As American as apple pie. This phrase has been a part of America’s history for years. But what makes apple pie so American?
Read on to learn about apple pie and why it’s America’s favorite dessert! And to learn how to make your own homemade old-fashioned apple raisin pie recipe!
Why is Apple Pie America’s Favorite Dessert?
Apple pie is considered a classic by Americans. But where did it first pop up? And how did it make its way to the U.S.?
Apple trees first came to the U.S. in the 17th century. However, it wasn’t until the late 18th century that Dutch immigrants introduced techniques for apple preservation. This expanded the use of apples in cooking and baking. Soon after this, German immigrants introduced the idea of the flaky crust with a sweet filling.
America’s new colonists wanted to create distance from the traditional British desserts like scones and bread pudding. Therefore, they eagerly adopted the foreign desserts brought to the U.S., many of which included using apples. Because of this, apple pie eventually became linked to America’s Independence Day.
In 1796, the first cookbook “American Cookery” was published in the U.S. It had the first recorded recipe for apple pie within America.
Over the years, apple pie continued to become linked to American patriotism. During World War II, propaganda was released saying soldiers were “fighting for mom and apple pie.” From here, the phrase “as American as apple pie” became common throughout the country.
At the heart of it, apple pie isn’t “American” because it originated here. It’s American because it represents a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines that came together throughout the years to create one of America’s favorite desserts.
Choose the Right Apples
So which kinds of apples work well in apple raisin pie?
The answer is, a variety of them! Mixing 2-3 varieties of apples in your apple raisin pie will only enhance the flavor.
The critical factor is choosing firm apples, so they won’t turn mushy when cooked. Combining a mix of tart and sweet apples will create a yummy balanced end product!
Grab Those Ingredients
You should have most of the necessary ingredients on hand. Visit your pantry to grab flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and salt. If you don’t have old-fashioned oats, raisins, and chopped walnuts in your home, be sure to get those on your next grocery trip.
Next, you’ll need to visit your refrigerator. Set aside unsalted butter for both the crust and the topping.
This will leave the main ingredient for you to purchase at the market. Buy 4-6 apples to be sure you have enough on hand when it’s time to bake!
Make Your Apple Raisin Pie!
Are you ready to make your old-fashioned apple raisin pie recipe?
Making the Crust
Begin by whisking together 1 ¼ cups flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ tablespoon sugar in a large bowl.
Next, cut 1 stick of cold unsalted butter into small pieces. Add this to the bowl.
Using a pastry cutter, cut them together until it forms pea-sized chunks.
Add ice cold water 1 TB at a time until mixed in. Continue adding until a soft dough forms. If it gets too sticky, add ½ tablespoon of flour at a time. Press a small bit of dough between your fingers. If the dough sticks together without crumbling apart or sticking to your fingers, you’ve added enough water.
Work the dough together into a ball. Continue to shape it into a flat disk.
Wrap the disk in plastic wrap tightly. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before using it in the recipe.
When you’re ready to assemble your old-fashioned apple raisin pie, soften the dough to room temperature for about 15 minutes.
Making the Filling
Core and thinly slice 4 cups of apples. Peeling the apples is the baker’s choice.
Chop a handful of walnuts into small pieces.
In a large bowl, combine ½ cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ginger, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir together.
Next, add ¼ cup raisins, sliced apples, and ¼ cup chopped walnuts. Toss to coat the solids with the dry ingredients thoroughly.
Mix the Topping
Mix ½ cup old-fashioned oats, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup flour in a medium bowl.
Cut ⅓ cup cold unsalted butter into small pieces. Add the butter to the mixture.
Using a pastry blender, cut the butter evenly throughout until the mixture resembles a coarse crumble.
Putting it Together
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out your softened dough and place it in a 9-inch pie dish.
Pour the filling into the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the filling so it’s completely covered.
Crimp or flute your crust.
Bake for 20 minutes. Add aluminum foil around the edges of the crust so it doesn’t burn. Then bake for an additional 40 minutes.
Allow it to cool for 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Ways to Vary Your Pie
There are always ways to vary your old-fashioned apple raisin pie recipe.
A popular way to change up your apple raisin pie recipe is to add 1 TB of lemon juice to the filling. This will brighten the overall flavor.
Another way to change the taste of your pie is to add some fresh rosemary and honey to your filling before baking! This will pull the sweetness back just a smidge, while also adding a bit of savory.
Interested in something non-traditional? Instead of making the homemade crust, use refrigerated biscuits to vary the texture!
Bake Your Own Old-Fashioned Apple Raisin Pie Recipe!
That wraps up all you need to know about how to bake your old-fashioned apple raisin pie recipe! Are you ready to make an unforgettable dessert that’s “as American as apple pie?”
Visit our Apple Tree Page for more information on apple trees and how to care for them!
- For the Crust:
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ½ TB sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 stick of cold unsalted butter cut into ¼” pieces
- 1-2 TB ice cold water
- For the Filling:
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 TB flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup raisins
- 4 cups apples, cored + thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- For the Topping
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup flour
- ⅓ cup cold unsalted butter
To Make the Crust
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.
- Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Add it to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, cut together until it’s pea-sized chunks.
- Add ice cold water 1 TB until mixed in. Continue adding water until it forms a soft dough. If it gets too sticky, add ½ tablespoon of flour at a time. Press a small bit of dough between your fingers. If the dough sticks together without crumbling apart or sticking to your fingers, you’ve added enough.
- Work together into a ball.
- Continue to shape into a flat disk.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using in the recipe.
- The dough can be stored for up to 3 days.
- Soften to room temperature for about 15 minutes before using in the recipe.
To Make the Filling
- Core and thinly slice your apples. Leaving the skin on is your preference.
- Chop the walnuts into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and spices.
- Add raisins, sliced apples, and walnuts.
- Toss to coat thoroughly.
- Directions for making topping:
- Mix old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, and flour in a medium bowl.
- Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add to the mixture.
- Using a pastry blender, cut the butter evenly throughout until the mixture resembles a coarse crumble.
Assemble the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Roll out the softened dough. Place in a 9-inch pie dish.
- Pour the filling into the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the filling. Crimp or flute the edges of your pie crust.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Add foil around the edges of the crust so it doesn’t burn.
- Bake for an additional 40 minutes.
- Allow cooling for 30 minutes. Serve warm.
- About the Author
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Laura L. Zimmerman is an author of both indie and traditionally published books. She lives in a tiny rural town in south-central Pennsylvania with her husband, daughters, four adorable kitties, and one energetic puppy!
After earning a BMUS with a Certification in Music Therapy, she decided to homeschool her children. Here she discovered a passion for learning and teaching, which led her to make writing a priority. She currently enjoys reading and writing YA sci-fi and fantasy, as well as middle-grade mysteries.
Having come from a family where cooking wasn’t a priority, she quickly discovered her love of cooking and baking soon after she married. Twenty-three years later it’s still a passion for her as she enjoys creating new recipes for her family and friends. She found her green thumb in the garden soon after her family bought their first house and appreciates the yummy food grown in her own backyard!
Laura can be reached at email@example.com