What is more American than Apple Pie? It goes right along with baseball and hot dogs. Just the name conjures up images of summer, picnics and holidays.
According to the historians of the Cambridge Hotel in Washington County New York, Professor Charles Watson Townsend, dined regularly at the Cambridge Hotel during the mid-1890's. He often ordered ice cream with his apple pie. Mrs. Berry Hall, a diner seated next to him, asked what it was called. He said it didn’t have a name, and she promptly dubbed it Pie a la mode. Townsend liked the name so much he asked for it each day by that name. When Townsend visited the famous Delmonico Restaurant in New York City, he asked for pie a la mode. When the waiter proclaimed he never heard of it, Townsend chastised him and the manager, and was quoted as saying; "Do you mean to tell me that so famous an eating place as Delmonico's has never heard of Pie a la Mode, when the Hotel Cambridge, up in the village of Cambridge, NY serves it every day? Call the manager at once, I demand as good serve here as I get in Cambridge." The following day it became a regular at Delmonico and a resulting story in the New York Sun (a reporter was listening to the whole conversation) made it a country favorite with the publicity that ensued.
Many years ago my dad decided he wanted some Apple Pie. He went to work picking the perfect apples, mixed up a crust and find the perfect recipe. The result was an immediate hit, and much to his chagrin was requested over and over again. The process has become a bit easier over the years with the invention of already made pie crust and canned apples, but they are just as good. Here is his famous recipe for Apple Crumb Pie:
Apple Crumb Pie
2 - #2 cans of apples rinsed and drained½ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Topping:½ cup sugar
¾ cup plain flour
1/3 cup butter
Place apples in unbaked pie shell. Mix ½ cup sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples.
Topping: Mix ½ cup sugar, flour and cut in cold butter until crumbly. Sprinkle all of it over apples.
Bake for 40 minutrd at 400 degrees or until done. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.