- Nov 26, 2016
- central NC
Marlborough Pie was enormously popular until the late 19th century. Writing in 1893 in his book "A New England Boyhood," author Edward Everett Hale says, "... there was always a great deal of talk about the Marlborough pies or the Marlborough pudding. To this hour, in any old and well-regulated family in New England, you will find there is a traditional method of making the Marlborough pie, which is sort of lemon pie, and each good housekeeper thinks that her grandmother left a better receipt for Marlborough pie than anybody else did."
The reasons for the pie's disappearance from holiday tables can only be guessed at. It's likely women in the early 19th century tended to have large ovens that permitted them to do all of their baking in a single day. Pies and breads, cakes and biscuits were prepared for a week at a time. When ovens became smaller later in the 19th century, women had to rethink their menus. Pies, including the Marlborough, were no longer daily offerings, but became special treats on holidays.
The following recipe is adapted from the one featured in the "Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook."
Marlborough Pudding Pie
6 tablespoons butter
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup stewed, pureed apples, preferably tart Heirloom varieties like Baldwin, Russet or Northern Spy (You can use a food processor.)
3/4 cup cooking sherry (the sweeter the better) or white port
1/2 cup heavy cream (this is a key ingredient)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 single pie crust
1/3 teaspoon grated nutmeg, or to taste (may use up to 2 teaspoons)
If you are using a pie crust with sugar in it, preheat oven to 350 degrees. If there is no sugar in the crust, preheat to 400 degrees.
Melt butter and set aside to cool.
Squeeze lemon and remove seeds. Add lemon to stewed apples, sherry, cream and sugar, and mix well. Add melted butter to mixture, blending well. Beat eggs and add to mixture.
Line a deep 8-inch pie plate with pie crust.
Season apple mixture with grated nutmeg, stirring to combine, and spoon into prepared pie plate.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (If you preheated to 400 degrees, bake at that temperature for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees, and bake for another 45 minutes or so until done.)
This is a wonderful treat to serve on New Year's Eve. Happy New Year friends!!!