The history of pies is fascinating. Pastry itself was originated by the Greeks and its use spread throughout Europe, where every country adapted the recipes to their customs and foods. American women followed suit in their Colonial kitchens. They experimented with the fruits of the wilderness until hearty American pies, plump and juicy, came from their ovens. Gradually, regional pies were developed - pumpkin in New England, chess and pecan in the South, and "nervous pies" teamed with fruits in Pennsylvania Dutch kitchens. Pies were not limited to dessert usage, but were also served as hearty main dishes. An example of the latter is Shepherd's pie, first made with the leftovers from Sunday's dinner.
Each succeeding era has brought us new pie variations. In the 1930's Concord Grape pies were the rage. The 1940's gave us High Citrus Pie, and the 1950's were famous for double-fruit pies such as Pineapple-Rhubarb pie. A recipe classic which was extremely popular during the 1960's was Lemon Meringue pie. With our renewed concern over watching calories, whipped Jello pies became popular in the 1970's.
From pioneer beginnings to the present, pies have won their way into our American culture, but none so much as the good Old-fashioned Apple Pie.
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