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“Fain would I pause to dwell upon the world of charms that burst upon the enraptured gaze of my hero, as he entered the state parlor of Van Tassel’s mansion. Not those of the bevy of buxom lasses, with their luxurious display of red and white; but the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea-table, in the sumptuous time of autumn. “

“”And then there were apple pies, and peach pies, and pumpkin pies…”

-The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving

What is apple pie?

Apple pie is a baked dish with a layer of pastry on the bottom, filled with sliced apples, spices and sugar, and enclosed with another layer of pastry.


What type of apples should i use in apple pie?

The Rhode Island Greening would have been a likely option for an apple pie in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. However, for those around the world today, the Granny Smith apple will stand in nicely.


What type of apples did Colonial America have?

The apple played an important role in the New World, with numerous orchards planted across the east coast of the US. The first orchards planted in Massachusetts were in 1625, grown from seeds brought over from England. Apple varieties common during Washington Irving’s day would’ve been the:

  • Roxbury Russet
  • Esopus
  • Spitzenburgh
  • Poughkeepsie Swaar
  • Newtown Pippin
  • and the Rhode Island Greening.

The apples were primarily grown to make hard cider, the most popular drink in colonial America. However, the number of apples available lead to numerous apple dishes found at most meals. It’s been suggested the number of apple dishes began the saying ‘As American as apple pie’, although the saying has also been linked to World War II.


What is the history of apple pie?

The all-American apple pie can be traced way back to the 1300s in England.

Fortunately, in the 1700s they were using sugar and edible crusts, a big jump from the 1300’s when the crusts were merely dishes, and sugar was too expensive to use. The recipe Ichabod would have tasted would have been similar to the ones we eat today.


How to make apple pie


Sleepy Hollow Apple Pie recipe

  • Author: Bryton Taylor @ InLiterature.net
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins


Units Scale
  • 8 granny smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 3/4 cup/ 150g/ 5.3oz sugar
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup/57 grams butter
  • pie shell


  1. Place the apple slices in the pie shell and sprinkle a layer of sugar on top and a handful of currants, then repeat the layering until apples, sugar and currants are used up.
  2. Pour the orange juice over the apples then dab little dots of butter all over the apples.
  3. To finish, top the pie with lattice or strips of dough or a solid pie crust, but with a hole in the middle for ventilation.
  4. Bake at 450F/ 230C for the first 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F/175C and continue baking for 45 minutes.

pie crust recipe

This makes enough for the three pies to be served for a Sleepy Hollow feast, including a topping for the apple pie.


Pie Crusts | Sleepy Hollow

  • Author: Bryton Taylor; Food in Literature
  • Yield: 4


Units Scale
  • 5 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1/23/4 cup water


  1. In your mixer, add the flour salt and sugar. Next piece by piece, add cubes of butter. At some point, pulse the mixer to help it create a course meal texture. Then slowly pour in the water in a slow stream. You don’t want the dough getting wet and sticky, just enough to make the dough hold together.


Makes 4 pie shells, or 2 pie shells and their top crusts


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