As American as apple pie they say. But, one thing we have to wonder is whether or not apple pie really is American. So, we decided to dig a bit and see if Apple Pie is something so American that we should celebrate this delicious dish as being an icon of Americana.
American as Apple Pie
As we celebrate the great American pastime of summer fun, relaxation and vacation, should we also make sure we keep the ideal of Americana going? We have certain things that many Americans see as a true American summer. This isn’t full of IPads and the perfect house on Minecraft. This is heading to the beach and camping. This is hot dogs, baseball and a picnic basket with apple pie included.
Well, when looking for a great apple pie recipe, I found out that the English back in 1381 actually made a pie-like pastry with the main ingredient of apples. WHAT?! Places like Michigan are major apple growing states. Plus, with all we hear about “As American as Apple Pie”, it just seems to be that apple pie must be American! We are, after told, that Apple pie is American!
So I decided to look a bit deeper to see if Apple Pie is really as American as we think it is. Well, yes, a search of “apple pie recipe” lands us with thousands of options, and millions of hits. But, how many are American and how many are from other places.
America, being a mix of cultures, has many different mini-Americas. Southern recipes are different than those from the northeast, and the Midwest has many differences. Look up California Apple Pie and you may find some vegan options, whereas the South my ask for lard over butter even. So I found out that there isn’t a single “American apple pie” either!
So, where did Apple Pie originate? The 1381 recipe I referred to earlier is found in Chaucer.
Chaucer’s Apple Pie Recipe
Inside a pastry filling, include:
- Cooking apples
- Saffron for coloring
Apple pie variations
The French also have a Tarte Tatin, the Swedish have their own version, the Dutch version uses an almond paste. So, each is unique, but, the American Apple pie is still original, and stands by as an icon of Americana. Really, each person who makes an Apple Pie will have their own touch to make it their own.
At least the typical American Apple Pie recipe usually showcases sweet and tart apples, some cinnamon and lots of sugar, no raisins necessary!
So, now that we know that apple pie isn’t just American, it is found a bit elsewhere, we should recognize that America, being a melting pot, is just that: a place to celebrate our freedom to be not-so-homogeneous. While you’re at it, check out our Apple Pie Jelly.
What’s your favorite way to make an apple pie? Do you know the recipe’s origin?