Apple pie

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This article is about the food. For other uses, see Apple pie (disambiguation).
Apple pie
Apple pie.jpg
Apple pie with lattice upper crust
Place of origin Western Europe[1][2]
Main ingredients cooking apples, sugar
Food energy
(per 100 g serving)
about 265 kcal
Cookbook: Apple pie  Media: Apple pie
Tarte Tatin, a French variation on apple pie

An apple pie is a fruit pie in which the principal filling ingredient is apple. It is, on occasion, served with whipped cream or ice cream on top, or alongside cheddar cheese. The 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[3] (culinary apples), such as the Bramley, Empire, Northern Spy or Granny Smith,[4] are more crisp and acidic than regular apples. 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 but people disagree as to if it affects the flavour or not. Dried or preserved apples were originally substituted only at times when fresh fruit was unavailable.

Apple pie is often served in the style of "à la Mode" (topped with ice cream). Alternatively, a piece of cheese (such as a sharp cheddar) is, at times, placed on top of or alongside a slice of the finished pie.[5][6][7]

Dutch style[edit]

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 of cinnamon and lemon juice to be added and differ in texture, not taste.[8] Dutch apple pies may include ingredients such as full-cream butter, raisins and almond paste, in addition to ingredients such as apples and sugar, which they have in common with other recipes.[9]

Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back centuries. There exists a painting from the Dutch Golden Age, dated 1626, featuring such a pie.[citation needed] A recipe in a late medieval Dutch cook book 'Een notabel boecxken van cokeryen' (from around 1514)[10] is almost identical to modern recipes.

The basis of Dutch apple pie is a crust on the bottom and around the edges. This crust 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.[11]

English pudding[edit]

"For to Make Tartys in Applis", 18th-century print of a 14th-century recipe

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.

In English-speaking countries, apple pie is a dessert of enduring popularity, whether it's eaten hot or cold, on its own or with ice cream, double cream, or custard.

French style[edit]

see Tarte Tatin

Swedish style[edit]

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.

In American culture[edit]

An apple pie is one of a number of American cultural icons.

Apple pie was brought to the colonies by the British, Dutch, and Swedes during the 17th and 18th centuries.

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 except crabapples, which yield very small and sour fruit.[12] 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[citation needed]. Apple varieties are usually propagated by grafting, as clones, but in the New World, planting from seeds was more popular, which quickly led to the development of hundreds of new native varieties.[13]

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."[14]

A mock apple pie, made from crackers, was possibly invented by pioneers on the move during the 19th century who were bereft of apples. However, it's possible that it was invented during the American Civil War based on the food shortages experienced by the Southern States.[15] 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.[16]

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".[17] 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."[18] 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, creating contrast between this symbol of U.S. culture and the Russian bear of the Soviet Union:

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

Advertisers exploited the patriotic connection in the 1970s with the commercial jingle "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet".

Today, modern American recipes for apple pie usually indicate a confection that is 9 inches in diameter in a fluted pie plate with an apple filling spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg. and lemon juice, and may or may not have a lattice or shapes cut out of the top for decoration.[19] The unincorporated community of Pie Town, New Mexico is named after apple pie.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "As American as apple pie – the origins of picnic favorites". CNN. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Thomas, David (1 April 2012). "A brief history of the humble pie - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cooking apple". The Free Dictionary By Farlex. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  4. ^ "The Best Apples for Apple Pie". Farm Blog | The Stemilt Blog. 2015-09-28. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  5. ^ "An apple pie without the cheese". 2012 Apartment Therapy. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  6. ^ "Apple Pie". OChef. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  7. ^ "Product Highlight: Apple Pie, Sharp Cheddar, and A Nice Cup of Coffee". Hunger Mountain Coop. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  8. ^ "Recipe: More apple cakes: Hollandse appeltaart aka Dutch Apple Tart". Recipes Tap. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  9. ^ "page 21 "De verstandige kock of sorghvuldige huyshoudster (anno 1669)"". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  10. ^ "Home Notabel Boecxken van Cokeryen door Thomas vander Noot (1514)". 2002-08-13. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  11. ^ "Dutch Apple Pie". Brown Eyed Baker. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  12. ^ "Origin, History of cultivation". University of Georgia. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2013. The center of diversity of the genus Malus is the eastern Turkey, southwestern Russia region of Asia Minor. Apples were improved through selection over a period of thousands of years by early farmers. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Asia Minor in 300 BC; those he brought back to Greece may well have been the progenitors of dwarfing rootstocks. Apples were brought to North America with colonists in the 1600s, and the first apple orchard on this continent was said to be near Boston in 1625. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Stradley, Linda. "Apple Pie - History of Apple Pie". What's Cooking Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  15. ^ Martyris, Nina. "Slavery, Famine And The Politics Of Pie: What Civil War Recipes Reveal". NPR. Retrieved 3 Jun 2015. 
  16. ^ By Beth Kracklauer <! (2008-02-28). "Putting on the Ritz". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  17. ^ Cambridge University Press (2011). "Definition of "as American as apple pie"". Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus. 
  18. ^ "Popular Apple Sayings". U.S. Apple Association. Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  19. ^ McBride-Carlton, Jan (1975). The Old Fashioned Cookbook (1st ed.). Vineyard Books. p. 286. ISBN 0030146216. 
  20. ^ "Pie Town New Mexico". Retrieved 2013-11-05. 

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