Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the first apple pie recipe sometime before 1391, making it the oldest recorded recipe in English. The first apple pies would have been very different from the ones we enjoy today; they had no sugar and were much more like a modern-day cheese pie.
The recipe is written as a poem in Middle English, the only ingredient missing from this old apple pie recipe being the spice required to make it taste great.
Our modern version of the first apple pie would be vastly different from that eaten by Chaucer’s pilgrims as they travelled on their way to Canterbury. Today apples are a major ingredient of pies, but this was not always the case.
Chaucer’s first apple pie recipe was a cheese pie with an egg and butter mixture poured into a coffin or pastry shell just before being cooked.
It is believed that this old apple pie recipe was originally intended as a late medieval food eaten at Christmas celebrations as it contains many of the staple ingredients associated with medieval Christmas fare.
What’s In The First Apple Pie Recipe Geoffrey Chaucer?
The ingredients required are also quite different from those used in today’s apple pie. For example, Chaucer’s apple pie recipe calls for hard cheese instead of the traditional cheddar or brie.
This is not a mistake as milk was an expensive commodity at this time, and so it would have been a luxury to cook with.
However, it is also unlikely that there would have been a decent supply of fresh milk in England at this time, although enough would have been available to add to the pilgrimage feast at the end of the journey.
Ingredients Information Of First Apple Pie Recipe
According to Chaucer, ingredients for the first apple pie recipe include hard cheese, eggs, butter, and apples. It is thought that this old apple pie recipe would be better classified as a pastry dish rather than a pie in modern terms but would have been eaten with enjoyment by Geoffrey’s pilgrims on their way to Canterbury.
The first apple pie recipe also calls for eggs and butter, neither of these ingredients being noted in today’s apple pies which contain a lot more sugar than Chaucer’s poem. As we know, apples and sugar go very well together in today’s pie, but this was not the case when Chaucer wrote his famous poem.
Ingredients Of First Apple Pie Recipe:
- 1 x pie crust (Cheese);
- 2-3 apples, peeled and cored (Core and peel the apples before placing them into your pie dish);
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon (Cinnamon);
- 150g of cheese cut into small cubes. (Hard Cheese);
- 4 tbsp butter melted. (Butter);
- 2 tbsp sugar (Sugar);
- 1 tsp salt (Salt);
- Three eggs (Eggs).
As always with our historical recipes, you can enjoy this old apple pie recipe at home whether you’re making it as an edible dish or just for fun.
The simplicity of Chaucer’s first apple pie recipe shows that medieval food doesn’t have to involve a lot of effort or time in the kitchen.
First Apple Pie Recipe Geoffrey Chaucer
- 1 Pie crust (Cheese)
- 3 Apples, peeled and cored (Core and peel the apples before placing them into your pie dish)
- 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 150 g Cheese cut into small cubes (Hard Cheese)
- 4 tbsp Butter melted
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 Eggs
- First of all, preheat your oven to the gas mark of 5 or 190 degrees celsius.
- Next, roll out your pie crust and spoon the apples into the pastry shell. Ensure that you use a deep dish so that there is plenty of room for your apple pie mixture.
- Mix the cinnamon, sugar, cheese cubes, and salt before sprinkling the mixture over the apples.
- Next, you will want to pour the melted butter onto your pie crust before sprinkling it with sugar and taking it into the oven for forty minutes to an hour.
- This is all you need to do to enjoy Chaucer's apple pie recipe.
How Long Does It Take To Make This Apple Pie?
This apple pie would probably take between one and a half and two hours in modern times. That said, the baking time in Chaucer’s poem has been lost to history, so we can’t say exactly how long it would have taken to cook this old apple with any certainty.
The pilgrims would likely have enjoyed their feast upon coming to the end of their merry journey. The poem was written to entertain Chaucer’s readers, so there is no sense that any cooking time should be considered when reading it now!
Can I Replace Some Ingredients?
You can use pretty much any apple you like instead of the ones listed in Chaucer’s first apple pie recipe. Apple pie is one of those dishes that is very versatile and interchangeable with other ingredients, so feel free to experiment with different fruit or even vegetables if you want to!
However, remember that sugar was difficult to come by in Chaucer’s time, so don’t be tempted to add too much of it into your apples. The same goes for cheese in this apple pie recipe, medieval people ate a lot less dairy than today, so be sparing with the amount you use in the dish.
Can I Store The Apple Pie For Later?
Apple pies are best eaten fresh, but you can store them in the fridge for up to three days without any problems. Since this pie doesn’t have a cream or custard filling, you don’t need to worry about storing it in the freezer if you wish to keep some of your apple pie recipes for later.
If you want to make a whole pie to store in the freezer, you should scoop out the apple mixture and put it onto a tray before freezing. Once you’ve frozen your apple mix, transfer it to a freezer bag or container that is suitable for long-term storage.
As mentioned previously, apple pie recipes became popular in Britain during the medieval era.
However, Geoffrey Chaucer’s first apple pie recipe marks an important turning point for fruit pies in general because it helped create a recognizable form of fruit pastry that was delicious and easy to recreate at home.