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Apple Pie Still Seems Like Sort Of An Odd Choice


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Jandy Hathaway



When it comes to quintessential desserts, apple pie is often at the top of the list. The combination of flaky crust, sweet apples, and warm spices makes it a beloved treat that is enjoyed by people around the world. While apple pie holds a special place in American culture, its origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations.


The history of apple pie is a fascinating journey that spans centuries and continents. From the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the medieval Europeans, apples were a prized ingredient in many sweet and savory dishes. However, it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that apple pie gained popularity in America.


Apple pie has become synonymous with American culture, representing the values of tradition and comfort. It has played a significant role in movies, literature, and art, often symbolizing home and family. The iconic phrase “as American as apple pie” speaks to its deep-rooted connection to the nation.


One of the reasons for apple pie’s enduring popularity is its versatility. Whether enjoyed as a simple dessert or paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, apple pie can be tailored to suit various preferences. From classic recipes handed down through generations to innovative twists that incorporate unique ingredients, there are countless ways to relish this timeless dessert.


Apple pie holds a special place in our hearts as a comfort food. The warm, fragrant aroma that fills the kitchen as it bakes evokes feelings of coziness and nostalgia. The combination of buttery crust and tender apple filling creates a delectable treat that brings comfort and joy with every bite.


Moreover, apple pie has become a symbol of tradition, particularly during holidays and celebrations. It is often included in Thanksgiving feasts, where families gather to express gratitude and savor time-honored dishes. The act of sharing a slice of apple pie has become a cherished tradition that brings people together.


While apple pie is overwhelmingly beloved, it is not without its controversies. Debates around the perfect crust, the ideal balance of sweetness and tartness, and the best variety of apples spark fervent discussions among pie enthusiasts. Nevertheless, the beauty of apple pie lies in its ability to bring people together, even in the midst of differing opinions.


In this article, we will delve deeper into the history, cultural significance, popularity, and controversies surrounding apple pie. From its humble origins to its status as an American icon, there is much to explore and appreciate about this classic dessert.


The History of Apple Pie

The origins of apple pie can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where the apple was highly regarded as a versatile fruit. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all had their own versions of apple-based desserts, using ingredients such as honey, nuts, and spices to enhance the flavors. However, it was the medieval Europeans who truly elevated the apple pie to new heights.


During the Middle Ages, apples were a common ingredient in many European dishes. The first recorded recipe for apple pie can be found in a 14th-century English cookbook called “Forme of Cury.” This early version of apple pie included apples, figs, raisins, and spices, enclosed in a pastry shell.


As European colonizers set sail for the New World, they brought with them their love for apple pie. The Pilgrims, who arrived in North America in the early 17th century, quickly adopted apple pie as a staple in their diet. They found that the North American climate was conducive to apple orchards, and soon apple pie became a popular dessert among the settlers.


However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that apple pie truly took hold in American culture. As more apple varieties were introduced and cultivated, apple pie became even more diverse and flavorful. The apple pie we know today, with its classic double crust and sweet apple filling, started to emerge during this time.


Apple pie was not only a delicious dessert but also a practical one. Apples were abundant and easy to preserve, making apple pie a reliable source of sustenance for early American settlers. It became a symbol of ingenuity and resourcefulness, as homesteaders often had to make do with what they had to create a satisfying meal.


Over the years, apple pie continued to evolve and adapt to changing tastes and preferences. Regional variations emerged, with different parts of the United States putting their own spin on this beloved dessert. From the deep-dish apple pie of the Midwest to the lattice-top pies of the South, each region added its own unique flair to the apple pie tradition.


Today, apple pie remains a beloved dessert in the United States and has also gained popularity around the world. It is a testament to the enduring appeal of this humble fruit and its ability to create a delectable and comforting treat. Whether enjoyed on a warm summer day or during a festive holiday gathering, apple pie continues to hold a special place in our hearts and taste buds.


Apple Pie in American Culture

Apple pie has ingrained itself deeply in American culture, becoming a symbol of tradition, home, and national identity. It is often referred to as the “quintessential American dessert,” evoking feelings of nostalgia and Americana.


Throughout history, apple pie has been celebrated in literature, music, and art, further solidifying its cultural significance. In Mark Twain’s iconic novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” the protagonist famously declares, “The Huck Finn Chopped Apple Pie second to none.” This literary endorsement highlights the association of apple pie with the essence of American life.


Moreover, apple pie has had a strong presence in popular culture. It features prominently in movies, such as the classic film “American Pie,” which explores American teenage life and the importance of traditions. The expressions “as American as apple pie” and “apple pie order,” used to describe something neat and orderly, are further testaments to its cultural significance.


In addition to being a cultural symbol, apple pie holds a special place in American holidays and celebrations. It is a staple of Thanksgiving feasts, where families gather to give thanks and indulge in a variety of traditional dishes. The image of a golden, steaming apple pie, served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, embodies the warmth and togetherness of this cherished holiday.


Another holiday that often revolves around apple pie is Independence Day. As Americans celebrate their freedom, apple pie is often enjoyed at picnics and barbecues, showcasing its status as an iconic patriotic dessert. The red, white, and blue decorations on top of an apple pie further emphasize its connection to national pride.


Apple pie has also found its way into political rhetoric and campaigns. It is often referenced by politicians as a symbol of all that is good and wholesome about America. Just like the pie itself, the sentiment behind these references is meant to be universally appealing and comforting to voters.


Furthermore, apple pie has become synonymous with home and family. The act of baking an apple pie can evoke memories of grandparents, childhood, and special family gatherings. It brings people together, fostering a sense of unity and connection.


As American culture continues to evolve, apple pie remains a timeless and cherished dessert. It represents the values of tradition, comfort, and community. Whether enjoyed at a roadside diner, a family gathering, or a state fair, apple pie continues to be a beloved and iconic part of American culinary heritage.


The Popularity of Apple Pie

Apple pie has long held a special place in the hearts and palates of people around the world. Its popularity can be attributed to several factors that make it an enduring favorite among dessert lovers.


One of the primary reasons for apple pie’s widespread appeal is its delicious combination of flavors. The sweet and tart filling made from fresh apples, combined with the buttery crust, creates a harmonious balance of taste and texture. From the first bite to the last, apple pie offers a delightful culinary experience that is hard to resist.


Furthermore, apple pie is a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed in various ways. While the classic double-crust pie is the most common form, there are endless variations to suit personal preferences. Some may prefer a lattice top, while others may opt for a streusel topping or a crumb crust. Additionally, apple pie can be served warm or cold, and it pairs beautifully with a variety of accompaniments, such as ice cream, whipped cream, or caramel sauce.


The widespread availability and accessibility of apples also contribute to the popularity of apple pie. Apples are a staple fruit in many countries, making them readily accessible to a wide range of people. Whether sourced from local orchards or grocery stores, apples are a common ingredient that can be easily incorporated into a homemade apple pie.


Moreover, apple pie has become entrenched in cultural traditions, especially in America. It is deeply associated with holidays like Thanksgiving, where it is an essential part of the traditional feast. The aroma of a freshly baked apple pie filling the home has become a cherished symbol of warmth and celebration.


The comfort factor of apple pie also plays a significant role in its popularity. The act of enjoying a warm slice of apple pie can evoke feelings of coziness and contentment. Its association with home and family enhances the comforting nature of this beloved dessert, making it a go-to choice for celebrations, gatherings, and even as a simple treat after a long day.


Furthermore, the enduring popularity of apple pie can be attributed to cultural exports and influences. As American culture has gained global recognition, so has the fame of its iconic desserts, including apple pie. More and more people from different parts of the world are becoming familiar with and appreciating the deliciousness of this timeless dessert.


Lastly, the accessibility of apple pie recipes and the ease of making it contribute to its popularity. With countless recipes available online, in cookbooks, and shared among family and friends, anyone can try their hand at making a homemade apple pie. The satisfaction of creating this classic dessert from scratch adds another layer of enjoyment for both bakers and those lucky enough to taste the masterpiece.


From its delicious flavors and versatility to its cultural significance and comfort factor, the popularity of apple pie shows no signs of waning. It continues to captivate and delight people of all ages and backgrounds, making it a true dessert champion.


The Versatility of Apple Pie

One of the reasons apple pie has remained a beloved dessert for generations is its incredible versatility. Not only can it be enjoyed in its classic form, but it also lends itself to numerous variations and creative twists that cater to different tastes and preferences.


While the traditional apple pie features a flaky double crust, there are many alternative crust options available. Some variations opt for a crumb crust made with a mixture of butter, flour, and sugar, adding a delightful crunch to every bite. Others experiment with unique crust ingredients like crushed graham crackers or oats for added texture and flavor.


The filling is another aspect of apple pie that offers room for creativity. While the classic combination of apples, sugar, cinnamon, and butter is hard to beat, there are countless ways to elevate the flavors. Some recipes incorporate additional fruits, such as berries or pears, to enhance the complexity of the filling. Others experiment with spices like nutmeg, cardamom, or ginger to add a hint of warmth and depth.


Furthermore, the texture of the pie filling can be adjusted based on personal preferences. Some prefer their apples to retain some firmness, resulting in a slightly crunchy texture. Others prefer a softer filling, achieved by cooking the apples for a longer duration. This versatility allows individuals to tailor the texture of the apple filling to their liking.


Apple pie also lends itself well to creative combinations with other ingredients. It can be paired with a range of flavors to take it to new heights. Some popular combinations include adding caramel sauce for an indulgent caramel apple pie, incorporating sharp cheddar cheese to create a sweet and savory flavor profile, or even adding a splash of bourbon for a boozy twist.


Another way to play with the versatility of apple pie is through the presentation. The traditional lattice or crumb topping can be replaced with decorative cut-outs, creating an eye-catching design on top of the pie. Alternatively, mini apple pies or hand pies can be made for individual servings, perfect for a party or grab-and-go treat.


The versatility of apple pie extends beyond just the dessert course. It can also be incorporated into other dishes and desserts. Apple pie-inspired milkshakes, sundaes, or even waffles can take advantage of the nostalgic flavors of apple pie in a new and exciting way.


Moreover, apple pie can be enjoyed in different seasons by utilizing the available apple varieties. Tart apples like Granny Smith give a tangy kick, while sweet apples like Honeycrisp or Gala add a natural sweetness. By carefully selecting the apple variety, the flavor profile of the pie can be perfectly tailored to the season.


Whether enjoyed in its classic form or experimented with creatively, the versatility of apple pie provides endless possibilities. It allows bakers and food enthusiasts to explore new flavors and textures while still capturing the essence of this timeless dessert.


Apple Pie as a Comfort Food

Apple pie holds a special place in the realm of comfort foods. It is a dessert that evokes feelings of warmth, nostalgia, and a sense of well-being. The combination of its sweet, spiced apple filling and a buttery crust creates a delightful treat that is widely cherished as a source of comfort.


One of the reasons why apple pie is considered a comfort food is the familiarity it brings. Many of us have fond memories of enjoying apple pie with loved ones. Whether it was a homemade pie shared around the family table or a slice savored at a cozy café, the act of indulging in apple pie often brings about a sense of familiarity and connection.


The scent that fills the kitchen as apple pie bakes in the oven also adds to its comforting allure. The aroma of warm apples, cinnamon, and sugar envelops the space, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. This scent alone can evoke a sense of comfort and anticipation, transporting us back to joyful moments and happy memories.


Additionally, the act of baking apple pie itself can be a comforting experience. The process of peeling and slicing apples, preparing the crust, and assembling the pie can be therapeutic and calming. It allows us to slow down, be present in the moment, and engage in a hands-on activity that brings joy and relaxation.


The experience of eating apple pie can also bring a sense of comfort. The combination of textures – the flaky crust against the soft, tender apples – creates a delightful contrast that is both satisfying and soothing. The warmth of a freshly baked slice of apple pie, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top, adds to the experience of coziness and comfort.


Another reason why apple pie is a comfort food is its association with home and family. It is often enjoyed during holidays and special occasions, where loved ones gather to share a meal and create lasting memories. The simple act of cutting and serving a slice of apple pie for a family member or a friend can bring a sense of warmth and love.


Moreover, apple pie represents a form of indulgence and self-care. In times of stress or sadness, a slice of apple pie can provide a momentary escape from the demands of everyday life. It allows us to focus on the present, savor the flavors, and find comfort in the simple pleasure of enjoying a delicious treat.


Finally, apple pie is a dessert that can be enjoyed year-round, adapting to different seasons and occasions. Whether it’s a warm slice on a cold winter evening or a chilled slice on a hot summer day, apple pie offers a comforting experience that transcends the boundaries of time and weather.


Apple pie’s ability to provide comfort, evoke fond memories, and create a sense of well-being has solidified its place as one of the ultimate comfort foods. Its timeless appeal makes it a go-to dessert for those seeking solace and the familiar flavors of home.


Apple Pie as a Symbol of Tradition

Apple pie has come to symbolize tradition in many cultures around the world, particularly in the United States. It represents the values of heritage, continuity, and the preservation of cherished customs and rituals.


One of the reasons why apple pie is associated with tradition is its historical significance. It has a long-standing presence in culinary history, dating back centuries. The recipe for apple pie has been passed down through generations, preserving the techniques and flavors that have become part of our collective heritage. This connection to the past gives apple pie a nostalgic and timeless quality, making it a beloved dessert for special occasions and celebrations.


Apple pie is often linked with specific holidays and cultural events, serving as a culinary symbol to mark these occasions. In the United States, it is an integral part of Thanksgiving, a holiday dedicated to gratitude and unity. The presence of apple pie on the Thanksgiving table is a nod to the tradition of celebrating abundance and the importance of coming together as a family.


Similarly, apple pie holds significance during the Fourth of July, American Independence Day. Its presence at picnics, barbecues, and firework displays is an expression of patriotism and a celebration of the nation’s history. It has become an edible symbol of the American identity, representing freedom, resilience, and the preservation of cherished values.


Beyond specific holidays, apple pie also symbolizes the preservation of family and cultural traditions. The act of passing down recipes and baking apple pies together has become a way for families to connect with their heritage and strengthen the ties between generations. The stories and memories that accompany the making and sharing of apple pie contribute to the sense of continuity and belonging.


Moreover, apple pie as a symbol of tradition is reinforced through its portrayal in popular culture. Films, literature, and advertisements often depict images of apple pies cooling on windowsills or being lovingly baked by grandmothers. These visual representations further enhance the association of apple pie with timeless tradition and evoke a sense of warmth and familiarity.


The enduring popularity of apple pie as a comfort food also contributes to its role as a symbol of tradition. In times of uncertainty and change, turning to familiar flavors and recipes brings a sense of stability and connection to the past. Apple pie provides a link to ancestral traditions and acts as a tangible reminder of the customs that have shaped our lives.


Whether enjoyed during holidays, family gatherings, or as a simple treat, apple pie represents the importance of preserving tradition. It serves as a reminder of the values, customs, and heritage that have been passed down through generations. Apple pie’s status as a symbol of tradition solidifies its place as a beloved dessert that honors the past while bringing people together in the present.


The Role of Apple Pie in Holidays and Celebrations

Apple pie plays a significant role in various holidays and celebrations, serving as a beloved dessert that symbolizes warmth, togetherness, and shared traditions. Its presence on the table during these special occasions adds a touch of sweetness and nostalgia to the festivities.


One of the holidays where apple pie takes center stage is Thanksgiving. As families gather to express gratitude and celebrate abundance, apple pie is a staple dessert on the Thanksgiving feast. Its inclusion in the meal harkens back to the early celebrations of the Pilgrims, who likely enjoyed apple pie in their harvest feasts. The warm, fragrant aroma of apple pie baking in the oven sets the tone for the festivities and brings a sense of anticipation and comfort to this cherished holiday.


Christmas is another holiday where apple pie makes an appearance, often alongside other festive treats. Although it may not be as strongly associated with Christmas as other desserts, apple pie provides a comforting and familiar touch to the holiday spread. The flavors of spiced apples and buttery crust evoke a sense of coziness and invoke memories of previous holiday seasons.


Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, is another occasion where apple pie takes on a special meaning. As Americans commemorate their nation’s freedom, apple pie serves as a patriotic symbol. Its red and white filling, topped with blueberries or whipped cream, contributes to a festive and patriotic visual. Apple pie on the Fourth of July represents the ideals of unity, heritage, and pride in the American identity.


Birthdays, anniversaries, and other personal milestones are also often celebrated with apple pie. Whether it’s a homemade pie baked with love or a store-bought version, apple pie adds a touch of sentimentality to these joyous occasions. Sharing a slice of apple pie with loved ones creates a sense of connection and togetherness, making the celebration even more meaningful.


Apple pie has also found its way into cultural and religious celebrations around the world. In Jewish tradition, apple pie is commonly enjoyed during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, as apples symbolize a sweet and prosperous year ahead. In some European countries, apple pie is a popular dish served during harvest festivals, symbolizing abundance and gratitude for the bountiful harvest season.


Beyond specific holidays, apple pie’s presence in celebrations speaks to its universal appeal and ability to bring people together. Regardless of cultural background or individual preferences, the act of enjoying a slice of apple pie is a shared experience that transcends boundaries and fosters a sense of unity.


As a beloved dessert that embodies warmth, tradition, and the sweetness of life, apple pie remains a constant presence in holidays and celebrations. Its role as a symbol of togetherness and shared memories marks it as an essential component of these joyous occasions, creating lasting connections and invoking a sense of tradition and warmth among those who partake in its delightful flavors.


The Controversies Surrounding Apple Pie

While apple pie is undeniably beloved, it is not without its controversies. From debates over the perfect crust to disagreements on the ideal apple variety, apple pie has sparked passionate discussions among dessert enthusiasts and bakers alike.


One of the most heated controversies surrounding apple pie revolves around the crust. Some argue that a classic flaky crust made with butter is essential for the perfect apple pie, while others swear by a crust made with shortening or a combination of fats. The texture, flavor, and even the level of crust browning can all come into play, leading to contrasting opinions on what makes the ultimate crust.


Another point of contention is the ideal balance of sweetness and tartness in the apple filling. Some prefer a more tart apple, like Granny Smith, for a sharper flavor profile that pairs well with the sweetness of the other ingredients. Others opt for sweeter apple varieties, such as Honeycrisp or Fuji, to achieve a mellow and harmonious taste. The choice of apple can greatly influence the overall flavor and character of the pie, giving rise to differing opinions on the ideal filling.


Furthermore, there is debate over whether apple pie should be served warm or cold. Some argue that a warm slice of apple pie, straight out of the oven, is the epitome of comfort and indulgence. The heat enhances the flavors and creates a luscious, melty filling. On the other hand, some prefer to chill their apple pie before serving, as the cooling process allows the flavors to meld and intensify. This disagreement brings about a clash in preferences and individual taste experiences.


The issue of adding additional flavors and ingredients to apple pie also generates controversy. Purists argue that apple pie should be kept simple, with apples, sugar, spices, and a traditional crust. Others embrace innovative twists, such as adding caramel, nuts, or even cheese, to elevate the flavors and introduce new dimensions to the classic dessert. This divide highlights the tension between honoring tradition and embracing culinary creativity.


Lastly, there is a debate about the authenticity of store-bought or pre-made apple pies compared to homemade versions. Some believe that homemade apple pies, with their love and labor poured into every step, are superior in taste and quality. They argue that the unique touch and attention to detail cannot be replicated by mass-produced versions found on store shelves. However, others appreciate the convenience and consistency of store-bought options, finding them to be a satisfactory alternative.


Despite the controversies, it is important to remember that personal tastes and preferences shape our perception of what makes the perfect apple pie. The beauty of apple pie lies in its versatility, allowing for a range of crusts, fillings, and serving methods. Ultimately, the controversies surrounding apple pie highlight the passion and enthusiasm that people have for this timeless dessert, making it a topic of lively and spirited discussion among dessert enthusiasts.



Apple pie, with its rich history, cultural significance, and enduring popularity, has truly earned its place as a beloved dessert. From its ancient origins to its status as an iconic symbol of American tradition, apple pie has captured the hearts and palates of people around the world.


Throughout the centuries, apple pie has evolved and adapted to different tastes and preferences, and its versatility has allowed it to remain a timeless favorite. Whether enjoyed in its classic form or experimented with creative variations, apple pie offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures that can be tailored to suit individual preferences.


Apple pie serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of tradition and the preservation of heritage. It symbolizes the continuity and connection between generations, as recipes are passed down and memories are shared. The role of apple pie in holidays and celebrations further solidifies its place in our hearts and cultural traditions, bringing warmth, nostalgia, and togetherness to special occasions.


However, even with its popularity, apple pie is not immune to controversies. Disputes over the perfect crust, the ideal apple variety, serving temperature, and the addition of extra flavors illustrate the diverse opinions and personal preferences that surround this iconic dessert. These debates highlight the passion and enthusiasm that people have for apple pie, making it a topic of lively discussion among dessert enthusiasts.


In conclusion, apple pie continues to capture our imaginations and taste buds with its comforting flavors, rich history, and ability to evoke feelings of nostalgia and tradition. It remains a symbol of home, family, and celebration, making it a beloved dessert for countless occasions. Whether being enjoyed during holidays, family gatherings, or as a simple treat on a cozy evening, apple pie has and will continue to hold a treasured place in our culinary heritage for generations to come.