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The Philadelphia Woman Who Created Lemon Meringue Pie In 1806, Also Created Coconut Pie And Jumbles

Pie lovers and lemon lovers from across the country get your forks ready. August 15th is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day!

Served as a dessert, lemon meringue pie is a baked pie usually made with a crust of shortbread pastry, lemon curd filling, and a fluffy meringue topping.

Meringue was perfected in the 17th century, and lemon meringue pie, as we know it today, was developed in the 19th century.

  • Lemon trees bloom and produce fruit year-round. Each tree can produce between 500 and 600 pounds of lemons in a year.
  • Add the juice of one lemon to an equal amount of hot water for an anti-bacterial gargle.
  • Food historians say lemons have been in cultivation around the Mediterranean from as early as the first century A.D.
  • The Quakers generally receive credit for inventing lemon custard in the late 1700s.
  • Philadelphian Elizabeth Coane Goodfellow, a pastry chef, businesswoman, and cooking school founder, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1806, expanded on lemon custard, and invented lemon meringue pie. Goodfellow is credited with creating the lemon pie that was a prototype of the lemon meringue pie. During the first half of the 19th century, she ran a famous bakery in Philadelphia. Among her most famous creations was her lemon pie, but she also made coconut pies, Spanish buns, and Jumbles (butter cookies).
  • High in vitamin C, lemons prevent scurvy, a disease that causes bleeding gums, loose teeth, and aching joints. To this day, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have one ounce of juice a day.
  • California and Arizona produce 95% of the entire U.S. lemon crop.
  • The other key ingredient of a lemon meringue pie is the meringue. The Swiss city Meiringen claims the dessert was named after the city. An Italian baker Gasparini named it after the city because it’s where he invented it at the end of the 17th Century or the beginning of the 18th Century. However, the Oxford English Dictionary says the word “Meringue” is French and of “unknown origin.” In addition, a 1692 French cookbook lists the meringue recipe under that name. When that book was published in English in 1706, the word entered English.
  • According to the American Pie Council, Americans buy more than 186 million pies at the grocery store each year. That is enough to stretch around the globe and beyond. 7% of American have also tried to pass off store bought pie as homemade.
  • Amelia Simmons wrote the first American cookbook, called American Cookery, in 1796. It included recipes for pumpkin and apple pies.
  • Mrs. Cornelius’ 1859 pastry recipe published in The Young Housekeeper’s Friend had just 3 ingredients, 3 pounds of flour, half a pound of lard and a pound of butter.
  • 1 in 5 Americans surveyed by the American Pie Council have eaten an entire pie by themselves.
  • One third of American have eaten a slice of pie in bed.


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