Week 46 - Victory Apple Pie
In week 46, I chose the Wartime Edition of "The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book" from 1942, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer. This book is full of recipes, all separated by tabbed sections for easier browsing. As this is the wartime edition the last section is dedicated to wartime cookery, which focuses on recipes that keep food rationing in mind. I really wanted to try something from this section of the book so settled on the recipe for victory apple pie.
The wartime cooking section contained lots of information for substituting ingredients for food rationing, how to save ingredients like fats for cooking and how to make nutritious meals despite food shortages. It includes suggested weekly menus, which was very interesting and much less wasteful than meal planning can be today.
The recipe for victory apple pie was very different from standard apple pie I've made. The biggest difference was in the crust. Traditional pie crust is flour, fat, salt and water. This crust recipe was more of a bread dough and called for yeast, potato water, riced cooked potato, sugar shortening and egg. While traditional crust can take two cups of flour for one pie this recipe only called for one cup for two pies. The potato water was most likely a substitute for milk and along with the potato, helped with the overall texture. Using potato water and leftover potato was also much less wasteful than throwing it out. The filling of this pie uses less sugar than traditional apple pies, so the dough was slightly sweetened to balance that out.
Making this dough was very different from normal pie crust. To start the yeast was dissolved in the potato water along with the potato and allowed to rise for an hour. Then the rest of the ingredients were added. The resulting pie crust dough was much softer and moister than regular pie crust.
The filling for the pie included apples, sugar, spices and egg. Since eggs were rationed, I'm not sure why they were included in the filling, but my guess was to add some nutritional value and to help thicken the filling a bit more.
Once the filling was added, I put the top crust on the pie. The dough was much stretchier than pie crust was easy to cover the pie without cracking but had a draped, puffy look that is very different from a regular pie. Once cooked, the dough puffed up even more and because it contained less fat, took a bit longer to brown.
We had mixed feelings about this pie. It was certainly edible and tasted okay but it was a bit odd for an apple pie in both taste and texture. The pie crust was a bit sweet and doughy and the overall texture gummy. The addition of the egg was weird as the egg cooked and there were bits of egg floating around with the apples. We served the pie with ice-cream which helped it overall.
While I wouldn't make this recipe again it was really interesting to see how the recipe was changed to accommodate wartime rationing. I'd like to try some of the other recipes in both the main part of the book and the wartime section.
Cookbook: "The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book, Wartime Edition", Edited by Ruth Berolzheimer, published in 1942
Recipe: Victory Apple Pie
Difficulty: Easy, but took longer than a traditional apple pie
Results: For an apple pie, it wasn't the best recipe, but it was interesting to try
Make Again: No