YAY! It’s Pi Day! What better on this March 14th than, well what else? PIES! Pies as far as your eyes can see! My favorite is the classic apple and I will be posting a delicious sugar apple pie recipe later on today. I’ll do some delicious fruity pies, creamy pies and maybe even a meat pie! But let’s start with some facts and pie tips! (Thank you American Pie Council…yes there is an American Pie Council)
The History of Pies
- Pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians. The first pies were made by early Romans who may have learned about it through the Greeks. These pies were sometimes made in “reeds” which were used for the sole purpose of holding the filling and not for eating with the filling.
- The Romans must have spread the word about pies around Europe as the Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word pie was a popular word in the 14th century. The first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie.
- The early pies were predominately meat pies. Pyes (pies) originally appeared in England as early as the twelfth century. The crust of the pie was referred to as “coffyn”. There was actually more crust than filling. Often these pies were made using fowl and the legs were left to hang over the side of the dish and used as handles. Fruit pies or tarts (pasties) were probably first made in the 1500s. English tradition credits making the first cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth I.
- Pie came to America with the first English settlers. The early colonists cooked their pies in long narrow pans calling them “coffins” like the crust in England. As in the Roman times, the early American pie crusts often were not eaten, but simply designed to hold the filling during baking. It was during the American Revolution that the term crust was used instead of coffyn.
- Over the years, pie has evolved to become what it is today “the most traditional American dessert”. Pie has become so much a part of American culture throughout the years, that we now commonly use the term “as American as apple pie.”
- Read the recipe in its entirety before beginning. Make sure you have all of the ingredients and utensils and make sure that you understand all of the directions. Many mistakes have been made skipping steps.
- Cold ingredients are essential to making a great pie crust It even helps to have cold bowls and utensils. . In addition, be sure to chill the dough for at least an hour before rolling it out. Keeping the shortening cold ensures a nice flaky crust!!
- Don’t overwork or overhandle the dough. Your shortening/butter should be coated with flour mixture, not blended with it. Over-processing causes gluten to form, a substance that toughens the dough. It’s even a good idea to have cold hands before handling.
- Carefully transfer the dough into your pie dish. Fit the dough into the dish (avoid stretching). Trim the dough to 1″ inch over hang and tuck it under itself to create a thick rim.
- With the index finger on one hand, press the dough against the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand; continue around the perimeter of the crust and dish following the natural flute of the Emile Henry pie dish.
- To ensure that your bottom crust is finished, bake pie in the lower third of the oven. You may have to cover the edges with foil or a crust protector to avoid overbrowning the edges.
- Make sure that all of your ingredients are really fresh. Try making fruit pies when the fruits are in season to ensure a wonderful pie.
The Huffington Post has a great article all about Pi Day in America!
Stay tuned for lots more pi!
Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.