National Pie Day

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rhubarb pie

Pie. It's the first thing I think of when I think of comfort food. A nice warm slice of apple pie, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream over it. Deliciousness! Today's National Pie Day was created by the American Pie Council in celebration of pie. Fruit pies, meat pies, chocolate pies, vegetables pies, sweet or savory - the list is endless. Other names for pie include: streusel, tart, turnover, crumble, and pastie. Did you know that the term "upper crust" originated with pie? In early America when the economy was difficult and supplies were hard to come by only wealthy households could afford ingredients for both the upper and lower crusts of a pie; thus, the term "upper crust" was born. Apple pie is the most favored pie in America, followed by pumpkin, chocolate, lemon meringue and cherry.

Five fun pie facts:

  1. The Romans used to make goat cheese and honey pies, but used reeds as a "crust".
  2. Queen Elizabeth the First is said to have made the first ever fruit pie in the 1500s.
  3. The wealthy English were known for their “Surprise Pies” in which live creatures would pop out when the pie was cut open.
  4. The colonists brought their pies to America, but originally the crusts were called "coffins" and were not eaten!
  5. In the 19th century fruit pies were eaten as breakfast, not as a dessert.

Five Pie Recipes:

  1. Deep-Dish Apple Pie- A terrific apple pie with a transitional whole wheat crust. With all that delicious fruit an apple pie should be healthy, but the truth is a slice can have as much as 750 calories and 30 grams of fat. For the most part, the culprit is the crust. We use whole-wheat pastry flour to add fiber and lower the saturated fat by replacing some of the butter with canola oil. The brown sugar-sweetened filling in this pie is made with two kinds of apples for the perfect balance. A slice has half the calories of a typical version and only 10 grams of fat—sweet!
  2. Chocolate Liqueur Pie- The original version of this recipe calls for bourbon. IWe changed it to chocolate liqueur and reduced the amount. If you love bourbon or are feeling especially daring, try 1 tablespoon bourbon instead of the liqueur. It provides a seriously strong dessert experience.
  3. Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Whipped Cream- To save time use a store bought prepared graham cracker pie shell instead of making your own.
  4. Lemon Yogurt Pie- How can something be so creamy and yet so light at the same time?
  5. Peach-Raspberry Pie- A lightened pie crust plus the tart-sweet combination of peaches and raspberries is truly a winning recipe. Make this when peaches are at their most flavorful in midsummer.

Click for more pie recipes.

Nutrition information for one slice of apple pie:

Calories: 411
Fat: 19  g
Carbohydrates: 58  g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium:  327 mg
Protein:  4 g