ones the Golden Arches are offering right now. It's called the "Holiday Pie", a name so vague that you will, like I did, ask the McDonald's order taker to explain what's in it.
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"Vanilla custard," he'll say.
Is it really? Well, it's vanilla-colored. It's pasty. It doesn't have much of an egg or milk flavor. If it's anything at all, it's vanilla pudding, though that's still stretching it. The filling is more like a faintly sweet, starch-thickened, indiscriminate goo.
But sampling this pie, I have to revise my earlier statement: since it's got rainbow sprinkles and tastes as if the crust were coated in sugary glaze, what we have here is no longer a glorified Hot Pocket but an oversized and bloated Pop Tart.