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National Pie Day, January 23rd

apple pie on cutting board

National Pie Day is a holiday in the United States, celebrated on January 23rd. It is a day to appreciate and enjoy different types of pies, such as fruit pies, cream pies, and savory pies. The holiday is not officially recognized by the US government, but it is celebrated by pie enthusiasts and bakeries across the country. Some bakeries and restaurants offer special promotions or discounts on pie on this day, and there are also events and contests to celebrate the holiday.

It officially started in 1986 and was created by the American Pie Council, a group that promotes the baking and consumption of pies in the United States. The group chose January 23rd as the date for the holiday because it is the birthday of Crisco, a brand of shortening that is commonly used in pie crusts. Since then, the day is celebrated annually as a way to appreciate and enjoy pies.

Here are some interesting facts about pie:

  • The ancient Egyptians are believed to be the first civilization to make pies. They filled them with honey and fruit and used them as a way to preserve food.
  • The first pies in America were brought over by the English and Dutch settlers in the 17th century. These pies were often savory and filled with meat, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Pumpkin pie is the most popular pie in America during Thanksgiving.
  • Pecan pie is the most popular pie in America during Christmas.
  • The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds.
  • George Washington’s wife, Martha, had a recipe for “great cream pie.”
  • The term “as American as apple pie” has been used since the late 1800s to describe something that is quintessentially American.

In the movie “Michael” staring John Travolta, pie is celebrated with a scene where pies of all types are served. I think there were apple pie, berry pie, cream pie… Let us know if you can remember them all.

Here is a recipe for a classic, flaky pie crust that can be used for a variety of sweet and savory pies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the chilled butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Slowly add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flat disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  5. Once chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to the desired size and thickness.
  6. Carefully transfer the dough to a pie dish, trim the edges, and crimp the edges to your desired design.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  8. If making a pre-baked crust or blind-bake the crust before adding your desired filling.

This recipe will make a double pie crust, enough for a 9-inch pie. Feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking and if you need help with a specific type of pie crust let me know. Enjoy with a bold cup of coffee.