Wednesday, January 23, 2008

National Pie Day

No soil upon the earth is so dear to our eyes

As the soil we first stirred in terrestrial pies.

Oliver Wendell Homes

National Pie Day, sponsored by the National Pie Council is "dedicated to the celebration of pie."  The American Pie Celebration began in 1986 to commemorate Crisco's 75th anniversary of "serving foods to families everywhere." According to a Favorite Brand Name Recipes soft cover booklet I have titled American Pie Celebration, copyright 1991, "Crisco pie baking contests are held at major state or country fairs in each of the fifty states." then, the winner of each contest represents his or her state at a national competition for the title of "Baker of the American Pie."

Fairy Pie

With visions of childhood come those luscious mince pies

so tender, so juicy, so sweet!

When brought from the oven what aroma would rise

Our tantalized nostrils to greet!

What a perfect day to share the contents of one of my favorite die-cut recipe booklets Fairy Pie. Fairy Pie was a promotional booklet which was offered upon receipt of 5 submitted red fronts cut from the packages of New England Condensed Mince Meat. There are no recipes in Fairy Pie, instead, a Mother Goose Tale reveals the children's desire for "a goody in the whole wide world in a single bite." I decided to try my hand at making an embedded booklet. Let me know what you think. I tried to make the pictures big enough so you could read the story. If you still can't see it good enough, I think you can click on one of the pictures and it will take you to the complete album.

Mince Pie: "Long before Francis Bacon wrote Mincing of meat in pies saveth the grinding of the teeth," mixtures of spices and liquor had been used to preserve perishable meats and fruits. By the seventeenth century Mince Pie had politico-religious connotations: at Christmastide, Cavaliers would bake rectangular coffins or crusts, for the spicy filling and often created monstrous affairs weighing over a hundred pounds; Puritans, however thought they detected in the pie's designs overt allusions to Christ's manger and the Magi gifts."
source: The Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated History of Eating and Drinking through the Ages
Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze...

And, what would pie day be without at least one recipe for $100 Prize Apple Pie.

$100 Prize Apple Pie
One cup unsweetened pineapple juice (canned), six medium tart apples, one cup sugar, one tsp. vanilla, one tbsp. butter. Put sugar and pineapple juice on to boil, when mixture boils add apples, cook slowly uncovered until fruit is tender but whole; lift apples out carefully and lay in pie pan lined with unbaked pastry. Dissolve corn starch in two tsps. cold water and add to syrup, cook until it thicken, add vanilla and butter, pour over apples. Sut strips of pastry one-half inch wide, brush lightly with cream, place over criss cross over pie. Bake in hot oven, 450 degrees, for 10 minutes, reduce heat to finish baking to 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.
A Friendship Cook Book published by Mary Hammond Shaw, South Paris, Maine 2nd ed. April 1939

Aunt Chick's Pies is another interesting little book I have. The recipes in the book were compiled by Nettie McBirney, Tulsa's best know cook. Her article All I Know About Pie Crust was published in her column in October of 1935.

The booklet has about 150 recipes for everything from Cream Pies to "Very, Very Rich Famous Pies of Custard Nature." Aunt Chick's Pies is more of a promotional booklet for the pastry canvas she invented but, the recipes are timeless. Nettie McBirney was also instrumental in the evolution of the modern day cookie cutter. We celebrated National Cookie Cutter week in December with Aunt Chick. I'm going to see if the book is here or in PA. If it is here in NY, I will share. For now, I will leave you with a few pie links. 

1. Three-Apple Pie
2. Breakfast Pies (Breakfast Pies are now celebrated on National Pie Day 2009!
3. Syrup Pie


  1. That is a first for me - a book shaped like a pie! Now, I feel like I should pick up a pie on the way home to celebrate!

  2. hi t.w.
    Drop by Holey Moses. The next best thing to home made...


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise