Welcome back to Easy Desserts,
I hope you’re enjoying everything we’ve made thus far. I know for me it has been fun sharing the desserts and learning about some of the history behind them. This month was a bit difficult for me to pick out a direction. Normally, after I finish my post I know what I want to make for the next month’s post and start writing. However, August was a much busier month for me, during the last week of August I was able to come up with something for all of you to enjoy.
Over the few weeks, I’ve been hearing about children starting or returning to school so I thought it would be fun to use apples for this month’s blog. We’ll be making a play off an Apple Pie using SupaCute’s Joli dessert cups. For this recipe, I thought we could go to my “Delite”* menu and make my Apple Ala Mode. First, we’ll look at why children gave apples to their teachers. Then, we’ll see how other countries make their version of Apple Pie.
* The "Delites" off my menu are a healthier dessert choice and made with more nutritious ingredients.
Theories of Giving Apples to Teachers:
For the first theory, teachers were often seen as a moral influence into the lives of children. (Indeed, the “Boarding Round” system often ensured that teachers toed the line with the community’s moral standards- teach something outside of this, and suddenly see something like your food or heating fuel payment disappear.) Along with this, the “Tree of Knowledge” in the story of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis has often been mistakenly referred to as an apple tree. This is partially thanks to Aquila Ponticus, who was a second-century translator translating the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek. He took the liberty of referring to the Tree of Knowledge as an apple tree, even though the original text doesn’t say that. It’s likely that he chose this due to the fact that he was translating it into Greek for Greeks and that in Greek mythology apples were seen as symbols of desire and destruction. Due to the prevalence of this “Tree of Knowledge” / apple tree idea, it wouldn’t be an out of place gift, then, for students to give their teachers an apple, the fruit representative of knowledge.
On to the second popular theory for the continuance of giving apples- apples arrived in North America shortly after the Jamestown Colony was founded in the early 1600s. These apples, unlike the ones found in supermarkets today, tasted bitter, but they could be used to make hard apple cider. Many people, whether rightly or wrongly, considered hard cider a safer beverage than water because widespread sanitation of drinking water did not yet exist. Apple trees also flourished in a variety of climates, contributing to the popularity of the fruit.
Apple Pie Around the World:
American Apple Pie
Apple pie was brought to the colonies by the British, Dutch, and Swedes during the 17th and 18th centuries. The apple pie had to wait for the planting of European varieties, brought across the Atlantic, to become fruit-bearing apple trees, to be selected for their cooking qualities as there were no native apples except crabapples, which yield very small and sour fruit. In the meantime, the colonists were more likely to make their pies, or "pasties", from meat rather than fruit; and the main use for apples, once they were available, was in cider. However, there are American apple pie recipes, both manuscript and printed, from the 18th century, and it has since become a very popular dessert.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, apple pie became a symbol of American prosperity and national pride. A newspaper article published in 1902 declared that "No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished." The dish was also commemorated in the phrase "for Mom and apple pie" - supposedly the stock answer of American soldiers in World War II, whenever journalists asked why they were going to war.
Advertisers exploited the patriotic connection in the 1970s with the commercial jingle "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet".
Today, modern American recipes for apple pie usually indicate a confection that is 9 inches in diameter in a fluted pie plate, with an apple filling spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice, and it may or may not have a lattice or shapes cut out of the top for decoration.
Fluted pie plate
Did you know the Crabapple is the only apple native to the US? With so many varieties out there that fact seems almost too good to be true.
British Apple Pie
British apple pie recipes go back to the time of Chaucer. The 1381 recipe lists the ingredients as good apples, good spices, figs, raisins, and pears. The coffyn (a pastry crust, often freestanding and rectangular) of the recipe is a casing of pastry. Saffron is used for coloring the pie filling.
In English-speaking countries, apple pie is a dessert of enduring popularity, whether it's eaten hot or cold, on its own or with ice cream, double cream, or custard. The perfect apples for the pie are Bramleys. Their lovely balance of sweetness to acidity and tenderness, when cooked, make them the best.
Dutch Apple Pie
Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back to the Middle Ages. An early Dutch cookbook from 1514, documents a recipe for Appeltaerten (apple pie). This early recipe was a simple one, requiring only a standard pie crust, slices of especially soft apples with their skin and seeds removed, and filled to the top. It was then baked in a typical Dutch oven. Once baked, the top crust (except at the edges) would be cut out from the middle, after which the apple slices were potentially put through a sieve before the pie was stirred with a wooden spoon. At this point, the book recommends adding several spices to the pie, namely: cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, mace and powdered sugar. Finally, after mixing the ingredients into the pie with cream, it is once again put into the oven to dry.
Traditional Dutch apple pie comes in two varieties, a crumb (appelkruimeltaart) and a lattice (appeltaart) style pie. Both recipes are distinct in that they typically call for flavorings of cinnamon and lemon juice to be added and differ in texture, not taste.
Dutch apple pies may include ingredients such as full-cream butter, raisins, and almond paste, in addition to ingredients such as apples and sugar, which they have in common with other recipes.
French Apple Pie
Research shows that the tarte Tatin was created accidentally at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, about 100 miles south of Paris, in the 1880s. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. There are conflicting stories concerning the tart's origin, but the most common are that Stéphanie Tatin, who did most of the cooking, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the dessert. In an alternative version of the tart's origin, Stéphanie baked a caramelized apple tart upside-down by mistake; regardless she served her guests the unusual dish.
Swedish Apple Pie
The Swedish style apple pie is predominantly a variety of apple crumble, rather than a traditional pastry pie. Often, breadcrumbs are used (wholly or partially) instead of flour, and sometimes rolled oats. It is usually flavored with cinnamon and served with vanilla custard or ice cream. There is also a very popular version called äppelkaka (apple cake), which differs from the pie in that it is a sponge cake baked with fresh apple pieces in it.
äppelkaka (apple cake)
Apple Pie Fun Dates:
May 13th is National Apple Pie Day in the US
This year in Julian, Ca, on September 24th and 25th they have a special weekend planned.
More information can be seen here .
Back to Apple Ala Mode Delite :)
What You’ll Need To Do Your Apple Ala Mode Delite:
Granola: I used a honey nut flavor to complement the flavors I'm adding to the yogurt
6-7 medium-large apples (like McIntosh, Empire, Granny Smith*)
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice (ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)
1/8 cup apple juice
Geek yogurt blend
optional - 1/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts
Supplies: SupaCute Desserts "Joli" dessert cups
Divide the granola into the cups. Add more on top of the apple layer if you like, for more crunch.
Peel and thinly slice apples before combining them with granulated sugar, lemon juice and apple pie spice in a large bowl. Toss to mix. Transfer into a large pot, cover, and bake for 35 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. To keep my apple filling for being too tart, feel free to add a sweeter apple, like Golden Delicious or Honey Crisp.
Yogurt / Ala Mode Layer:
Feel free to top with the geek yogurt for the ala mode. To sweeten the yogurt I added some honey, cinnamon, and a touch of vanilla extract.
These healthy treats can last up to a week when covered or unless the yogurt expires before.
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Until next time …