Normally my family and I don’t make pies out of season, but I had to make the exception yet again for these wacky placed food holidays.  I’m traveling down to Virginia Tech later today for a friend’s graduation, and he’s been craving an apple pie as well.  So it was good timing.

We’ve all heard the phrase “As American as Apple Pie”.  Apple Pie is thought to be a true American dessert, and the quintessential meals and family gatherings and picnics.  Apple Pie’s history, how ever, long pre-dates the history of colonized America.  Apple Trees aren’t even actually native to America, and were brought over by English settlers.  Apple Pie was invented in Europe during the 14th-century.  The recipe was printed by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1381. The ingredients of the recipe included apples, spices, figs, raisins, pears, and saffron encased within a pastry crust.  Dutch apple pie recipes date back to the late 15th century. These recipes were similar to the English recipes except they included a scoop of ice cream placed on top of the pie before it was served. This tradition—apple pie à la mode—was eventually brought to America where most people continue to enjoy their apple pie topped with ice cream.

During the depression when fresh fruit was scares and expensive, the Ritz Cracker company promoted a recipe for mock Apple Pie which became rather popular.  The recipe came from the Pioneer time in America, when American Pioneers out West were left with out apples and used soda crackers to take their place.  The pie has all the seasonings of a traditional apple pie, just with out the apples, yet surprisingly still tastes like an apple pie!

As we’ve learned on all our other pie holidays, pie is another word for any type of pastry within a crust.  They date back to the times of Ancient Egypt.  And modern pies date back to Ancient Greece.  Pie crusts were originally called cofyns and were just used to protect the filling; they were disposed of after the sweet or savory filling was consumed.