As American as…Well, Apple Pie, by Beverly Hicks Burch

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As American as…Well, Apple Pie

By Beverly Hicks Burch

What is your favorite pie? Mine? Well, maybe Pecan Pie…or Pumpkin…or maybe Key Lime…maybe coconut…well, darn…maybe I don’t have a favorite. I know what I don’t like…Mincemeat Pie. Even the name sounds disgusting to me.

As Americans we’ve heard the expression “As American as Apple Pie”. Why? Well, the history of pies is rather colorful. Some feel the ancient Greeks were the first to develop pie for the reason of holding in the juices of cooked meat. Centuries later, during the Middle Ages the English called pies “coffins”. A term later adapted by morticians and the funeral industry. Are we mortified yet about the history of this treat? Sorry I could resist the pun 😉

During those days there was no refrigeration and very little sanitary considerations taken with the preparation and storage of food. Pies resembled what we think of as turnovers or in the South what we call “fried pies”. This wasn’t done for a lofty artistic purpose…it was solely a for functional purposes… These little pies were designed for storage and ease. To keep all of the ingredients in one place and be able to hold with one hand. Fast food Middle Ages style…

The phrase “As American as Apple Pie” actually is a truncated version of another saying “As American as motherhood and apple pie…” Hmmm…I don’t believe babies are found in the cabbage patch every where but the good ol’ USA. Probably the true American “apple pie” is the Mock Apple Pie made using Ritz Crackers. I’ve seen the recipe on the box, but never tried it and don’t know anyone who has.

We know that apples are not indigenous to America, so they were brought to America…along with recipes for apple pie…or as the English called them…tarts. As a matter of fact there still is in existence a copy of a recipe for apple pie (tart) that dates back to 1381 AD. (It’s written in Old English…very old English!) We know that recipes for apple pie can be found in cookbooks that date to colonial America. There is even a copy of Martha Washington’s apple pie. So, what appears to have happened is we took a pie and developed in into something decidedly American over time. (Ever heard of cheddar cheese with apple pie?)

I would have to say apple pie is not a favorite with me…spare one. It is the Sour Cream Apple Pie Momma began making when I was in junior (middle) high school or in high school. That would have been the late 1960’s or 1970’s. She passed the recipe along to me when I married the ex years ago. (Wish I could have gotten the recipe and passed on the ex…but, that’s a different story.) Unfortunately, I don’t know the origin of the recipe…but, they must have been a pie genius.

I’ve made this pie off and on over the years…and it’s never failed me yet. With fall here I’ve been thinking of some of my old recipes and while browsing through them I reacquainted myself with this recipe. I’ve yet to make it for Tall and Handsome, but after reading the recipe to him, he’s placed it on his “Want” list. Guess I’ll be cooking up some pie in the near future…

Sour Cream Apple Pie

From the kitchen of Beverly Hicks Burch

Of course, I’ve added my touches to the recipe:

1 9 in. deep dish pie crust

For the filling sift together:

2 tablespoon all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup of sugar

Add and beat until batter is thin:

1 unbeaten egg

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Blend in 2 cups sliced apples (not apple pie filling!) and pour into the crust. (I used canned sliced apples…the kind your momma used to make “fried apples”. Remember DO NOT use apple pie filling.)

Bake 15 minutes at 400° then,

Bake 30 minutes at 350°

Remove from the oven and added prepared topping:

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

¼ cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Brown 10 minutes at 400°.

Enjoy!

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.