National Apple Pie Day

Celebrate National Apple Pie Day with a slice of the real thing. Learn more about the much beloved apple pie and how to celebrate it on this day!

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No matter what day of the year, or what holiday you may be celebrating, chances are there’s an apple pie involved!

Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas or May 13th… who can refuse this historical favorite that is a ubiquitous part of our society.

As we celebrate National Apple Pie Day, let’s learn a little bit more about the pie and how to celebrate it.

When is National Apple Pie Day

May 13th is National Apple Pie Day.

The History Of The Apple Pie

Is the Apple Pie an American Invention?

Contrary to what we, Americans, might want to believe, the apple pie wasn’t invented on the shores of the Americas! It was an immigrant just like many of us and was brought over during the 17th and 18th centuries.

In fact, the first apple pie recipe printed was in England in 1381 and actually called for a combination of apples, pears, raisins, figs and saffron. That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

In fact, the only apples that the colonists found here were crab apples, which are definitely not suitable for pie baking. So they had to bring over European varieties and wait for them to bear fruit that they could use in baking.

One of the best innovations for the apple pie actually came from France, where they would caramelize their apples, giving them a rich, buttery flavor. Yummy.

What phrase is associated with the Apple pie?

The humble apple pie became so popular that in the early 1900’s, the phrase, “as American as apple pie” was born.

Apple pie may not have been born here in the U.S., but we sure have embraced it as our own.

In fact, ​​apple pie and America became synonymous, creating a patriotic connection, because the soldiers in World War II began to talk to journalists and tell them that they were giving everything they had for “mom and apple pie.” ​This is truly what coined the phrase “As American as mom and apple pie.” 

Ways to Celebrate National Apple Pie Day

There are so many ways you can honor this humble, yet traditional dessert! Here are a few ideas for May 13th:

  • Visit your local bakery and order a fresh apple pie
  • Try a New Recipe for Apple Pie
  • Have an apple pie picnic with your best friends

Apple Pie Frequently Asked Questions for National Apple Pie Day

What are the ingredients in an apple pie?

Common ingredients include:

  • Sliced apples
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Corn Starch

Uncommon ingredients you might find:

  • Raisins
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Clove
  • Chocolate

Can you use a frozen pie crust to make an apple pie?

Absolutely! Just be sure you find a recipe that specifically calls for allowing the use of a pre-made, previously frozen crust.

But you can also get premade, unfrozen, pie crusts in the refrigerated section in the grocery store. I find those crusts are actually really tasty.

The only issue I’ve ever stumbled upon is they are generally made for an 8-inch pie pan and not a deep dish 9-inch one.

What kind of apples make the best pie filling?

The Granny Smith Apple is generally the most popular apple variety used in baking apple pies. But the sturdier red apples such as HoneyCrisp and Braeburn hold up well in a pie too.

Fun fact, the Granny Smith Apple is named after Granny Smith (Maria Ann Smith) who was from New South Wales, Australia. She and her husband were apple farmers, and by chance, Maria accidentally came across a sapling by a creek where she had dumped some scraps from a French Crab Apple. Amazingly, that sapling grew into a Granny Smith Apple tree.

She then cultivated this new variety, and we have her to thank for our delicious, tart, Granny Smith!

Do you cook apples before making apple pie?

Different recipes call for preparing the apple filling differently. But most recipes will have you pre-treat the apples in some way.

Here are some of the ways you might find:

  • Bake your apples
  • Cook on the stove for 10 minutes or so
  • Soak your sliced apples in cold water
  • Slice you apples and toss them in corn starch and spices and let them sit for an hour

There are some recipes that will tell you to slice the apples and put them in the pie crust raw. I suggest trying out a few different recipes to see which method you prefer! It’s all personal taste.

Can you make an apple pie ahead?

Yes, you can. In fact, as the apple pie cools, the filling will set quite nicely. An apple pie the day after, reheated just might taste even better than if it were fresh out of the oven!

What is the difference between a Dutch apple pie and a regular apple pie?

The ingredient list of a Dutch Apple Pie Recipe is different from a regular apple pie because it has a sugary, streusel topping. A regular pie generally has a pasty top or a lattice pastry top.

Honestly, It’s easier to make the dutch apple pie, and it’s a family favorite because everyone loves the streusel topping best.

If you want to avoid making a pie-crust at all, consider putting together an apple crumble which is basically a Dutch Apple Pie without a flour crust.

What is the best topping for an Apple Pie?

Traditionally, apple pie is topped with vanilla ice cream.

But you don’t have to… you can mix it up and scoop some Salted Caramel ice cream instead!

And by all means, don’t stop there! Add some caramel syrup or some toffee crumbles or some chopped up snickers.

Top with some powdered sugar laced with cinnamon.

No one says you can’t be creative with this traditional dessert.

Interesting Tidbits about Apples and Apple Pie

What kind of apple pie do you make? Or buy? Or prefer?

For more National Days to Celebrate, check out our National Day Ideas Calendar!

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