Apple pie with lattice upper crust
|Main ingredient(s)||cooking apples, sugar|
|Food energy (per serving)||there are around 411 calories in 1 piece of Apple Pie kcal|
An apple pie is a fruit pie (or tart) in which the principal filling ingredient is apples. It is sometimes served with whipped cream or ice cream on top, or alongside cheddar cheese. Pastry is generally used top-and-bottom, making it a double-crust pie, the upper crust of which may be a circular shaped crust or a pastry lattice woven of strips; exceptions are deep-dish apple pie with a top crust only, and open-face Tarte Tatin.
Cooking apples (culinary apples), such as the Bramley, Empire, Northern Spy or Granny Smith, are crisp and acidic. The fruit for the pie can be fresh, canned, or reconstituted from dried apples. This affects the final texture, and the length of cooking time required; whether it has an effect on the flavour of the pie is a matter of opinion. Dried or preserved apples were originally substituted only at times when fresh fruit was unavailable.
Apple Pie is often served in the style of "a la Mode" (topped with ice cream). Alternatively, a piece of cheese (such as a sharp cheddar) is occasionally placed on top of or alongside a slice of the finished pie.
The English pudding
English apple pie recipes go back to the time of Chaucer. The 1381 recipe (see illustration at right) lists the ingredients as good apples, good spices, figs, raisins and pears. The cofyn of the recipe is a casing of pastry. Saffron is used for colouring the pie filling.
Absence of sugar in early English recipe
Most modern recipes for apple pie require an ounce or two of sugar, but the earliest recipe does not. There are two possible reasons.
Sugarcane imported from Egypt was not widely available in 14th-century England, where it cost between one and two shillings per pound—this is roughly the equivalent of US$100 per kg (about US$50 per pound) in today's prices.
Honey, which was many times cheaper, is also absent from the recipe, and the "good spices" and saffron, all imported, were no less expensive and difficult to obtain than refined sugar. Despite the expense, refined sugar did appear much more often in published recipes of the time than honey, suggesting that it was not considered prohibitively expensive. With the exception of apples and pears, all the ingredients in the filling probably had to be imported. And perhaps, as in some modern "sugar-free" recipes, the juice of the pears was intended to sweeten the pie.
Traditional Dutch apple pie comes in two varieties, a crumb (appelkruimeltaart) and a lattice (appeltaart) style pie, both recipes are distinct in that they typically call for flavourings such as cinnamon and lemon juice to be added and differ in texture, not taste. Dutch apple pies may include ingredients such as raisins and icing, in addition to ingredients such as apples and sugar, which they have in common with other recipes.
Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back centuries. There exists a painting from the Dutch Golden Age, dated 1626, featuring such a pie. A recipe in a late medieval Dutch cook book 'Een notabel boecxken van cokeryen' (from around 1514) is almost identical to modern recipes.
The basis of Dutch apple pie is a crust on the bottom and around the edges. This is then filled with pieces or slices of apple, usually a crisp and mildly tart variety such as Goudreinet or Elstar. Cinnamon and sugar are generally mixed in with the apple filling. Atop the filling, strands of dough cover the pie in a lattice holding the filling in place but keeping it visible or cover the pie with crumbs. It can be eaten warm or cold, sometimes with a dash of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. In the US, "Dutch apple pie" refers specifically to the apple pie style with a crumb, streusel, topping.
The Swedish style apple pie is predominantly a variety of apple crumble, rather than a traditional pastry pie. Often breadcrumbs are used (wholly or partially) instead of flour, and sometimes rolled oats. It is usually flavoured with cinnamon and served with vanilla custard or ice cream. There is also a very popular version called äppelkaka (apple cake), which differs from the pie in that it is a sponge cake baked with fresh apple pieces in it.
Apple pie in American and Canadian culture
In the English colonies the apple pie had to wait for the planting of European varieties, brought across the Atlantic, to become fruit-bearing apple trees, to be selected for their cooking qualities as there were no native apples. In the meantime, the colonists were more likely to make their pies, or "pasties", from meat rather than fruit; and the main use for apples, once they were available, was in cider. However, there are American apple pie recipes, both manuscript and printed, from the 18th century, and it has since become a very popular dessert. All apple varieties are propagated by grafting, as clones, but in the New World, planting from seeds was more popular, which quickly lead to the development of hundreds of new native varieties.
Apple pie was a common food in 18th-century Delaware. As noted by the New Sweden historian Dr. Israel Acrelius in a letter: "Apple pie is used throughout the whole year, and when fresh Apples are no longer to be had, dried ones are used. It is the evening meal of children."
A mock apple pie, made from crackers, was possibly invented by pioneers on the move during the 19th century who were bereft of apples. In the 1930s, and for many years afterwards, Ritz Crackers promoted a recipe for mock apple pie using its product, along with sugar and various spices.
Although apple pies have been eaten since long before the European colonisation of the Americas, "as American as apple pie" is a saying in the United States, meaning "typically American". In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, apple pie became a symbol of American prosperity and national pride. A newspaper article published in 1902 declared that "No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished." The dish was also commemorated in the phrase "for Mom and apple pie" - supposedly the stock answer of American soldiers in World War II, whenever journalists asked why they were going to war. Jack Holden and Frances Kay sang in their patriotic 1950 song The Fiery Bear "We love our baseball and apple pie We love our county fair We'll keep Old Glory waving high There's no place here for a bear", creating contrast between the popular view of the U.S. culture and that of the Soviet Union.
Advertisers exploited the patriotic connection in the 1970s with the commercial jingle "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet". There are claims that the Apple Marketing Board of New York State used such slogans as "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" and "as American as apple pie!", and thus "was able to successfully 'rehabilitate' the apple as a popular comestible" in the early 20th century when prohibition outlawed the production of hard cider.[dubious ]
- Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), an Austrian pie-like dish made with dough, apples, sugar and spices.
- Apple cake
- Apple cobbler
- Tarte Tatin, a French variant on apple pie.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to apple pies.|
- Food Timeline history Notes: Apple Pie
- A Apple Pie, by Kate Greenaway, 1886. Woodblock printed children's book, based on a much earlier rhyme; from Project Gutenberg