The phrase, “American as apple pie,” is something of a misnomer. While apple pies are part of America’s culinary cultural tradition, the historical reality is that the first apple pies were made in England. These pies were likely influenced by the French use of pate choux pastry crusts. The first known apple pie was baked in 1390. Since sugar was an expensive import from the Middle East with a small bag costing more than the price of an entire cow, these early pies were likely sweetened with honey which would have been less costly and more available.
European settlers brought the recipe for apple pie to the thirteen colonies. In 1796 Amelia Simmons wrote American Cookery, the first cookbook to ever be published in North America. Her cookbook included two different recipes for apple pie.
The production of an apple pie candle was a bit more challenging than making a blueberry, cherry, or banana cream pie slice candle. The biggest problem with making this candle was the inclusion of a realistic looking pie filling. Pictured below is what the apple pie candle looked like when it came out of the pie slice mold. As you can see, the pie didn’t have much of a crust. The sides were also smooth.
To make a crust, I heated pie crust colored wax, poured it onto a cool granite counter, and used a butter knife to apply it to the top rim of the pie. Additional crust colored wax was spread over the surface to simulate the top crust of a baked pie.
To create the appearance of an apple pie filling, I used a butter knife to add pieces of semi-cooled white (with a touch of yellow) soy wax to the smooth sides of a wax pie slice. I then literally painted over it using 3 layers of different shades of medium density candle gel. The candle gel gave the filling a moist appearance. The use of different brownish-yellow shades added to the realism of an actual pie filling while also filling in the gaps between the simulated pieces of apple.
After letting the wax cool, I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I then used the tip of a hot meat thermometer to melt holes for the wicks. After adding the wicks, the completed candle was coated with a gloss enamel spray.
As a final touch, I heated the tines of a metal fork and “crimped the crust” by placing the hot metal against the pie’s crust. The warm metal melted the wax to form a distinctive crimping pattern.
This apple pie slice candle looks and smells like apple pie à la mold. The pie crust smells of baked pie crust with just a hint of sugary goodness. The apple pie smells of juicy apples, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. The vanilla ice cream smells like vanilla ice cream with a touch of toffee crunch.