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Old 06-12-2015, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default Whatever happened to apple pie?

In the restaurants of America, desserts are taking a beating. If you'd like to have some sadistic fun the next time you eat out, when your server asks if you'd like dessert, say "I sure would like a piece of apple pie." That deer-in-the-headlights look you'll get is priceless (NB: This doesn't work at Marie Callender's; they actually have pie. Apparently they have cornered the pie market). After a preliminary stutter, your server will say, "We don't have apple pie, but we DO have three-kinds-of-cake-five-kinds-of-ice-cream-with-chocolate-strawberry-and-butterscotch-topping-whipped-cream-nuts-gummi-bears-sardines-and-a-cherry-on-top* (Every chain restaurant in America serves this. Probably three quarters of their customers are families with children, and when I was a kid I would have killed for something like this. It probably would have killed me, too)." There will be two other dessert options: tiramisu (made with cornstarch) and cheesecake (made with styrofoam). And nobody even KNOWS what tapioca is.** What happened to simple desserts? Does anybody know?

*Just kidding about the sardines.

**There are places in Boston where you can get Indian pudding. Do it.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:27 PM   #2
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i am not sure if you have this chain in your area...but we go to Bob Evans and they always have pie. decent pie, not out of this world, but decent.

i can also usually find apply pie at golden corral.

i agree on the desserts getting crazy thing. if you go to most of the national chains you get all sorts of stuff...except the classics. i am usually up for trying fun new desserts, but sometimes you just want pie.

ps. if you do go to bob evans try the biscuits. they are awesome.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:41 PM   #3
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I know its very unAmerican, but Ive never been a fan of apple pie. I think its the mushy apples that grosses me out. I dont really like any fruit pie because of that reason.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:53 PM   #4
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I know its very unAmerican, but Ive never been a fan of apple pie. I think its the mushy apples that grosses me out. I dont really like any fruit pie because of that reason.
Burn the witch!

But have you ever tried Dutch Apple Pie? It starts with dried apples, so ends up with a very different consistency than regular apple pie.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:32 PM   #5
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I know its very unAmerican, but Ive never been a fan of apple pie. I think its the mushy apples that grosses me out. I dont really like any fruit pie because of that reason.
I don't blame you. Fruit pies made with fresh fruit or ( as Tad points out) dried fruit are not mushy. Fruit pies made with canned or frozen fruit usually are. Fresh fruit is more expensive, however, so commercially made pies are highly likely to contain mushy fruit (if you can find it amongst all the cornstarch)
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:56 PM   #6
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I don't blame you. Fruit pies made with fresh fruit or ( as Tad points out) dried fruit are not mushy. Fruit pies made with canned or frozen fruit usually are. Fresh fruit is more expensive, however, so commercially made pies are highly likely to contain mushy fruit (if you can find it amongst all the cornstarch)
This is why I never order pie when I'm out and make fruit crisp at home instead.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:13 PM   #7
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hub eats apple pie with slices of thin cut cheddar on top. i tried it, but could not get into the flavor. i looked it up and it is a thing...anyone else eat cheese on it like that?
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:39 PM   #8
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hub eats apple pie with slices of thin cut cheddar on top. i tried it, but could not get into the flavor. i looked it up and it is a thing...anyone else eat cheese on it like that?
I have tasted it this way. It is not bad, but I prefer my apple pie warm with ice cream.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:50 AM   #9
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Apple pie with cheese was a fairly standard breakfast among the pioneers who settled the Great Plains. Apples were dried, and milk turned into cheese, so that the settlers would have food for the winter. From there it was just a step to a nourishing morning meal that provided carbohydrates, protein, and enough fat to make you feel full. I've had warm apple pie with cheddar for breakfast at a B&B in Missouri, and I treasure the memory!
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by luvmybhm View Post
hub eats apple pie with slices of thin cut cheddar on top. i tried it, but could not get into the flavor. i looked it up and it is a thing...anyone else eat cheese on it like that?
I'm not crazy about that myself, but my Father has a line that he repeats every time that there is apple pie (and they have apple trees in the back yard, so apple pie is not an uncommon occurrence): "Apple pie without cheese / is like a kiss without a squeeze." Which, when I write it out, just sounds more creepy than funny, but yah..... some people insist on that combo.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:29 AM   #11
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I think most restaurants keep seasonal flavours on hand. We have a lot of strawberry rhubarb and cherry pies at this time of year and that's FINE by me.

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Old 06-22-2015, 07:50 AM   #12
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Back to the OP's question - I fear poor apple pie has image as well as practical trends working in it's disfavor.
Interesting to note that apple pie's international step-siblings like Tarte Tatin, & Apfelstrudel are suffering exactly the same fate - for the same reasons.

I absolutely love fruit pies, no matter which fruit is in them - and apple can be anything but plain if well made (I got a great recipe from a one time seminar participant's grandmother, with fresh grated ginger and orange zest, fabulous. Good is also Normandie style which raisins soaked in Calvados liquor and nuts. And of course you need the right type of apples - Dutch Boskoop or French Antoinette are best). Sorry - talking about recipes tends to get me carried away....

Apple pie's

a) image problem

Many restaurants try to be chic, trendy, sophisticated, international, fusion, whatever. That means have as many exotic sounding dishes on the menu, to underline this claim.

Apple pie is in contrast .... well: peace, love and apple pie. Something we all want but take for granted when we have it. It's image is of being conventional, old-fashioned, unimaginative, doesn't make much of a show if you have it on the menu - or actually serving it on a plate ....

Despite it's unassuming character, it is

b) challenging in practice

Ice cream with toppings imo doesn't qualify as serious restaurant dessert. All it means is they have a freezer, a shelf full of bottles and can use a spoon ...

Making a good apple pie from scratch actually isn't that easy - and semi-prepared convenience food or cake mixes don't get you very far. Even if you buy ready made dough, getting the filling right, fitting the lid requires some skill - and time as well as the right ingredients.
Many restaurants work with un-/semi-skilled kitchen staff or pre-fabricated food, so apple pie isn't for them.

Some of the less enthusiastic comments regarding apple pie here show that these unfortunate posters have too often been served apple pie that had a bad recipe, a non-talented baker and probably sub-par ingredients.

Apple pie doesn't keep well (at home it's okay, but not for restaurant serving).
If you're a quality restaurant with freshly made food - it means you have to make it every day (unless it's a special), maybe even twice for the lunch and dinner shift (see the above time issue). A cheese cake or a tiramisù will keep in the fridge, with some aroma ingredients it will even have more flavor on day two or three.

Set the wage costs needed to make a good apple pie in relation to what you can charge for it (.... and for instance compare that to a chocolate mousse) - it's also not the best deal for the restaurateur.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:09 AM   #13
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Pie. Who knew there was so much to say about it.


Haha
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:25 AM   #14
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Pie. Who knew there was so much to say about it.


Haha
Every day is a wonderful day for pie.

My family did the cheese on apple pie thing, I eschewed that. Ice cream or bust for me...
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:24 AM   #15
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Pie. Who knew there was so much to say about it.


Haha
Baking is a serious issue. You can never say enough about it.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:51 AM   #16
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In my Mom's generation/sub-culture, pie was clearly of great importance. It was like your CV of domestic capability, or something--I never understood the code, but it was one of those things you can feel in the air.

As for me, meh, I like pie, pie is good. Nothing complicated.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:22 PM   #17
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Very true. I see a banana bread in my future.


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Baking is a serious issue. You can never say enough about it.
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Old 11-20-2015, 03:39 PM   #18
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I know its very unAmerican, but Ive never been a fan of apple pie. I think its the mushy apples that grosses me out. I dont really like any fruit pie because of that reason.
Fortunately Apple Pie is not American; rather it's Dutch. That being said, Shari's Cafe and Pies has a fantastic Granny's Apple Pie.
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Old 11-26-2015, 04:38 AM   #19
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Homebaked apple pie, the pie crust recipe from the old BHG cookbook 1978 and to that I add just a hint of nutmeg/cinnamon to add some flavour to the pie crust.
Modern apples do not have much taste so I try to have several types together. Use cane sugar or light brown sugar with some cinnamon or apple pie spice mix. I know USA sells this but never seen it here in EU. Should you like adding raisins to the mix try to get plump recent raisins and not old stock dried out raisins that have been sitting there.
Modernize that apple pie add some cherries or some blackcurrants. The site www.bhg.com has some nice apple pie and other pie recipes.
When I still used to get around and still travelled abroad, the germans have nice apple pie, one could order that with coffee at bakeries where one could have coffee & cake.
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:48 PM   #20
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on the pie topic...

i was making pumpkin pie over the thanksgiving holiday. while i have made my own crust in the past, it is a messy process and i wanted to cheat and get a ready made crust.

you would be surprised at how many pie crusts, frozen or ready made, still are made with lard. i get the flaky crust thing, but i just can't get into the lard thing. i tried most of the big name frozen crusts and even the store brands. the only one i found without it was mrs. smith's. it took me several stores to find those. just wanted to mention so that any vegan/vegetarians out there are aware the old school process is still out there.
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:04 PM   #21
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Modern apples do not have much taste
THIS.

So very much this.

Especially in the quantities required for industrial production (which is what you'd see in chain restaurants, and probably most others unless they're specifically sourcing artisinal ingredients), you're just not going to see high-quality apples. They've been hybridized and whatnot to survive transportation to the processing facility without spoilage. Consumer-grade ones also have to look nice on arrival and have maximum shelf life. Flavor is a far lower priority.
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Old 12-27-2015, 06:19 AM   #22
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Costco makes a pretty good apple pie, its huge and its like $9.99 or something. Whenever we have a pot luck or community dinner I bring one of those as a place-holder for the dessert table and there's rarely very much or any left when the meal is over.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:02 PM   #23
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on the apple pie subject...

i went to lunch with a friend about a week or so ago. we went to a local place that is very family friendly and has excellent hamburgers. there was a little sign on the table that said 'try our apple pie milkshake'. so of course i did!

i ordered it and the waitress says 'we are out of brown sugar ice cream, but i know we have the pie...let me check'. they actually blend a slice of apple pie into a milkshake. since they did not have the brown sugar ice cream i had mine with vanilla. they shake in a hint of cinnamon. it was amazing! i thought it would be weird to have the itty bitty pie chunks in it...they were super small and didn't bother me. SO GOOD!
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchid View Post
Modern apples do not have much taste so I try to have several types together. Use cane sugar or light brown sugar with some cinnamon or apple pie spice mix. I know USA sells this but never seen it here in EU. Should you like adding raisins to the mix try to get plump recent raisins and not old stock dried out raisins that have been sitting there.
Modernize that apple pie add some cherries or some blackcurrants.
Agree as far as many modern apple varieties go Orchid.

I don't know where in the EU you live, but from my cross-EU apple baking experience I can recommend the following apple varieties:

F = Antoinette
D/NL/B/Lux: Boskoop, Elstar, Pinova
I/GR: Jonathan

Raisins get even better if you soak them in rum/Cognac or a French apple spirit (Calvados or Pommeau) beforehand.

I have yet to try the blackcurrants, but I've used dried cherries, a base of cowberry preserve - bith very good - or my new favorite for apple strudel (pie's Austrian cousin..) are dried cranberries - tastes great!

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Originally Posted by luvmybhm View Post
'try our apple pie milkshake'.
I confess to being a dogmatic food Puritan when it comes to this type of creation. Please - no cookie dough in ice cream, or apple pie in milk shake or cheese cake flavoured yoghurt (was offered that for dessert today). Mushing everything up that's supposed to convince by it's texture or needs to be baked or whatever - uuuggh - no thank you!
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:57 PM   #25
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Local Greek restaurant/diner still makes apple pies daily. You just need to get there before 2 PM or the old people and truckers have it gone!
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