Shade Tree Bakery
October 17, 2020
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Easy To Bake Easy To Make Pies

Author: Administrator
Copyright (c) 2012

And precious they were, and still are, but for different reasons! Certainly not just for being the scrumptious pastry treats we know them as today! Because once upon a time, and this truly did happen, pies were something other than a delicacy. Quite the opposite in fact. Unbeknownst to many cultures, pies are not per definition sweet. In a number of countries, pies still retain their older, more common-used quality; a hearty meal. And ranging from complicated, to fitting in with your easy baking solutions!

The very first mention of pies has been found to date back to 9500 BC, in the Egyptian Neolithic period - also known as the New Stone Age. That's over 11000 years ago!

These very early pies were made from ground up wheat, barley, rye or oats and contained the much-sought after delicacy of honey. These treats were so rare, that they were to be eaten by royalty only, and in no way resemble the shape of pies as we know them today.

One of the first mentions of savory pies comes from a tablet found in Sumer (modern Iraq). It was a recipe for a chicken pie. And even back then, people appeared to have a keen interest in easy baking recipes. It was simple, yet when attempted to be made in modern day, turned out easy to make and quite delicious!

From there on, the pie slowly but surely made its firm stamp on society as we know it. Due to its crust, the content of the pies could be kept for longer periods of time, meaning that pies - savory and sweet - were a very sure bet to take with you when you had to travel great distances, or by sea. Especially when coupled with the knowledge the Romans gained during their conquest. By adding salts and other spices, the cooked contents of the pies could be kept, sealing in their pastry container, for up to a week!

This kind of food preservation is what created the pie's distant cousins, such as the Cornish Pasty - which was in essence a folded piece of pastry around a content of meat and vegetables, designed for miners to take with them into the coal mines. Since their hands and surroundings were covered in soot, they could still enjoy a good meal down in the mines, without ingesting too many toxins. By eating the content more than the surrounding crust, the crust could be discarded.

Another fun little fact that pops up when researching the history of pies, is that in the medieval times, court cooks would cook whole birds, feathers and all, which would be mounted on a pie, to indicate the content in the actual pie. Naturally, this was done only at elaborate court banquets.

Ingredients (For both the crust and the filling!):

- 1 pie shell (9 inch)
- 1/4 cup of butter 2 tart apples - peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of softened butter
- 1 1/3 cups of white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of regular flour
- 3/4 cup of buttermilk
- 1/4 cup of white sugar
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of regular flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons of butter

1) Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.

2) Making the Apple Filling: Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apple, 1/2 cup of white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Set aside.

3) Making the Buttermilk Custard: Combine 1/4 cup of softened butter in a large mixing bowl with 1 1/3 cups of white sugar. Beat until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture until the yellow disappears. Mix in the vanilla, then 2 tablespoons flour. Mix thoroughly, and then pour in the buttermilk, beating until smooth.

4) Fit the pastry into the pie pan and prick with a fork. Spoon the prepared apple mixture into the crust, and then pour buttermilk custard over it.

5) Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

6) Making the Streusel Topping: Pour 1/4 cup of white sugar, brown sugar, 1/2 cup of flour, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons of butter until the mixture is crumbly.

7) Remove the pie from the oven after 30 minutes and sprinkle the streusel topping over the custard. Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes, until you can insert a piece of cutlery into the center of the pie and have it come out virtually clean. Let your pie cool for 1 hour before serving.


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