New and changing traditions – skillet apple pie

Mrs. Adamu and I are in Connecticut for Thanksgiving this year. It’s the first time we have been back at this time of the season for several years and I must say it’s been refreshing. New England is cold at this time of year but the air is crisp and the night sky very clear. I do not remember seeing this many stars for a very long time.

I’ve been listening to a lot of NPR on this trip and was inspired by hearing this story on Morning Edition about popular Thanksgiving dishes that have come and gone. So inspired, in fact, that I tried to make one of the dishes, skillet apple pie. I highly recommend listening to the whole story as it gives you an interesting feel for how different Thanksgiving must have been in generations past. Anyway here is what the dish is supposed to do:

Apple pie is an essential dish for Thanksgiving, yet it’s perhaps the hardest dessert to master: making two layers of pie crust; getting flavor into the apples; making the filling sliceable but tasty; making the bottom crust crispy instead of soggy. Here’s our quick and easy answer to the Apple Pie Problem.

While this wasn’t a vintage dish (it was an invention of the person interviewed for the story), it sounded pretty damned good. I’ve never had apple pie with apple cider and maple syrup before. My own variation on the dish did nothing to solve the “apple pie problem” however. I transported the sauteed apples back into a traditional pie plate and used a top and bottom crust. I haven’t tried it yet so we shall see if it works out. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

15 thoughts on “New and changing traditions – skillet apple pie”

  1. Hmm. I wouldn’t call apple pie “essential”. My family never once had it for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin pie is generally viewed as the traditional Thanksgiving dessert.

  2. That skillet apple pie is just a weaksauce version of Tarte Tatin, a French dish about 100 years old. The person in the story may have thought it up independently, but it’s hardly a new thing.

  3. Even I know that it’s Pumpkin Pie for T’giving, not apple. But tarte tatin is damn good, so who cares? Damn, all these Americans talking about their feasts is making me hungry.

  4. Huh. I did not even know Canada had a Thanksgiving, still less that it was in October. Logical to be earlier, I guess. since it is further north.

  5. In fact, wasn’t the first on celebrated in Canada? By that bloke who was looking for the Northwest passage?

    Interesting fact: “Squanto,” the Indian that taught the pilgrims how to put seeds in the ground and that fish did not necessarily come from a fishmonger, spoke English even before the pilgrims arrived. Apparantly he needed to. The pilgrims evidently couldn’t even say his full name.

  6. Wow, yeah. I just looked up Squanto’s article on Wikipedia, and apparently he had been taken to England years earlier to train as a translator, smallpox wiped out his village while he was away, and then when the pilgrims landed in that area he decided to help them-I guess out of loneliness or something.

  7. The Canadian one was “first”, but I don’t think that it really matters – they are both based on generic contemporary European harvest festivals anyway.

  8. I would celebrate both Thanksgivings because turkey is one of my favorite foods and probably the only thing other than reese peanut butter cups that I miss. Alas my Japanese oven is too small to cook a turkey. For Canadian thanksgiving I just get a bit sad about the fact. For American thanksgiving I get bitter.

    However, I occasionally celebrate a third thanksgiving in August. When I go to Canada I force my mother and/or step mom to cook the full deal thanksgiving dinner.

  9. Turkey fits pretty well into my yearly schedule –

    Welcome back from Japan Turkey in early September
    Canadian Thanksgiving Turkey in October
    American Thanksgiving Turkey in November
    Christmas Turkey is December
    Easter Turkey whenever Easter happens to be
    Welcome back to Japan Maguro in April
    Maguro is the Turkey of the Sea

  10. Wow, M-bone, four large doses of L-tryptophan in four months. You must spend the whole Fall asleep!

  11. Apple pie has never been too tricky for me to make, though some folks have been appalled at my liberal use of cinnamon. Apples need some help in getting their natural sweetness beyond the savoury pastry, and a plenty of cinnamon does it.

    I saw a prop for the delicious pumpkin pie, which I have to second. Now must stop commenting on Thanksgiving posts because the leftovers are gone 🙁

  12. “You must spend the whole Fall asleep!”

    Ha. Seriously, I find that if I load up on the turkey and skip desert, the itis isn’t that much worse (better?) than tonkotsu chashumen or something.

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