George Washington enjoyed Beefsteak and Kidney Pie. Thomas Jefferson dined on Stuffed Boned Capon. One of William H. Taft’s beloved recipes was Lobster a la Newburg. And one of John F. Kennedy’s favorite dishes was green turtle soup spiked with sherry and cream.
Clearly the presidents of the United States like to eat.
These recipes and others enjoyed by the presidents through 1996 can be found in “The First Ladies' Cookbook,” a treasure-trove of presidential favorites compiled and edited by culinary and historical authorities.
February is known as presidents’ month because it contains the birthdays of two of our most influential leaders – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. February is also the month two additional presidents, Ronald Reagan (February 6) and William Henry Harrison (February 9) were born.
As this year’s presidents’ month draws to a close, every American citizen can remember all the U.S. presidents by enjoying a classical American food in their honor. And what food is more American than apple pie?
The following White House Apple Pie Recipe was created by White House pastry chef Bill Yosses for President Obama and his family, according to ABC News.
Ingredients for one apple pie
For Pie Crust:
3 cups (about 13 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 oz. (2 and 1/2 sticks) cooled to room temperature, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
6-7 tablespoons ice water
1 egg and 1 teaspoon salt for egg wash
3 lbs apples, such as Gala, Granny Smith or McIntosh, peeled cored and cut into half-inch wedges
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey, preferably local
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Zest and juice of one lemon
Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse five times. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms chickpea-sized pieces, about 20 seconds. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until mixture just holds together. Divide dough and form into two equal-sized balls, then press each ball down to form a 5-inch disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disc into a 14-inch circle. Place one circle between sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate.
Grease a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and gently place the other circle in the pan, leaving a one-inch overhang. Chill the dough in the pie pan for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 375º F. Remove the pie pan with the bottom crust from the refrigerator and let soften for five to ten minutes. Fold the edge of the overhang under itself and pinch the dough to form a fluted edge. Line with foil and fill with pie weights, rice, or navy beans. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and lift out foil and pie weights; allow pie shell to cool for 10 minutes.
In a large saucepan, sift together the sugar and cornstarch, then toss with apples, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice and zest. Let stand for 20 minutes.
Bring fruit mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened slightly, making sure fruit does not stick to the bottom of saucepan. Remove from heat and cool.
Whisk the egg and salt together and brush the rim of the pre-baked pie shell. Fill with the fruit filling and then lay the second dough circle over the filling. Press very gently around the edges to make sure the egg wash seals the top pie dough to the bottom pre-baked crust. With a paring knife, puncture the top pie dough in a wide circle about 10 times with the tip of the knife to form steam vents. Brush top with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake another 30-40 minutes or until the pie filling is starting to bubble out the vents and the top pie crust is golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 1-2 hours before serving.
Serves 10 - 12
If making this presidential apple pie seems too complicated, try this recipe for making a simple apple pie using refrigerated pie crust.
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