Apple Pie Day
“An apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze.”
Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom and cheese? Of the many food controversies, whether or not to top apple pie with cheese is one of the most contentious. Though fans of apple pie with cheese exist everywhere, they are most concentrated in the American Midwest, New England, and parts of Canada and Britain. Vermont even has a 1999 law on the books requiring that proprietors of apple pie make a “good faith effort” to serve the pie with ice cream, cold milk, or “a slice of cheddar cheese weighing a minimum of 1/2 ounce.” In Yorkshire, apple pie was traditionally served with Wensleydale, while early New England settlers who carried on this tradition made do with colonial Cheddar. Today, apple pie recipes that follow this tradition call for Wensleydale, Roquefort, Gouda, Parmesan, or Gruyère! Would you or wouldn't you?
“Thy breath is like the steeme of apple pies.”
~ Robert Green (1589)
December 3rd marks Apple Pie Day for the latter half of the year as this dessert so popular that it has multiple days in which it is celebrated!
The first references to apple pies occurs in 1381. 14th century pies were very different from modern pies, as they did not contain sugar and the pastry (coffins) were generally not meant to be eaten, but used as a container for the filling only. Although sugar was available during this period, it was very scarce and extremely expensive.
According to historians, one of the first records of the modern apple pie comes from a cookbook compiled around 1390 by one of the master cooks of King Richard II - "Tak gode Applys and gode Spryeis and Figys and reyfons and Perys and wan they are wel ybrayed co-lourd wyth Safron wel and do yt in a cofyn and do yt forth to bake well."
Apple pie was brought to the American colonies by the British, Dutch, and Swedes during the 17th and 18th centuries. Even though there were no native apples except crabapples, which yielded very small and sour fruit, the apple pie developed a following, enhanced by subsequent plantings of European varieties selected for their cooking qualities.
For a modern take on an old classic, click the spices for a recipe for Homemade Apple Pie with Chai Spices from Sally's Baking Addiction which includes: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, black pepper, sugar, and vanilla.