In early New England, settlers who claimed land were required to show they had planted an apple orchard, which signaled permanence. New Englanders ate apples fresh, cooked, dried and preserved. They drank apple juice, soft and hard cider, and apple jack (brandy).
“Johnny Appleseed” (John Chapman, 1774-1845), a Massachusetts native, helped the settlers by supplying small apple trees from the nurseries he planted in sync with the westward movement of settlement.
So where would America be without Apple Pie?
Living in New England USA, it’s still an annual fall ritual for us to go to a local orchard to pick apples (and eat some along the way), and to pick up a bag of cider doughnuts.
Since it’s so much fun and so easy, we always pick lots of fruit, and then have a great time figuring out different creative ways to use it.
Our annual Apple Pie Bake-Off, which follows the apple-picking, is also a treasured tradition, with three families each making different apple desserts. The recipes that follow are some of our favorites.
An American favorite, popular year round and from coast to coast on any day of the year, but especially on the Fourth of July.
A French peasant dessert with the bonus of requiring no crust! No matter which apples you use, it’s delicious.
Call it a crisp or call it a crumble, it’s another crustless recipe, quick and easy to make, and sure to please.
I always look to try something new when we have our annual Apple Pie Bake-Off. This went over well with the “judges.”
A yummy, texture-full combination of apples and pecans, with a crumble crust.
A century-old French recipe which once had its own web site and a confrérie (brotherhood) dedicated to its protection and progress! I give you both “official” and “unofficial” recipes. This is their “official” recipe.
Not sanctioned by the brotherhood, but just as good! Another version of Tarte Tatin.
One of my favorite spring pies is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. For a little variety, I made an Apple Rhubarb Pie, and found it delicious. Let’s hear it for rhubarb season!