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~ Cheese on or w/Your Apple Pie -- Yes or No & Why ~

IMG_6859I love the combination of cheese and apples.  I love to put a slice of sharp cheddar on a fresh, crisp apple slice, and, I also adore them slathered with super-soft triple-creme Brie.  Apple slices and cheese are a delightful snack.  That said, I do not cotton to cheese served with or melted atop my slice of apple pie, nor do I want it baked into the pie pastry.  If offered anything with or on my pie slice, I'm all-in with a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream, but, even that adornment is not necessary for me to be gleefully contented with a naked slice of fresh-baked apple pie.

Contrary to popular belief, apple pie was not an American invention.  Back in 14th Century England, farmers wrapped apples in dark, inedible containers.  When stored in a cool, 35°-40° place, these containers, referred to as "coffins", preserved the apples for several months.  (Fast forward to present day -- the best place to store apples is in the refrigerator,)  There's more.  The apples of yesteryear were quite bland (and that didn't change until the creation of the Red Delicious in the late 19th Century), so, often times they were cooked into various stews containing meat and vegetables.  The English of the same era were known for encasing all sorts of "fillings"(leftover stews, meat trimmings and/or on-hand vegetables. fresh or dried fruits, etc.) in rustic, crumbly, lard-laced pastry doughs.  These early form of "pies" got baked in the hearth until the filling was hot and/or thoroughly-cooked and the pastry encasement was golden.  Chunks of various salty cheeses, which were readily available throughout the English countryside, were commonly served alongside savory pies as an  accompaniment to an otherwise uneventful meal.

The pie concept reached the shores of the United States in the 1690s via European immigrants. We Americans quickly embraced the idea, and, in almost no time, creative cooks began serving sweetened fruit and/or custard pies for dessert -- these pies were considered a sign of prosperity and often reserved for company and special occasions.  The traditional concept of cheese served with pie came along for the ride to America with the immigrants too, and it too was embraced as a savory complement to the sweetness of any dessert pie -- until methods of  freezing were invented.  Sadly, in the era before freezers,  ice cream was not an option.  To this day, places in the USA with heavy concentrations of dairy farms are still crazy for cheese-on-apple-pie -- New England, Pennsylvania and the Midwest.  In other parts of the country, mostly metropolitan areas, like New York City and Los Angeles, fall squarely in the vanilla-ice-cream-on-apple-pie camp.

 Try my ~ Love is the Sweetest Personal-Sized Apple Pie(s) ~:

IMG_6723"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)


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