Apple pie is a pastry dish that celebrates apples. It is also a symbolic comfort food associated with American culture.
There are two main elements that apple pie aficionados care about. First is the filling and second is the crust. The primary ingredient for the apple pie filling is the apple. Different varieties of apple can be used for making apple pie, but cooking apples are most preferred. Gala, Bramley, Macintosh, and Granny Smiths are all-time favourites. Some bakers will even mix up a few different types of apple to give the apple pie a more complex texture and flavour.
Depending on availability, fresh apples, as well as canned apples, can be used. In addition to apples, aromatic spices, sugar, salt, and butter are essential ingredients as well. Some fans of apple pie prefer a tangy, less sweet filling that brings out the freshness of apples while others might favour a filling that is loaded with sugary goodness and heavy-handed with the use of spices like cinnamon.
The crust of the apple pie is another important factor that determines the success of this dish. Sometimes the pastry will encrust all the filling, making a parcel that releases the steam of apple fragrance when you take a bite into the crispy pie; other styles feature just a bottom crust that holds all the fillings in it or an upper crust that covers over a dish, sometimes decorated with lattices. Even though there are different recipes when it comes to making the apple pie crust, one thing is certain: No one likes a soggy pie, which often is the mark of a failed baking experience.
The crust-to-filling ratio is often contentious, which is why there are so many variations of apple pie, some with thick, crusty pastry and others spill over with generous filling.
The way the apples are cut also makes a difference to the overall dish. Some recipes call for thinly sliced peeled apples, some require diced apples. Other accompanying ingredients might be added to the filling as well. Raisins are especially popular, given the extra sweetness they bring. In the United States, in the Midwest and New England areas, apple pie is served with slices of sharp cheddar cheese. While this combination sounds odd, the sweetness of apple pie is balanced by the savoury saltiness of the cheddar, which actually works quite well. In Vermont, this is even considered a state dish!
Besides the United States, apple pie is also a cherished dessert in other parts of the world. From Tarte tatin in France to a traditional Dutch appeltaart and the flaky apfelstrudel renowned in Austria, there are many different forms of apple pie.
Apple pie also goes well with custard or particularly ice cream, which is why apple pie à la mode can be commonly found in restaurants. To enjoy apple pie, pair it with some hot tea, coffee or even warm milk. This can make a great dish for lunch if you fancy something sweet, or it is just as lovely for afternoon tea. Find delicious apple pies and more desserts on foodpanda!