Grab a fork and a napkin, because National Apple Pie Day will be celebrated on May 13th. Talk about a vacation you can really get your teeth into! Since the Middle Ages, people have been eating apple pie. A recipe for Appeltaerten can be found in a 1514 Dutch cookbook. It called for a standard pie crust, soft seedless apple slices, and a few tasty spices—specifically, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, mace, and sugar—all cooked in a traditional Dutch oven. The English also had their own version of apple pie, which dates back to Chaucer’s time. In the English version, figs, raisins, and pears are suggested to be added to the apple-and-spice mixture. Apple crumble was the gold standard in Sweden.
National Apple Pie Day
Instead of pastry, traditional Swedish apple crumble is made with breadcrumbs or rolled oats and served with custard or ice cream. Apple pie is served upside down as a tarte tatin in France. The French also caramelized their apples, which added a whole new dimension to the flavor. They were also the ones who decided to add cheese to their pies, which results in a surprisingly tasty treat. Apple pie was finally introduced to the American colonies in the 17th century. Apple trees (which were not native to the Americas) began to grow over time, making baking much easier. Apple pie has now become such an indelible part of American identity that it is regarded as one of the most American things in the world.
History of National Apple Pie Day
Apple pie appears to have been very popular in centuries past in countries such as England and The Netherlands, according to history. Both of these countries have centuries-old recipes. In fact, apple pie has been around for over 600 years, dating back to the 14th century with an English recipe. However, it was not established as an American classic until the turn of the twentieth century. Many people saw apple pie as a healthier alternative to other pies back in the 1900s. Since then, presidents, American troops, and memorable marketing campaigns have all embraced the idea of apple pie as uniquely and symbolically American.
National Apple Pie Day can bring all of these culinary traditions together and allow people all over the world to celebrate the humble yet delicious apple joy in all of its glory. This day is all about experimenting with recipes and getting hands-on in the kitchen. Even if you don’t usually bake desserts, National Apple Pie Day provides an opportunity to change that. But, hey, just because someone doesn’t feel like baking a pie doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the day. There are numerous other ways to enjoy apple pie, including eating it and sharing it with loved ones.
Apple pie ingredients
To make apple pie, you need 1 box refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts. Other apple pie ingredients are of its filling.
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 cups of thinly slice and peeled apples
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
How to make apple pie?
Apple pie recipe is quite simple. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it resembles yellow corn meal with bean-sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture becomes warm, place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before continuing.) Add the egg and combine the dough in the bowl with a fork or by hand. If the dough is too dry, add up to a tablespoon more cold water to the mixture.
In a food processor, make the dough. Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until combined. About 10 times, add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean size bits of butter. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; the dough should not form a ball in the machine. (If the dough is too dry, add another tablespoon of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, take out the blade, and knead the dough by hand. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
How to make apple pie filling?
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice and salt.
- Peel, halve, and core the apples. Cut each half into four wedges.
- Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Toss in the sugar until evenly distributed.
- Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
- Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer.
- Cover and cook for 7 minutes, or until the apples soften and release most of their juices.
- To catch all of the juice, strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl.
- Shake the colander vigorously to extract as much liquid as possible.
- Return the juices to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until thickened and lightly caramelized.
- Toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices in a medium bowl.
- Allow to cool completely. (This filling can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 6 months.)
- Divide the dough in half. Roll each half of the dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide on a lightly floured surface.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 10 minutes after layering it between parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the dough discs, trimming it to extend about 1/2 inch beyond the pan’s edge.
- Place the apple filling in the pan and slightly mound it in the center.
- Brush the egg around the top edges of the dough.
- Cover with the second disc of dough.
- Fold the top layer of dough under the bottom layer’s edge and press the edges together to seal.
- Flute the edge to your liking. Brush the dough with the egg, then sprinkle with the sugar.
- To allow steam to escape while baking, pierce the top of the dough several times.
- Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Bake the pie on a baking sheet for 50 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
- Allow to cool on a rack before serving.
- The pie will keep at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
What to do on National Apple Pie Day?
- You can make your own apple pie. Any good cookbook will almost certainly include an apple pie recipe in its dessert section. Follow the recipe exactly or improvise based on what sounds like the most fun. There are even cookbooks dedicated to apple pie, such as Ken Haedrich’s Apple Pie. Choose the one that sounds the most appetizing and have some fun!
- Have an apple pie potluck. Because there are so many different ways to make apple pie, chances are you haven’t tried your favorite yet. Gather a group of friends and challenge them to bake a different apple pie. When you’re finished, gather everyone and do a taste test. Find out which baker comes out on top!
- Take a pie crawl. If you’re not in the mood to bake, you can always go out for apple pie. Make a list of all the restaurants in your area that serve apple pie, gather a group of friends, and hit the town in search of the best apple pie. Even if baking isn’t your style, you can still get “pie” with a little help from your friends.
Why do we love Apple Pie Day?
The wonderful thing about apples is that their flavor is so neutral that they can be paired with virtually any spice. This not only allows the brave chef to experiment, but it also provides a delicious opportunity for any self-proclaimed foodie. They make a great warming treat on a cold day, but they also go well with a cold bowl of ice cream. Apple pie day is patriotic in nature. While apple pie was not invented in America, it has become so synonymous with the country that you can’t help but feel a little more American with each bite. Not only this, but the various influences on apple pie represented cultural collaboration and innovation, which are the pinnacle of American ideals.
Moreover, it’s simple to make. All you really need to make an apple pie is a pie crust, a few sliced apples, cream, and spices. You can make it fancier if you want, but you don’t have to look far and wide for delectable ingredients. And, despite its simplicity, apple pie is almost universally adored, so it’ll be a surefire hit at your next dinner party.
National Apple Pie Day Dates