Posts Tagged With: Pie

337/365: National Apple Pie Day*

Today’s food holiday is about as American as baseball, hot dogs, and Chevrolet. December 3 is National Apple Pie Day!

And also National Peppermint Latte Day. I love a good latte, but find peppermint flavor a little strong for my liking in a coffee drink. And since we have options, we decided to celebrate National Apple Pie Day instead. Call it our ode to patriotism in the month of December.

While apple pies are viewed as a quintessential symbol of America, recipes date back to the 14th century – long before our country was even “discovered.” English apple pies consisting of good apples, good spices, figs, raisins and pear were popular around this time. They were baked in a cofyn – a casing of pastry – and the filling was colored with saffron. American apple pies took awhile to catch on; it was the 17th century when recipes first began to appear. This is primarily because there were no native apples in early Colonial settlements; apple trees had to be brought in from Europe and planted. And then, they had to mature – several years would pass before they could bear fruit. By the end of the 19th century, apple pie had become a symbol of American prosperity and national pride. A 1902 newspaper article declared, “No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished.” During World War II, when soldiers were asked why they were going to war, the popular answer became “for mom and apple pie.” And, of course, who can forget this classic commercial? 

My mom baked an apple pie and shared it with us, and if that isn’t fitting – something about mom’s apple pie – then, I don’t know what is. Granted, she baked it last summer and had it stored in the freezer, but she defrosted it just for us. Aww…thanks, mom. It sure was delicious!

National Apple Pie Day

Categories: Desserts, Pastry | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

236/365: National Peach Pie Day

There’s nothing fuzzy about today’s food holiday, and it’s certainly not the pits. August 24 is National Peach Pie Day!

By now, we’re well versed in the history of both peaches and pies. Whoever was the first to put the two together has been lost to history, but most likely the ancient Romans were enjoying peaches – which grew abundantly in Italy – baked into pies long before Caesar was even a gleam in his mother’s eye. Speaking of mothers, peach pie has long been my mom’s favorite dessert, with peach ice cream probably a close second. What can I say about my mom? She’s a real peach! Speaking of, that phrase originated from the tradition of giving a peach to a friend you like. Maybe that was a subtle hint to encourage your friend to bake you a peach pie in return?

We stopped by Shari’s, our go-to pie spot, for a slice of peach pie to share. By “share,” I mean Tara took just a single bite, because she “isn’t crazy about fruit pies.” WTF?? I may be marrying the woman in three weeks, but it doesn’t mean I understand her. I thought it was delicious!

National Peach Pie Day

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

118/365: National Blueberry Pie Day

Few things are as American as blueberry pie. Which makes April 28th a pretty patriotic day: it’s National Blueberry Pie Day!

Blueberries are native to North America, and weren’t even introduced to Europe until the 1930s. They grow like crazy in New England, and appealed to early settlers, who found many uses for the fruit – but strangely, eating them plain was rare. Until the 19th century, consuming fresh fruit was thought to be unhealthy, so the blueberries were typically baked into pies. I’m guessing the colonists’ food pyramid looked a lot different than ours! New England housewives almost always had a supply of both sweet and savory pies on hand, ready to serve to family and guests. Pies were proof that the family farm was thriving.

Most of the time, celebrating these food holidays is fun. But not so much when you’ve got a delicious leftover birthday cake, and the next day you’ve got to eat blueberry pie. We wanted to buy a slice to share and call it good, but blueberry pie is hard to find. Maybe if this were Maine we’d have better luck, since blueberry pie is that state’s official dessert. But blueberries would have to be in season for us to have any shot of finding one locally, and we’re still a couple of months away from that happening. We came up with a pretty good solution, though: bake a mini pie instead! I found some small aluminum pie tins in the grocery store, and used this recipe. The result? Pretty amazing, actually! The blueberries were fresh, at least (but flown in from California). I was left wondering why you don’t see blueberry pie on more menus around these parts. I probably could have gobbled the whole thing up in two minutes, but we did have that chocolate cake waiting. @#$! timing.

Blueberry Pie

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

23/365: National Pie Day

Today is National Pie Day, and to be honest, we were caught a little off guard. The chart we have been following indicated it was Rhubarb Pie Day, which made little sense given that rhubarb won’t be in season for another few months yet…but then again, not all of these holidays make sense. We were able to find a cheap strawberry-rhubarb pie in the grocery store, and that would have sufficed, but then a friend pointed out that it was actually Pie Day – no specific ingredient – and that changed everything. Especially since there is a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day in June. Given the choice, Tara and I would prefer a different pie, maybe a cream version. We got our wish – more on that in a sec.

Pies have been around since about 9500 B.C., and were created as a means of transporting foods over long distances, such as ocean voyages. Ship manifests used to include a butcher or cook and live animals, but this proved to be uneconomical and a waste of cargo space (have you seen how much head room a giraffe needs?!). So when flour was created and baking invented, pies proved to be an easy, nutritious, and long-lasting food to bring along on a journey. The first published recipe was for a goat cheese and honey pie with a rye crust. Most early pies were made with meat; the Romans, who weren’t just skilled world-conquerors but also pretty good cooks, were adept at using salts and spices to preserve and flavor meat. A favorite meal of Caesar’s was four and twenty gladiators baked into a pie. Pie cooking spread through Europe; songbird pie was a big hit with English royalty. During his coronation in 1429, King Henry VI was served a “Partryche and Pecock enhackyll” pie consisting of cooked peacock and topped with a cooked and mounted peacock, colorful feathers and all. This tradition of placing a cooked bird atop a pie was a popular way to identify what was beneath the crust. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather just take a bite myself. Fruit pies were (thankfully) developed soon after.

Once we found out today was actually Whatever-Kind-Of-Pie-We-Want Day, we decided to ditch the cheap strawberry-rhubarb pie (I anonymously gifted it to my coworkers) and swing by Shari’s, a restaurant known for their – everybody ready? – chicken fried steak.

Just kidding. They’re also known for their pies. And with a dozen varieties to choose from, we were in pie heaven. Could we have baked our own? Sure. Should we have baked our own? Maybe…but this challenge is tough enough without having to worry about making everything from scratch. Come June 9, I’ll bake my own strawberry-rhubarb pie. In the meantime, we enjoyed individual slices. I got coconut cream, she got chocolate silk. Suffice it to say, we enjoyed ’em both!

National Pie Day

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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