Apple Pie - History of Apple Pie
© copyright 2004 by Linda Stradley - United States Copyright TX 5-900-517- All rights reserved. This web site may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission and appropriate credit given. If you use any of the history information contained below for research in writing a magazine or newspaper article, school work or college research, and/or television show production, you must give a reference to the author, Linda Stradley, and to the web site What's Cooking America.
Apple pies or tarts have shown up, in one form or another, since the Middle Ages.
1381 - 14th century pies were very different from today's pie, as they didn't contain sugar and the pastry (coffins) generally were not meant to be eaten. The coffins were meant to be used as a container only. Sugar during the 14th century was available, but was very scarce and extremely expensive.
The following very early apple pie recipe comes by way of The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Forme of Cury, by Samuel Pegge. This cookbook was originally compiled about 1390 A.D. by the master cooks of King Richard II, presented afterwards to Queen Elizabeth, by Edward Lord Stafford. According to historians, this is one of the first records of the modern apple pie.
A cookbook from the mid 16th century that also includes some account of domestic life, cookery and feasts in Tudor days, called A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye (declarynge what maner of meates be beste in season, for al times in the yere, and how they ought to be dressed, and serued at the table, bothe for fleshe dayes, and fyshe dayes), has a recipe for an apple pie. NOTE: The following spelling and wording are quoted directly from the book).
1890s - According to the historians of the Cambridge Hotel in
Washington County New York, Professor Charles Watson Townsend, dined regularly at the
Cambridge Hotel during the mid 1890's. He often ordered ice cream with his apple
pie. Mrs. Berry Hall, a diner seated next to him, asked what it was called. He said it
didnt have a name, and she promptly dubbed it Pie a la mode. Townsend liked
the name so much he asked for it each day by that name. When Townsend visited the famous
Delmonico Restaurant in New York City, he asked for pie a la mode. When the waiter
proclaimed he never heard of it, Townsend chastised him and the manager, and was quoted as
saying; "Do you mean
to tell me that so famous an eating place as Delmonico's has never heard of Pie a la Mode,
when the Hotel Cambridge, up in the village of Cambridge, NY serves it every day? Call the
manager at once, I demand as good serve here as I get in Cambridge." The
following day it became a regular at Delmonico and a resulting story in the New York Sun
(a reporter was listening to the whole conversation) made it a country favorite with the
publicity that ensued.
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