Recipe: Check out these holiday favourites that cherish Pennsylvania German heritage

Celebrate the rich culinary traditions from Philadelphia at home with these classic dishes, courtesy of Elwood.

author_img F. Ashraf Published :  29th December 2020 05:02 PM   |   Published :   |  29th December 2020 05:02 PM

Philadelphians are passionate about food. The dynamic restaurant scene that continues to blossom in the city is proof of that. The diverse cuisines include everything from classic American and traditional ethnic foods to experimental fusion dishes that wow the palate. Home to the cheesesteak, historical markets and some of the top fine-dining restaurants in the country, the city also boasts countless comfort food favourites, the memory of which will have you planning a return trip before you’ve even made it home.

A lot of credit for Philadelphia’s diversity in the culinary space goes to the different ethnicities that have made a home here. The recipes shared below represent our German ancestry with some of the early German settlers arriving in the city from the late 1600s. No surprise then that one can still experience authentic German Christmas markets at the Love Park, every year.

While the extensive spread of local (seasonal and otherwise) specialities will entice you to take on a gourmet tour of Philadelphia, until then, some of the city’s essential eats can be enjoyed from afar. The Elwood Restaurant, which has shared these seasonal recipes with us, also celebrates these rich culinary traditions of Philadelphia. A BYOB restaurant located in Fishtown, Elwood thrives on organic and locally sourced ingredients into dishes that honour the gastronomic legacy of the city.

Check out two of these holiday favourites that cherish the Pennsylvania German heritage.

Apple Crumb Pie

For 1 standard 9” pie pan



●        7 apples, cored and sliced

●        1 cup brown sugar

●        2 tsp Ground cinnamon

●        1 tsp nutmeg

●        2 tablespoons cornstarch

●        Pinch of salt


●        ½ butter, diced very small

●        1 ½ cup flour

●        ½ cup sugar

●        ½ teaspoon salt


●        Set the oven to 350F.

●        Roll out the pie dough and line the pan with the dough.

●        In a large bowl, mix together the apples, sugar, spices, salt, and cornstarch. Pack the mixture into the pie pan.

For the topping:

●        In another bowl mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. Then work in the butter by cutting it into the dry ingredients with a fork, pastry blender, or by rubbing it with your hands.

●        Spread this mixture evenly over the pie.

●        Bake the pie for about 45 minutes or until the apples are soft and the juices are thick and bubbling out. You want to make sure the filling is hot and bubbling so the cornstarch can set. Once set, enjoy the scrumptious pie and thank us later!

Baked Ham with Sauerkraut

Serving size: 4


●        4 small apples, sliced thin

●        1 stalk celery sliced thin

●        2 small onions, julienned

●        1 1/2 sauerkraut

●        2 cups white wine

●        8oz. Butter

●        2 teaspoons caraway seeds

●        1 teaspoon salt

●        2 ham, whole

●        2 cups brown sugar

●        1 teaspoon cinnamon

●        1 teaspoon nutmeg

●        ½ teaspoon allspice

●        ½ teaspoon cloves

●        ½ cup cider


●        In a wide pot, sauté the onions and celery in butter. When they are soft, add the apples and the caraway seeds, cook for 3 minutes and then add white wine. Reduce the wine by half and then put in a casserole dish.

●        Mix the brown sugars and spices together with the water. You want it to be thick and not too loose. Spread this mixture on the ham. Place the ham on top of the sauerkraut in casserole dish and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until the ham is heated through. Slice the ham and serve. 

Hope you enjoy these delicious treats and after you unleash the chef in you, don’t forget to post a picture on your social media handles tagging @discoverphl on Facebook and @discover_phl on Instagram.

For more information on Elwood, visit their