Fall has arrived alongside with our pumpkin cravings, especially pumpkin pie. Pumpkin Pie is very popular in America and Canada, but where did our obsession begin?
The name pumpkin first originated from the Greek word for large melon: “pepon”. The French changed “peopon” to “pompon”. The English termed it “pumpion” or “pompion”. Early American settlers of the Plymouth Colony in southern New England, may have baked pumpkin pies without crusts. They stewed pumpkins or even filled a hollowed pumpkin shell with mil, honey, and spices, baking it later in hot ashes.
It was in 1651 when Francois Pierre La Varenne, a famous French chef and author of one of the most important French cookbooks of the 17th century, “Le Vrai Cuisinier Francois (The True French Cook)”, made a recipe for “Tourte of Pumpkin” which featured a pastry shell: tourte of Pumpkin – Boile it with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds; let all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste; bake it. After it is baked, besprinkle it with sugar and serve.
By the 1670’s, recipes for “pumpion pie” began to appear in all English cookbooks, pumpkin pie recipes started to sound more familiar, including spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Later, the recipes added apples, raisins, or currants to the filling.
It was not until 1796 that a truly American cookbook called American Cookery, by an American Orphan by Amelia Simmons, was published. It was the first American cookbook written and published here, and the first with recipes for foods native to America. Simmons’ pumpkin puddings were baked in a crust and like present-day pumpkin pies.
On September 25th, 2010, in New Bremen, Ohio, the world’s largest pumpkin pie was made at the New Bremen Pumkinfest, where a pie of 1,212 pounds of canned pumpkin, 109 gallons of evaporated milk, 2,796 eggs, 7 pounds of salt, 14.5 pounds of cinnamon, and 525 pounds of sugar, was first seen. The final pie weighed 3,699 pounds and measured 20 feet in diameter, can you imagine!?
Today, home bakers have a plethora of pumpkin-inspired recipes to choose from – Thank God for Pinterest! And it seems as if pumpkin pie was not only a staple at Thanksgiving, but also Christmas. Here in The Yucatan Times, we love nothing more but a freshly baked piece of pie, it’s really the perfect fall holiday treat.
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