Each holiday season, dining-room tables across America begin their month-long showcase of all things sweet, savory, and covered in gravy. Prized dishes will vary, but one thing is certain: After the feast (but before the nap) there will be apple pie for dessert. Apple pie is so beloved in our communal culture that it’s earned its […]
By Aimee Tucker
Nov 12 2015
Double-Crust Apple PiePhoto Credit : Heath Robbins
At first, the only apples in America were crabapples, so all the sweet apples we enjoy today had to be imported, bred, or otherwise cultivated. It’s likely that the motivation for growing apples was hard cider, but apples were also used in cooking. During medieval times, pies were prized for being hearty and portable, but they also tended to be savory and were baked in nearly inedible shells known as “coffins.” Improvement came with better ingredients. During the 16th century, butter and cream made the pastry more palatable, and later, the increasing affordability of sugar meant that sweet and fruity pies, like apple, were primed for popularity just as 18th-century cooks began baking them in earnest.
Before long, a dish with centuries of history behind it had found a welcome home in the New World. And, like most American foods with European roots, regional variations were plentiful.
Although deep-dish, double-crust beauties filled with fragrant apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg are the you-know-what of many a baker’s eye, they’re not the only apple pies in town. In her award-winning Apple Lover’s Cookbook,Yankee senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso named her recipe for “Apple Pie with Crumb Topping” her favorite, calling it “the best of apple crisp and apple pie all in one package.” Another elegant, longtime favorite in New England, Marlborough pie, boasts an apple-infused custard flavored with lemon and sherry.
All are delicious. So this year, when planning your holiday menu, why not try all three? Wherever you live, your holiday celebration will be as New England as apple pie. Following are three of our favo-rite variations—classic double-crust, crumb-topped, and custard-filled—all from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook. Each starts with double-crust pastry. If you need only one crust, just freeze the other half for future baking.[haven_recipe post_id=”35033″] [haven_recipe post_id=”38094″] [haven_recipe post_id=”85217″]