Pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians. The first pies were
made by early Romans who may have learned about it through the
Greeks. These pies were sometimes made in "reeds" which were
used for the sole purpose of holding the filling and not for
eating with the filling.
The Romans must have spread the word about pies around Europe as the Oxford
English Dictionary notes that the word pie was a popular word in
the 14th century. The first pie recipe was published by the
Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie.
The early pies were predominately meat pies. Pyes (pies) originally
appeared in England as early as the twelfth century. The crust
of the pie was referred to as "coffyn". There was actually more
crust than filling. Often these pies were made using fowl and
the legs were left to hang over the side of the dish and used as
handles. Fruit pies or tarts (pasties) where probably first made
in the 1500s. English tradition credits making the first cherry
pie to Queen Elizabeth I.
Pie came to America with the first English settlers. The early colonists
cooked their pies in long narrow pans calling them "coffins"
like the crust in England. As in the Roman times, the early
American pie crusts often were not eaten, but simply designed to
hold the filling during baking. It was during the American
Revolution that the term crust was used instead of coffyn.
Over the years, pie has evolved to become what it is today "the most
traditional American dessert". Pie has become so much a part of
American culture throughout the years, that we now commonly use
the term "as American as apple pie".