|Let Them Eat Pie...|
And Lots of It!
As the saying goes, "As American as apple pie." Actually, pies originated in Egypt, thousands of years ago. The Egyptians prepared sweet pies, filled with fruit, honey and nuts. This wondrous new "pie" so intrigued visiting Greeks, they took the recipes home with them. From Greece, the pie spread to the Romans and so it goes - travelers would taste pie and bring the recipe home.
The pie has evolved over the centuries. Originally, the crusts served as containers to hold the delectable filling, and were too hard to eat. Most pies were made with meat — beef, lamb, wild duck, magpie pigeon — and spiced with pepper, currants or dates. English tradition credits Queen Elizabeth I with making the first cherry pie.
We can thank the English for introducing the pie to America. The first colonial settlers to our shores brought savory, meat based, Cottage and Shepherd's pies. Because of their crusty tops, pies acted as a means to preserve food, and were often used to keep the filling fresh during the winter months. From the native American Indian, the settlers learned about the many healthy fruits and berries and incorporated them into sweet pies. And no, at the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, the Pilgrims did not eat pumpkin, apple or pecan pie.
Pie recipes have changed over the years to reflect every culture it has touched. They are filled with every imaginable ingredient and combination. They are the "stars" of county fairs, picnics, holiday dessert tables and cookbooks. They have earned the title " the most traditional American dessert".
There are sweet pies, savory pies, frozen pies; they can be purchased at local bakeries, grocery stores and online. If making a homemade pie shell seems daunting, the pie shell can be purchased frozen or packaged. Simply put, the pie has come a long way since those early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. There is a way for everyone to enjoy pie!
The smell of a pie baking fills the home with wonderful aromas and says, "Come on in and let's eat pie!"
Ready to make your own pie? Well, learn from the best and we suggest The Pie and Pastry Bible cookbook, by award winning author Rose Levy Beranbaum. This is a comprehensive book detailing everything you wanted to know about making pies - from the crusts to the fillings. A great pie begins with a great crust and Beranbaum has devoted the first 72 pages of the book to crusts – recipes, tips and pointers on attaining a flaky crust, how to roll and shape the crust, preparing the pie pan, trimming the crust, and more. From the Pie and Pastry Bible cookbook, we have included excerpts on Pie Pointers and Pie Advice.
Now, you are ready to make a pie! We have suggested a cookbook that is the Bible of pie making and below are several of our favorite pie recipes – perfect for your Thanksgiving table!
Enjoy the following pie recipes and "Let Them Eat Pie!"...and lots of it.
Pie Facts and Trivia*
* from the American Pie Council