29 Historic New England Apple Recipes – 1615 to 1960

Of course New Englanders love apples. Apple trees were essential to New England’s history, and today they’re part of both the landscape and the cuisine, featured in cider, fritters, dumplings, sauce, butter and, of course, pie. With the exception of a few crab apple varieties, apples are not native to North America. During the early 17th century, apple seeds, buds and small plants came to the American colonies from Britain.

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Soon the colonists covered New England with apple orchards. By 1800, apple trees were widely planted and cultivated. Even homeowners who had relatively little land often planted and harvested from their own trees. To celebrate that history, we’ve gathered up 29 Historic New England Apple Recipes. Some of these are mainly presented as a point of interest. (We won’t be rushing to make Neetsfoot Pie, for instance.) Others, however, like Apple Fool and Louisa May Alcott’s Apple Slump have already become favorites. And naturally apple pie had to be included.

No apple recipe book would be complete without at least a nod to cider. In the earliest days of the colonies, all that was expected of a good cider was that it would make you forget about the cold. But cider-making quickly became a skill that people polished and practiced, and apple cultivators produced varieties specifically designed for cider. With these varieties, farmers sought the perfect blend of sweetness and yield.  John Adams famously started each day with cider. So we have included an overview of the early cider making, and it’s interesting to note that the process is not so different from today’s.



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