While walking down Marques Street I saw a curly haired woman offering tempting slices of apple pie to passersby. She urged me to buy a piece with a happy smile and her product in hand. I could not resist and had to buy a piece.
On tasting it, I was enchanted. It was a soft pastry with mashed apples arranged in three different layers. On the top and bottom a layer of pastry while in the middle the wonderful apples. It was so good it made me want more.
Generally people make the pie in round pans to send off to the neighborhood oven. However, in the last few years the consumption of this dessert has grown so much that some businesses have decided to produce it in large quantity. To do so they rely on a different presentation. They make the pie in rectangular pans and this has become very commercial in the city.
In the mornings and afternoons you can always find apple pie on sale around the Plaza de Armas. Not only does it make its way into some of the cafes and restaurants, but there are walking saleswomen who carry two or three fresh pies pre-divided into slices that cost 2/S each (around .75$). In less than a couple of hours they have sold it all.
Mrs. Andrea has sold this pie on the Plaza de Armas for more than two years. She has clients among the people who work in the various stores and agencies on the Plaza. She says that she brings her pies afternoons around 5 pm at the same time other women arrive with thermoses of ponche, oatmeal, and herb teas, “I spend two hours making my rounds through the Plazas de Armas, Regocijo, and San Francisco). When I arrive a little early my clients buy slices to calm their desires. Others buy a slice to eat with their ponche” Mrs. Andrea said with a happy laugh.
These golden, sweet desserts can be found on the various important streets and main plazas around the main plaza as well as in some stores and restaurants for prices beginning at .50/S according to the size of the slice.
On rainy or chilly afternoons, the various pastry shops and cafes of our beautiful city almost always have apple pie displayed in glass cases in their doorways or other visible places. The pie is a good companion for an afternoon coffee especially when you are going to work or to calm the itching urge for something sweet.
In these establishments are also found a range of other pastries and desserts, but the apple pie is always a focus. You can go from one to another trying their different flavors, some better than others.
There is a large demand for apple pie in our city. As a result it has come to form part of what in Cuzco we call “lonches”, a light meal or snack of bread or pastry and a hot drink. Some families make the pie to serve as well at breakfast if not in their lonche with a little bit of condensed milk and a cup of strong coffee.
It has also become part of school children’s lunchbox because children are easily captivated by the sweetness of this delicious dessert. It is much preferred by children and other fans of dessert.
In Cuzco there is a great variety of places where desserts are made and apple pie is always present among them. Though this dessert varies in flavor according to who makes it, in all its variety you can always taste the wonderful flavor of apple. Some put more pastry and some less, some make it sweeter and some more tangy. In any case the important detail is that a slice of freshly baked apple pie just tastes wonderful.