Cooking (and Contemplating) New England

Summer Pies I: “Cherry Pie” and “Pie Crust,” from Lydia Maria Child’s American Frugal Housewife (1833)

June 14, 2012

Tags: Lydia Maria Child, cherries, pie, crust, dessert

A Child (Lydia Maria, not Julia) cherry pie from 1829

New England is best known for pumpkin and apple pies, which makes sense since the season of pumpkins and apples, the fall, is considered New England’s best time of year. But the region’s historic cookbooks also offer lots of great recipes for summer fruit pies as well, and we’ll be telling you about some of them in this and upcoming posts.

We’ll start with a simple yet elegant recipe for cherry pie from the second cookbook ever written by a New Englander, The American Frugal Housewife (1829)

by Lydia Maria Child.

Child (no relation to Julia, as far as we know) was one of the most prominent American women of the nineteenth century. She was renowned as an abolitionist and as the author of novels, biographies, essays, histories, and stories and poems for children. Today, she’s remembered primarily as the author of the poem, "The New-England Boy's Song about Thanksgiving Day," which has become our national Thanksgiving song, “Over the River and Through the Woods.” The American Frugal Housewife, written when Child was a young woman, is the only cookbook among her vast output.

If you’d like to learn more about both Child and her cookbook, and also how we made the crust

and the filling

for her cherry pie, click on over to one of our columns on All Things New England.

The original recipe, with commentary, can be found in Northern Hospitality, pp. 314-15.