We all know that nothing is as American as apple pie. But did you know the recipe did not originate in America?
In fact, the first apple pie recipe to be found on paper goes back to England and the year 1381. Geoffrey Chaucer printed the first recipe, which included apples, figs, raisins, pears, and a pastry shell, but no sugar. After the first recipe was revealed, it spread through Europe. Evidence of Dutch apple pie recipes with lemon, cinnamon, and sometimes raisins and icing dates back to the 1600s.
However, the recipe wasn’t introduced to America until the 17th and 18th centuries when English, Dutch, and Swedish settlers brought it overseas. Apple pie became synonymous with American culture during World War II. At that time, when soldiers were asked why they were fighting the war, a popular answer was ‘For mom and apple pie.’ That response secured the dessert’s place and status in American history.
How Apple Pie Has Changed
There are many variations of the apple pie. France’s version, the tarte tatin, is a caramelized, upside-down version of the dessert. A hotel owner created it by accident when she was trying to make a traditional apple pie in the 1880s.
Other variations include apple turnovers which originated in Germany. Torta de mela is an Italian version of an apple torte with layers of lemon cake at the bottom.
Because there are so many things you can do with the apple pie recipe, the possible ingredients you can add are endless. Let’s start by looking at the ingredients added to a classic apple pie.
It's no secret that it really can’t be an apple pie without fresh apples. Some may start with a pre-made apple pie filling. However, we can all agree that it will not take the most discerning taste buds to call this out. The filling must be made at home, starting with Jonagolds, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or whatever type of apple is in season.
Apple Pie Ingredients and Variations
The crust is another necessary ingredient. Again, this can be store-bought or homemade. For many home cooks, the thought of making a pie crust can seem overwhelming, while others insist it’s just not an apple pie without this unless the crust is made at home. We’ll choose to be politically correct and say, you decide what is best for you.
It can’t be an apple pie without a crust and apples, but every chef knows it is the seasoning that truly makes the dish. Nutmeg and cinnamon are commonly added to give the pie a warm, rich taste. Those who are more adventurous may consider adding cardamom and allspice. Apple cider vinegar, bourbon, vanilla, and even raspberry jam are other ingredients that can take the taste to the next level.
Other ingredients can be added if you want to make a variation on your pie. Caramel is commonly used. Nuts like pecans are also great additions. And let’s not forget about adding whipped cream or ice cream to the top!
And while it’s always great to experiment with various recipes, the classic apple pie featured here will take us back to that truly wholesome taste of America.
Using fresh apples, a homemade pie crust recipe, and the perfect blend of spices; this is the apple pie that is a true delight in every forkful. It is fit to be served at just about any table and brings the goodness of home cooking to life. Don’t wait for the holidays; make this dessert for your family tonight!
If you enjoy this recipe, check out our Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe and Raisin Pie Recipe.Print
Using fresh apples, a homemade pie crust recipe, and the perfect blend of spices; this is the apple pie that is true delight in every forkful.
- Pastry for two crusts (recipe here)
- 8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples – about 3 lbs. (Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonathan)*
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- One egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.
- Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.
- Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
- Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.
Tips for coring and slicing an apple for equal-sized pieces:
1. Peel first.
2. Hold the apple upright, try to judge where the core is, and slice off two opposite sides as close to the core as possible.
3. Rotate the fruit and slice off the two remaining sides to get a rectangular core piece and four flat-sided pieces of fruit (two wide and two narrow).
4. The side pieces now lie obediently on your cutting board for slicing or dicing.
- Prep Time: 45 Minutes
- Cook Time: 55 Minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 16
- Calories: 300
Keywords: apple pie, american apple pie, simple pie, easy apple pie recipe, simple apple pie recipe, fresh apple pie
The image featured at the top of this post is ©CC0 Public Domain / Pxhere.