Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Very Special Stirling Club Offer

Apple PieBeginning today, The Stirling Club is offering a very special service during the holidays. Under the direction of Charlie Palmer executive chefs, the Stirling Club will be offering freshly baked holiday pies that may be ordered through the concierge.

For more information and prices, please contact the Stirling Club concierge. Orders are should be placed in advance as only so many pies may be baked on any given day. There are four different pies to choose from to make your holidays complete and the Stirling Club Courtier is pleased to share a little history about each of them.

The History Of America's Favorite Holiday Pies.

Apple Pie. While the earliest recipe can be traced back to England and the time of Chaucer — the English author, poet and philosopher — apple pie has become synonymous with America, even if the reason was English. During colonial days, colonists would have to wait for carefully transported pips before they became fruit-bearing apple trees. So the colonists took to making pastries with meat instead of fruit.

Once apples were finally available, the variations of pastries and new recipes (some from the eighteenth century) ensured the pie would finally become America's favorite dessert. When it did, it became so commonplace that the old saying as American as apple pie stuck.

Pumpkin Pie. Unlike the apple, the pumpkin is native to the continent of North America but the pie did not originate here. When pumpkins were exported to France, the flesh of the “pompion” was quickly accepted as pie filler before making its way to England.

pumpkin pie las vegasIronically, the Pilgrims brought pumpkin pie back to New England, but its popularity later waned in England. Perhaps that is the primary reason pumpkin pie became associated with Thanksgiving and the holidays. While the Native Americans had the pumpkins, the Pilgrims had the right recipe.

Pecan Pie. Tradition holds that the French invented pecan pie soon after settling in New Orleans, with Native Americans already enjoying the nut. However, the true origin of the pecan pie is a mystery because no recipes have ever been found prior to 1925.

Over time, American literature began associating pecan pie with the holidays and despite its mysterious origin, it still carries an aura of French cuisine as a home-cooked comfort food. Sometimes, the French-American flair is emphasized with the addition of chocolate or bourbon whiskey.

Sweet Potato Pie. While it doesn't have as rich a history as some of the other pies, sweet potato pie is an American invention that can be traced to the Southern United States. It has become an America favorite, especially around the holidays.

Interestingly enough, it was the northern states that eventually decided to add marshmallows as a topping. In the South, the recipes are generally simple with mashed sweet potatoes, milk, sugar and eggs, flavored with spices such as nutmeg.
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