December 3rd is ‘National Apple Pie Day’. Everyone know that there is nothing more American than Apple Pie, but where did the origin of Apple Pie come from? There is more than one school of thought in that direction, but the American Apple Pie probably has its origins in England, where pie making is an old art. The original settlers from England probably brought their recipes with them and used them here. Germany and Austria are also known for using apples in baked goods and could be that the origin goes back to Germany which was in existance before England.
Wherever and from whoever that Apple Pie originated from it really doens’t matter. Apple is ours now. The best Apple Pies are made from Green Apples, preferably Granny Smith, although Golden delicious are preferred some. I like the crispness and tartness of Granny’s, however the Pippin is also a good apple to make pies from. In addition a home grown variety specially developed for the Southern California are is the ‘Beverly Hills Apple’. In mid-summer the Apples are green and tart and are very good for baking. As the summer lengthens, if the apples are left on the tree they gain a lot of red color and become much sweeter, somewhat like a fuji apple. Amazingly, they are still good for eating at this stage. Our one tree produces at least 200 lbs. of apples every year and our freezer is continually stocked with Apple Pie,
When you bake an Apple Pie, the filling should be heaped into the crust, making it look like a mountain. The reason for this is that the apples shrink when baked and if you don’t have a lot of apple in your pie, it will look flat and sad when it is done. Some people like to cook their apples before putting them into a pie, but I prefer my apples to have some texture and crispness to them. I do not like mush apples and I am sure that most people don’t either.
Some Apples contain a lot of moisture and when the pie is baked, the filling and/or crust may come out soggy. The way to prevent this from happening is to mix your sliced Apples with the Spice and flour (thickener) mixture and then let it stand for about half an hour. Then pour the Apples into a colander placed over a saucepan. Let as much moisture drain out as possible. Next bring the drained liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low and then cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened. Once it has thickened, return the sliced Apples and the thickened liquid to the original bowl and gently mix until all the apples are coated with the thickened liquid. This will insure that you do not have a soggy pie.
Apple Pie is great for breakfast and can be eaten as is or topped with Heavy Cream, Whipped Cream, Ice Cream or Cheddar Cheese. Whichever way you do it, you pie is going to taste good. If you eat it with Cheese, it is good to warm the pie with the Cheese on top so that it just starts to melt. Yummy!
Make yourself and or your family an Apple Pie for ‘National Apple Pie Day’ or for any day! For a variation on Apple Pie, try my Apple Tart Recipe. /baked-goods/pies-pastry/73-2/