An apple pie, regional variation apple tart, is a fruit pie, in which the principal filling ingredient is apple.
It is, on occasion, served with whipped cream or ice cream on top, or alongside cheddar cheese. The pastry is generally used top-and-bottom, making it a double-crust pie; the upper crust may be a circular or a pastry lattice woven of crosswise strips. Depending on the baker’s preference, the bottom of the double-crust may be baked first (before baking the whole pie) to prevent the bottom from getting soggy. Exceptions are deep-dish apple pie, with a top crust only, and open-face Tarte Tatin.
Apple pie was brought to the colonies by the British, Dutch, and Swedes during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The apple pie had to wait for the planting of European varieties, brought across the Atlantic, to become fruit-bearing apple trees, to be selected for their cooking qualities as there were no native apples except crabapples, which yield very small and sour fruit In the meantime, the colonists were more likely to make their pies, or “pasties”, from meat, calling them coffins (meaning basket) rather than fruit; and the main use for apples, once they were available, was in cider.
Modern American recipes for apple pie usually indicate a confection that is 9 inches in diameter in a fluted pie plate, with an apple filling spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice, and it may or may not have a lattice or shapes cut out of the top for decoration. However, there are American apple pie recipes, both manuscript and printed, from the 18th century, and it has since become a very popular dessert. Apple varieties are usually propagated by grafting, as clones, but in the New World, planting from seeds was more popular, which quickly led to the development of hundreds of new native varieties.