Meatless Monday: Pie in the sky…or on the Thanksgiving table

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Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a pie for dessert. This year I took it upon myself to make it and apple was the name of the game.

Lucky for me, my friend Caroline had a plentiful apple harvest this year and was all too happy to give me a bag full, so this is a Kentish apple pie − a true mixture of my American heritage and my current life here in Kent. The apples were all different shapes and sizes and had a yellowy green skin. Not quite eaters, but not quite cookers either. No way to know whether they’d hold their shape or turn to mush in the pie. But being a virgin pie maker, I didn’t really care what the apples did as long as they tasted delicious and the pastry was cooked through and not soggy.

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Apple pie has come to be synonymous with American, it’s as American as…well…apple pie. But is it? English apple pie recipes can be traced back to Chaucer’s time (1381), Dutch-style apple pies gave us the cinnamon and lemon juice additions and recipes very similar to modern versions date back to the 1500s. However, it would seem that there were no native apple trees in the US, it was only when the pilgrims shipped them over from Europe that apple pies could be made on American soil.

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I just used pre-rolled shortcrust pastry and a loose-bottomed tart tin, because that’s what I had. But it worked and the lattice on top offered glimpses into the bubbling, caramelized apple and cinnamon goo inside the crispy pastry. Served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, it was the perfect end to our Thanksgiving meal.

Bon appetit!

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