What Happened to Apple Pie?

Put off by the flavor (or lack of it) in mass-produced baked goods? Seems that concern has been around for quite some time, as evidenced by this 1942 editorial about America's finest dessert.

Cooking tools on a wooden table

Weekly Newsletter

The best of The Saturday Evening Post in your inbox!

SUPPORT THE POST

Editor’s note: Put off by the flavor (or lack of it) in mass-produced baked goods? Seems that concern has been around for quite some time, as evidenced by this 1942 Post editorial about apple pie.

The Decline of Apple Pie

Editorial originally published on July 25, 1942
A friend tells us of an Iowa miner who has had apple pie for lunch every day for the past 45 years. His wife fabricates a fresh pie each morning, puts half of it in her husband’s dinner pail, and they share the remaining half at the evening meal. That’s all we know of the story, but it is obvious that the miner’s wife learned her trade back in those golden years of cookery before subversive influences began to destroy the character of America’s finest dessert. If the Iowa miner were to find in his dinner bucket the kind of apple pie you get in most public eating places these days, he would tamp it in as ballast around a stick of dynamite. Just how our hotels and restaurants arrived at the abortion which they mistakenly list on the menu as apple pie is one of the major mysteries of the past 20 years. It is surprising that an indignant populace hasn’t sought a court injunction.

Apple pie, properly compounded of fresh, thinly sliced apples, sugar, and spices, is one of our noblest American institutions. Within it, there is all the generous flavor put there by the wind and the blue sky and the gentle rains of summertime. It balances off a good many of the shortcomings of this confused world.

Most restaurant apple pie, however, tastes as if it had been left in a Turkish bath overnight. What actually has happened is that chefs somehow have acquired the ridiculous notion that apples should be stewed before putting them into the crust. The result, naturally, is a spiritless concoction which, if it had appeared at an old-fashioned country-school pie supper, would have brought about the ostracism of its creator.

As matters stand, there is probably nothing we can do about the use of precooked, watery apples in pie except to exercise the democratic right of protest. If the proper recipe for apple pie had been written into the Bill of Rights, as it should have been, we could demand that the FBI take immediate action.

For the perfect apple pie recipe, pick up the July/August 2016 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now

Recommended

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *