Happy National Pie Day (not be confused with National “Pi” Day which is March 14th)! To me, all foods and recipes have fascinating histories attached to them. Pies certainly do.
Here is some pie history you might not know:
- 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.”
- The first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie – sounds delicious!
- Early pies were predominately meat pies. Pyes (pies) originally appeared in England as early as the twelfth century. 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. As in the Roman times, the early American pie crusts often were not eaten, but simply designed to hold the filling during baking.
- Over the years, pie has evolved to become what it is today “the most traditional American dessert,” in fact, it’s so much a part of our culture that we now commonly use the phrase “as American as apple pie.”
Pies, in all their various forms, have come a long way. And recently have experienced resurgence in popularity. Rightfully so!
In honor of this most important day, I was giving some thought to preparing a savory pie of some type. But knowing my family as I do, I know they will appreciate me bringing one of their favorite pies back to the table: NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Pie (shown at top of post).
Some of our bakers have summed up what this pie is…a chocolate chip cookie in a pie shell! If you’re short on time, use a refrigerated pastry shell or frozen shell. If using a frozen pie shell in an aluminum pan, be sure to place on a baking sheet when baking. This will help bake the crust and also be a little easier to remove from the oven.
One of the most important steps in making the pie filling is beating the 2 eggs with an electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Do not skip this step; this will take a number of minutes. The flour, both granulated and brown sugars are then beat in and then the butter. Stir in the morsels and nuts.
This pie is baked at a lower oven temperature for a longer time. Also, testing the pie for doneness here is different. Using a sharp knife, insert the knife halfway between edge and center. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. You will notice that the pie filling will rise during baking!
The pie can be served warm along with whipped cream or ice cream. Smaller slivers work out just fine. During baking, the morsels and nuts will sink to the bottom of the pie. The top of the pie will be a little flaky.
Or, perhaps you have a savory pie in mind to make and you would like to try this crust a try from the 1545 Tudor cookbook A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye:
To Make Short Paest for Tarte – Take fyne floure and a cursey of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttel saffron, and the yolckes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye.
I wish I could tell you exactly how much this makes, or if this paest is best for fleshe dayes or fyshe dayes, or how low a fire you need to bake this crust – but don’t worry, I’ve included a savory quiche recipe below. May you enjoy National Pie Day!
Related pie recipes:
Ham & Swiss Quiche
“Toasted” Coconut Cream Pie