Keep your fork, there's pie.
Those words are spoken often at the dinner table in Mimi's Kitchen. They will be spoken every evening during the month of September in celebration of pie season. Pie season officially opens Labor Day weekend and ends the Monday after Thanksgiving as cookie season begins. Pie season celebrates fruit, nut, cream, custard, and savory pies. Some pies are baked and some are fried. All are quintessentially American and taste best when eaten with family and friends.
Whereas pie has a long and colorful world history it is at its best sitting on an American table. The Pilgrims brought their favorite family pies with them to the New World in 1620. These 'pyes' were originally baked in a long deep tin called a coffin. The pastry used to create these coffins was typically tough and hardly edible. Think of it as disposable Tupperware of the 1600s. Pack up your lunch in the morning and know it will be kept fresh and intact until noon. The biodegradable packaging could then be thrown to the dogs, if they would eat it.
Before too many decades had past the colonists considered these throw away pye coffins to be impractical and wasteful and so the American pie evolved from their frugal natures. The first American made pye pans were round to cut corners and were flat and shallow so the pies would "go a long way." The crust was made less solid but much more edible; it was the perfect container to hold the abundance of fruits, nuts, and game that was found in the New World.
Pies began to take on a New World character - they were large, round, abundantly filled and beautifully crusted. American pie became a staple on every table. Pie came to symbolize home, comfort, and security. Few things feel more welcoming to an American than a dish of warm apple pie with a scoop of just melting ice cream sliding off to the side.
Please stop by Mimi's Kitchen often this fall to see what's new in pie world. I will post many vintage and southern pie recipes with lots of "how to."
When it is time to clear the dinner dishes remember to keep your fork, there is pie every night during pie season.