Sohla Bakes an Apple Pie Recipe from 1796 America (& Medieval England!) | Ancient Recipes With Sohla

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It’s a culinary reenactment of the American Revolution as Sohla makes two historic versions of apple pie, pitting the US vs. the UK. First up, Sohla recreates the oldest known recipe for apple pie from 1390 England, then bakes up a 1796 recipe for apple pie from the first ever American cookbook.


1796 American Apple Pie (from American Cookery):

For the pie crust:
– 1-2 egg whites
– 8 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
– 6 ounces cold, salted, European-style butter

For the filling:
– 5 to 6 pounds of small, mixed, market apples
– zest of 1 lemon
– 1 tablespoon rose water
– granulated sugar to taste

1. For the pie crust: Whisk the egg white until just frothy. (This is just to break it up so it’s easier to add to the dough.)

2. Add the flour to a medium bowl. Cut the butter into thin slices and add to flour. Using your hands, rub the flour into the dough until you have peas sized pieces of butter running throughout the flour.

3. Drizzle in the egg white a little bit at a time, stirring with a spoon until the mixture mostly comes together. Gently knead to bring together into a ball, cover with a towel, and set aside in a cool place to rest for 30 minutes.

4. Roll the dough out to ⅛-inch thick, dusting the surface with flour as needed. Use the dough to line a pie pan, trimming any excess dough so 1-inch of the dough hangs off the rim of the pan. Crimp the dough, cover with a towel, and set aside in a cool place to rest.

5. For the filling: Cut the apples into quarters, keeping the seeds and skins intact. Add to a medium pot and add enough water to come ½-inch up the side of the pot. Cover, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are completely tender. Cool slightly, then mash the apples through a coarse mesh strainer or colander. Add lemon zest, rose water, and sugar to taste. Set the filling aside to cool.

6. To bake: Scrape the filling into the prepared crust and bake at 375 until the crust is golden brown.

1390 English Apple Pie (from The Forme of Cury):

For the crust:
– 300 grams all-purpose flour
– 60 grams bread flour
– 150 grams lard, melted
– 150 mL boiling water
– 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:
– 4 pounds of small, mixed, market apples
– 3 medium pears
– ½ cup roughly chopped dried figs
– ½ cup raisins
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground ginger
– ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1. For the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose and bread flour. Add the melted lard, boiling water & salt to the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir until combined.

2. Tip the dough onto the counter and knead until smooth.

3. Cut off about ⅓ of the dough, cover, and set aside. (This will be for the top) Form the remaining dough into a ball, then flatten slightly. Using a pie dolly, jam jar or your hands, mold the still warm dough into a pie shell with straight sides. Try to make sure the dough is the same thickness on the sides, that the dough on the base is not too thick and that there are no holes. Flatten the reserved dough into a thin disk slightly wider than the top of the pie shell. Chill for at least 30 minutes or until really firm.

4. For the filling: Peel, quarter, and core the apples and pears. Add the apples and pears to a food processor and pulse to roughly chop. Add the dried figs, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and process into a coarse puree. Or you can do it the medieval way & crush them all together in a large barrel.

5. Scrape the mixture into the chilled pie shell, top with crust and crimp. Use a dowel to poke a hole in the top of the dough to release steam while baking.

6. Bake at 400F until deeply browned.

Ancient Recipes with Sohla takes the food you know and love and traces it back to its origins. In each episode, Sohla El-Waylly details the surprising history of some of our favorite dishes as she attempts to recreate the original version using historical cooking techniques and ingredients. Along the way, Sohla highlights the differences between the ancient recipe and how we would prepare the modern version today.


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Kristin Hammock says:

They did have and carry their own spoons and knives.

thomas cornally says:

i hate the sound quality. it sounds like the 30 seconds before you faint

Alone & okay says:

How did they chill the dough?

AmberRaeIanetti84 says:

I house sit for a home built in 1767 but luckily there's an up to date professional kitchen attached 😁

Robbie Knight says:

Growing up in Maine, even though we made apple pie with sliced apples, we always liked to buy cheddar sliced from a big wheel because the slices were the right size to lie on slices of hot apple pie out of the oven. We preffered sharp cheddar to ice cream on our apple pie.

David Kartwright says:

Nothing is as american as you think, everything was brought overseas and reformulated for worse mainly

Lisa Goodrow says:

That was awesome I enjoyed that very much they all look good and I never knew that you could use egg whites either I want to try that so thank you for the tip

Veronika McDonald King says:

I think there might be pectin in the skin and seeds? That could help the pie filling gel.

AshlynA01 says:

They look great but I do have a question, why use the seeds of the apples if they contain cyanide?

Kayla Russo says:

I thought I loved Sohla before. I love her so much more after finding these videos

B P says:

Do chocolate chip cookies!

Martin Posales says:

What is not to love lol great job love you

Robin Siciliano says:

Love these videos with Sohla! What a great tip to use egg white in pie crust.

Craig Blum says:

Love these videos. Excellent work Sohla!

Apple Gal says:

I love Shola! Glad to find her here 🥰

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