We know, we know—on Thanksgiving it’s all about the turkey and the stuffing and the apple pie. (At least, in the United States that’s what it’s all about…along with giving thanks.) But, a true Pizza Freak has to ask: is apple pie really the pie to serve on a day of giving thanks? Is there a spot at the table for the PIZZA pie?
After all, 94% of Americans eat the pizza regularly—and the USDA even reports that around 1 in 8 Americans aged 2 and older eat pizza EVERY day! And isn’t that what Thanksgiving’s all about? Appreciating the regular, everyday things that make life wonderful?
In other words: Thanksgiving is really all about the pizza. And giving thanks for it. So this year, don’t torture yourself choosing between America’s two favorite pies. Celebrate and appreciate BOTH the sweet and the savory with this massive apple pie PIZZA pie!
We’ve taken sweet, fruity apple pie filling OUT of the pie crust and put it ON TOP of a pizza crust, bringing to life one irresistibly indulgent and undeniably all-American pie. So show your thanks and make room at the Thanksgiving table (and in your belly) for PIZZA—apple-pie-ified.
Then, after Thanksgiving, toss all of the leftovers into a Thanksgiving leftovers pizza, why don’t ya?
The United Pies of America
In America, it’s all about the pie. Seriously though—a 2008 survey from the American Pie Council found that a whopping 90% of Americans agreed that a slice of pie represents one of the ‘simple pleasures’ in life.
Also noteworthy: 1 in 5 Americans said they’ve eaten an entire pie by themselves! (Although, we’re sure that number would be higher if the survey had included pizza pies.)
Thanks to that older survey and a more recent 2017 survey, the country’s favorite pie has been confirmed as none other than apple pie. Which, in a culture that prides itself on being ‘as American as apple pie,’ isn’t so surprising. Or perhaps ‘as American as pizza pie’ just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it?
BUT, the most surprising finding from the 2017 survey was that pizza ranked as America’s SECOND favorite pie!?! (Except among 18-34 year old dudes, who chose pizza as their hands-down #1 pie choice. Smart dudes.)
Granted, this is one of the only surveys that lumps pizza into the ‘pie’ category with other sweet pastries… Yet, the question remains: IS apple pie really the most-loved pie of all pies in America? More loved than pizza??
Comfort Food, at its Finest
Of course not!
And the proof lies in another poll from the same group, looking at America’s favorite comfort food. As you can probably guess: PIZZA is the top choice! It’s more than twice as loved as the #2 and #3 comfort food choices, chocolate and ice cream.
And, pizza is the #1 comfort food choice among ALL groups—for men and women, for all areas of the country, and for all age groups! (Except for ages 70+, who tend to prefer ice cream, steak, and chocolate. More power to ya.)
Conclusion: ‘as American as pizza pie’ should be a thing.
As American as Apple Pie...Or is It?
America’s sweetheart pie wasn’t always “as American as apple pie” like it is today. Much like other ‘American’ classics (i.e. pizza), apple pie was brought to the U.S. by European immigrants. The first apple pies actually date back to the 1300s in America’s motherland: England. Those early pies were sugar-less, crust-less confections—made with figs for sweetness instead of pricey sugar, and baked in an inedible pastry casing appropriately named a “coffin.”
Then, in the 1500s, the Dutch transformed those English-style pies into the double-crust pies we know today, covered with a lattice of crisscrossing pie crust or a crumbly streusel topping. Even though, nowadays, most Americans think of ‘Dutch apple pie’ as the kind with a streusel topping, even our pretty lattice-style pies are indeed Dutch! So, when the Dutch, British, and Swedes came to the colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, you bet your bottom dollar they brought their apple pie recipes with ‘em.
But, those early settlers faced a harsh reality in the New World: there were no apples for baking into pies! The only native apple trees produced small, sour crabapples, which weren’t so great for sweet pies. Folks carried on with meat pies in the meantime, waiting patiently for European apples to be brought across the ocean—then planted in the colonies, and then grown into fruit-bearing trees… All in the pursuit of pie! By the 18th century, with apples finally blooming, apple pie recipes emerged and began sweeping the nation.
In Delaware at that time, a historian noted that “apple pie is used throughout the whole year,” and that it was often even “the evening meal of children." (Sounds kinda like pizza now, eh?) By 1902, pie had become such a central aspect of being American that a journalist wrote: “No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished.” Then in WWII, when asked why they were going to war, the stock answer given by American soldiers had become “for Mom and apple pie.”
Eat the Pizza, Celebrate the Pie
Now, a century later, the same answer those soldiers gave can also apply to why you should make an apple pie pizza: for your mom. And to celebrate apple pie.
No, apple pie isn’t America’s favorite comfort food. (That’s pizza, btw.) But it is a pie that lots of people like. And it is a beloved American symbol—that’s actually not-quite-American in origin, just like pizza.
So let’s celebrate all of the wonderful mixed-upness of America, with this totally mixed-up apple pie pizza pie! Enjoy a slice (or a few) and remember: give thanks for the simple pleasures in life. Like an apple pie, baked onto a pizza crust.
Apple Pie Pizza:
- refrigerated pizza dough
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 granny smith apples, peeled & cut into wedges
- ½ cup flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup oats
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup softened butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Roll out pizza dough and place on a tray lined with parchment. Pre-bake the crust for 6-8 minutes. (Once pre-bake finishes, turn oven heat down to 325°F, or 160°C.)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon for apple pie pizza and whisk to combine. Add apple wedges and toss to coat.
- Add to a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes, until softened and delicious!
- In a separate bowl, combine crumble topping ingredients and mix with a fork. (Make sure to break up your softened butter—it should be crumbly!)
- Transfer the cooked apple pie “filling” onto pre-baked pizza dough and sprinkle crumble topping over the apples.
- Bake at 325°F (160°C) for an additional 20 minutes, until apples are tender and crust is browning.
- In the meantime, add powdered sugar and milk to a bowl and whisk well to make icing.
- Once the pizza is out of the oven, drizzle icing on top as desired.
- Slice and enjoy warm!
Yields 1 food-coma-inducing apple pie pizza pie.