Apple pie is a beloved dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a quintessential American dish, with a history that can be traced back to ancient civilizations. In this article, we will delve into the rich history of apple pie, tracing its evolution from ancient times to the modern era.
The Origin of Apple Pie
The history of apple pie can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where apples were a staple food source. Apples were often used in savory dishes, such as stews and pies, as sweeteners were not readily available. In fact, the word "pie" in Old English refers to any type of meat or fruit-filled pastry, not specifically apple. This savory form of pie was a practical way to use up meat and fruits, that were usually preserved and kept for long periods of time.
During the Middle Ages, fruit pies became more prevalent in Europe, with apples being one of the most popular fillings. These pies were often savory, with a mixture of meats, fruits, and spices. The crust of the pie was typically made with a mixture of flour, lard and water, and was used as a container for the filling, rather than as a dessert in its own right.
It wasn't until the Tudor period in England, that sugar became more widely available and sweet pastry crusts began to appear. This is where the sweet version of apple pie as we know it today started to take shape. The recipe began to evolve as sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg were added to the filling of the pie. This addition of sweeteners made the apple pie a popular dessert, and it became a must-have dish on any banquet table.
With the colonization of America, the apple tree was one of the first fruit trees to be planted, and apples quickly became a staple food source for the settlers. As a result, apple-based dishes such as pies, preserves, and ciders became a common part of the American diet. The recipe for apple pie continued to evolve in America, with the addition of ingredients such as lemon juice and the use of different types of apples to achieve different flavors and textures.
In the early 19th century, apple pie became a true American icon, symbolizing the country's history, values, and culture. It was a staple at picnics, potlucks, and family gatherings, and even became an important part of American cuisine. Apple pies were being made in households all over the country, with many families having their own unique recipe passed down through the generations.
With the industrial revolution, ingredients such as sugar, butter, and flour became more widely available and more affordable, making apple pie a dessert that could be enjoyed by people of all classes. With the development of new preservation methods, apples could be harvested in the fall, and stored for use throughout the year. This meant that apple pie could be enjoyed all year round, and not just in season.
In the late 19th century, the commercial production of apple pie began, as bakeries and companies started mass-producing apple pies, making them widely available to the general public. Today, apple pie is a beloved classic that can be found in a variety of forms, including traditional double-crust, lattice-top, and deep-dish variations, and the recipe continues to evolve, with the inclusion of new ingredients, such as caramel and different types of crusts like crumbly or streusel.
Development of the Apple Pie Industry
As the popularity of apple pie grew, so did the industry surrounding it. With the increasing availability of ingredients such as sugar, butter, and flour, apple pie became a dessert that could be enjoyed by people of all classes. The recipe for apple pie became more refined over time, with the addition of ingredients such as lemon juice, and the use of different types of apples to achieve different flavors and textures.
In the 19th century, apple pie became a true American icon, symbolizing the country's history, values, and culture. It became a staple at picnics, potlucks, and family gatherings. Apple pie also became an important part of American cuisine, and can be found in a variety of forms including traditional double-crust, lattice-top, and deep-dish variations.
Apple pie has come a long way since its ancient origins. While mass-produced apple pies may be easy to find at your local grocery store, nothing beats the taste of a homemade apple pie. And when it comes to homemade apple pies, Aunt Pam's in Nashville, TN is a must-try. Our apple pies are made with the freshest ingredients and have a taste and texture that will leave you wanting more!