Christmas is National Pumpkin Pie Day
I don’t have a history of why Christmas came to be also celebrated as National Pumpkin Pie day.With so many of these food holidays we find a food “manufacturing” company or food marketing company involved in it’s origin to increase sales. As for National Pumpkin Pie Day falling on Christmas the obvious reason seems to be that it is the day, second to Thanksgiving, when the most pumpkin pies are consumed!
The first printed reference to pumpkin pie is in 1651 when French chef Francois Pierre de la Varenne published a cookbook that featured a recipe for outré of Pumpkin, that is, pumpkin pie. Recipes for pumpkin pie began to appear in English cookbooks by 1670.
However, we find beginnings to it earlier when the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620 the began to make a pumpkin custard of milk, honey, pumpkin and spices. This led to serving the first “pumpkin pie” on November 1621, when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians gathered at Plymouth for an autumn harvest celebration, an event regarded as America’s “first Thanksgiving.”
I should clarify that this pumpkin pie wasn’t quite a pie. The pilgrims lacked the butter and flour necessary for making pie crust. They also didn’t have ovens yet. They improvised by hollowing out pumpkins, filling the shells with milk, honey and spices to make a custard, then roasting the gourds whole in hot ashes.
Over a century later the pumpkin pie really took off when Amelia Simmons published American Cookery. It contained a recipe for pumpkin pudding baked in a crust, much like the pumpkin pie we enjoy today.
The pumpkin pie has come a long way since it’s humble beginning at Plymouth Rock. It would be difficult to find a holiday table without the delicious dessert.
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