How To Take Your Apple Pie To The Next Level

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but apple pie doesn't hail from America. It was actually created in Europe (per Smithsonian Magazine). As it turns out, one of the country's most traditional baked goods favored for holiday celebrations is about as authentically American as fireworks — which were first launched in China around 200 B.C. (via the Smithsonian Science Education Center). But while some may give this pie side-eye for its shrouded history, there's little question that apple pie, despite being a warm dish that sates fall and winter appetites, also seems made for summer.

In fact, acclaimed chef and cookbook author Edna Lewis even includes a "Summer Apple Pie" in her 1976 book "The Taste of Country Cooking." Her recipe eschews the typical solo pie with a lattice top and instead calls for a stack of three applesauce-filled pies, according to YouTuber emmymade.

When the warmer months come around, you may find yourself getting ready to fill your house with the aroma of apples and baking spices. Still, there's one unexpected ingredient you should consider adding that's bound to improve this time-honored classic dessert and take it to new and delicious heights.

Use MSG to upgrade your apple pie

For those not in the know, MSG stands for monosodium glutamate, the sodium salt of glutamic acid that, while naturally occurring in many foods, is popular as a standalone food additive and sold as an ingredient in its crystallized form, like sea salt (via FDA). As the Mayo Clinic points out, MSG has long been used to enhance the flavors of various foods, from store-bought snacks to restaurant cooking. Usually, it is strongly advised that you keep MSG far away from the sweeter side of cooking, but according to Lifehacker, apples might be the special exception to that rule. Could it be that the combination of apples and MSG is actually the key to creating an apple pie you won't be able to get enough of?

According to a post from BuzzFeed, adding MSG to your apple pie filling helps boost the flavor of the slightly savory, "buttery, flaky crust" (since MSG amplifies savory rather than sweet flavors). In the same way that some people top their apple pies with cheese, the umami in MSG pairs nicely with the crust's savory elements. A thread on Reddit concurs: Using a mixture of salt and MSG is a suitable method for making certain baked goods "pop," so it might be worth it to sprinkle some in your pie crust as well.