It’s fall, the time of year we begin to tuck in for winter. Nothing gets you ready for that better than hunkering in with your favorite embroidery project and your favorite dessert…a slice of All-American Apple Pie. Arguably the country’s most iconic dish, apple pie has been a national symbol of patriotism since the settlers brought it to the New World in 1620.
According to Food52, apple pie originated in England. It arose from culinary influences from France, the Netherlands, and the Ottoman Empire as early as 1390—centuries before the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock. Apple pie was brought to the colonies by European settlers, where the dish quickly became popular. In 1796, America’s first cookbook was published, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, which had two recipes for the fruit-based dessert.
Events and leadership of the 20th Century truly pushed apple pie into the American icon it is these days. In 1928, the New York Times used the phrase “…as American as apple pie…” when describing First Lady Lou Henry Hoover’s homemaking ability and the phrase caught on! Apple pie became a staple dessert in American households as it was easy, affordable and adaptable. It was soon the cheers of families when told apple pie was for dessert and was served at every American dinner table.
With the outbreak of World War II came another opportunity for apple pie to solidify its status as the definitive national symbol. Most notably, American soldiers began to proclaim they were fighting for “mom and apple pie,” an assertion that firmly established the dessert as a metaphor for the United States. Back home, The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book: Wartime Edition, published to provide recipes adapted to wartime rations, included a recipe for “Victory Apple Pie.” Meanwhile, journalist Charles Hurd described one World War II veteran as “as American as apple pie”.
Later, the dessert became even more patriotic when the President got involved. In 1951, Franklin Roosevelt’s White House head housekeeper Henrietta Nesbitt wrote in her Presidential Cookbook: Feeding the Roosevelt’s and Their Guests that “apple pie was the President’s preference among pies” and added that it was “generally conceded to be the All-American favorite.”
With these kinds of associations, apple pie became symbolic of a very specific American ideal: wholesome, hearty, pure, and noble. In addition, the emergence of the phrase “as American as motherhood and apple pie” led the dish to emerge as a symbol of feminine love. And beyond just motherly love, the dish represented a rustic, agrarian past that evoked nostalgia for the America of a simpler time. It was rewritten as a symbolic dish that represented traditional American ideals. Try our favorite All-American apple pie recipe and grab your favorite Liberty Stitching embroidery kit today!
The Recipe: Liberty’s All-American Apple Pie
This is our favorite Apple Pie recipe! Using both butter and vegetable shortening make a beautifully flaky crust. Then mixing brown and white sugar, give the perfect balance of sweetness. Make one today to share with your friends and family while the apples are in season!
Pie Crust Ingredients:
-2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more as needed for shaping and rolling
-1 teaspoon salt
-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
-2/3 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
-1/2 cup ice water
Pie Filling Ingredients:
-8 cups thinly sliced, peeled tart apples (ex. Cortland, McIntosh or Granny Smith)
-3-5 tbsp of water, depending on how dry or juicy your apples look
-1/4 cup flour
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tbsp butter
1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, add butter and shortening.
2. With hands, cut butter and shortening into flour until it resembles course meal.
3. Slowly add 1/2 cup of ice water and begin mixing dough with hands. If it seems a bit dry, add more water 1/2 tbsp at a time. If it seems a bit sticky add flour 1/2 tbsp at a time.
4. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead dough a few times, until dough starts to form into itself, form into a ball. Cut dough in half, form into a 2 disks, 1 inch thick.
5. Wrap tight in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 5 days. If you’re in a hurry, you can put the dough in the freezer for 15-minutes.
6. Prepare pie filling while dough chills. For filling: in a large bowl, toss apples with water. Combine both sugars, flour and cinnamon; add to apples and toss to coat.
7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
8. On a floured surface, begin rolling out the pie dough. When rolling cold dough, be gentle, roll from the center out, rotate pie crust a quarter turn every few roles to make sure the crust is even.
9. Transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim even with rim. Add filling; dot with butter. Roll remaining dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle. Place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edge. Cut slits in top. Whisk egg yolk and water; brush over crust.
10. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350 degrees; bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
-Food52, https://food52.com/blog/24688-apple-pie-origin-story, Retrieved Oct. 19, 2022.
-Southern Living, https://www.southernliving.com/food/desserts/pies/history-apple-pie#:~:text=According%20to%20Food52%2C%20apple%20pie,the%20dish%20quickly%20caught%20on., retrieved Oct. 19, 2022.