History of American Pies: and Illinois is Well Represented!

A Road Scholar Program by Catherine Lambrecht

Pecan Pumpkin Apple pies 768x432

Sep 7, 2024


Historic Marbold Farmstead
21722 IL-29
Greenview, IL 62642



Pies are as American as pizza is American: we took a great idea, adapted it to our needs and ran with it. Our ancestors used what they had available locally and made the most from it. You might be thinking that pies are just for dessert, but for our American ancestors, they were often considered survival food. Sometimes, they ate pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner for months at a time.

Catherine Lambrecht, who achieved Grand Champion and Best of Show at the Lake County Fair for apple pie, will present the history of pies in America and our state. Illinois’ contribution to our country’s pie culture includes the following:

  • Pumpkin Pie is Illinois’ State Pie, with over 90 percent of canned pumpkin grown in Illinois
  • the pecan pie
  • Did you know Johnny Appleseed roamed our state? Apples originating in Kazakhstan are an introduced crop everywhere in the Americas.

Lambrecht will share a story from the Family Heirloom Recipe Contest at the Illinois State Fair of love, family, a special pie, and a gift of immeasurable value.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Jodie O'Gorman at ogorman@msu.edu.

Learn more about Catherine Lambrecht, this program, and how to book it here.