Hi everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I have posted one of these, it’s been crazy with moving to the new house and everything. One of the things I am sure that many of us made this week for Thanksgiving was some sort of pie, and for me that always means apple pie! When I thought about apple pie it brought me back to our experience cooking over the open hearth at Old Sturbridge Village back in February where one of the items we had was apple pie!
One of the things that I found most surprising during that experience was that in the 1800’s apple pie would not have been eaten as a dessert, but rather with the meal! How cool is that!?! I’m all for eating pie with my meal because I never have room for dessert after, however it felt a little bit strange as we are so programmed that a sweet comes as a dessert. The other thing that was fascinating was that you would typically eat a cheese, like cheddar, with you pie – a bit of each in every bite. I had not tried this before, and was a little hesitant, but OMG how the flavors of the two compliment so well! I encourage you to give it a try with you next pie – we meant to this Thanksgiving, but forgot to buy the cheese…next time for sure! An apple pie also was easy to prepare even when apples were out of season because it could be prepared using dried apples that were put up at the end of autumn for storage. A very versatile recipe.
Makes 1 - 9 Inch Pie
Recipe from The American Frugal Housewife, 1833
When you make apple pies, stew your apple very little indeed; just strike them through, to make them tender. Some people do not stew them at all, but cut them up in very thin slices, and lay them in the crust. Put sugar to your taste; it is impossible to make a precise rule, because apples vary so much in acidity. A very little salt, and a small piece of butter in each pie, makes them richer. Cloves and cinnamon are both suitable. Lemon brandy and rose water are both excellent. A wine glass full (about 2 oz) of each is sufficient for three or four pies. If your apples lack spirit, grate in a whole lemon.
Modern Translation from Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook:
6 cups apples (fresh or dried) or 2 cups applesauce
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. cloves or cinnamon
Piecrust for a double-crust pie
1 Tbsp. butter
½ tsp. salt (optional)
1 Tbsp. lemon peel, if apples are sweet
1 Tbsp. lemon brandy or rosewater (optional)
1. To prepare apples, follow one of these three methods:
a. Peel and slice apples, toss with sugar and spice until all are coated.
b. Peel and core whole apples, slice into rings. Put into saucepan with 1 inch of water on the bottom, sugar, and spices. Stew for 10 minutes.
c. Put dried apples in a bowl and cover with water. They will swell up in a couple of hours in a warm place. Put apples, a small amount of water in which they soaked, sugar, and spice into a saucepan and cook for 10 minutes.
2. Prepare piecrust
3. Line a 9-inch plate with pastry.
4. Arrange prepared apples in pie plate. Add juice if stewed. Dot with butter. Add salt, lemon peel, and brandy or rosewater, if desired: Cover with top crust, make slits to let steam escape.
5. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour if stewed apples are used or for 1 hour and 15 minutes for uncooked fruit.
Ok, so I didn’t have the foresight to have taken a photo of the pie when we were at the event (it was eaten too quickly), but the above photo is a picture of a Dutch apple pie that I made for this Thanksgiving that was fairly similar. Everyone thought the pie was spectacular. The team that made it followed the traditional method and used uncooked, fresh apples, cloves, and a pat of butter. It was an excellent contribution to the dinner and I highly recommend playing around with the recipe a bit to meet your needs. It would be interesting to try it out starting with dried apples and see how the final product comes out.
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and anything even remotely cooking related can participate in this event.