Saturday, April 25, 2020

Celebrate National Apple Pie Day

It is hard to believe that the first apple pie recipe was written in 1381 in England!  All these years later, it has become one of America’s favorite types of pies and a endearing symbol of our culture.

The comfort of an apple pie has been a welcomed addition to many of us as we have been sheltered inside the last few weeks as part of social distancing. The stream of online quarantine cooking and baking recipes have provided motivation and direction to keep us busy during these otherwise very still times.  And the added benefit to baking an apple pie is the amazing aromas, that candle makers often try to capture and re-create – but never truly master!

So with National Apple Pie day just a few weeks away on May 13th, let’s celebrate with baking an apple pie!  We often change our recipes over time, but below is our “go to” apple pie recipe that we often make during holidays. The beauty of an apple pie is that it is so simple to make, and most of the ingredients are items routinely found in most pantries.
And if you are a “pie enthusiast” we invite you to visit us during the annual Pies On Parade Tour in January.  This fun event fills the Inn with pie loving guests from all over New England.  Over the course of the weekend, guests sample both sweet and savory pies in Camden and Rockland.  Last year guests there were over 37 pie venues with just under 60 different types of pie!  And for those interested in learning how to master making the perfect pie crust – we even have a pie making demonstration as part of the weekend, along with a scavenger hunt, amazing prize baskets and more!   And the best part about this weekend, other than the amazing varieties of pies you will sample, is that it is a fundraiser, with the proceeds donated to our food pantry! Save the date (January 29 – 31, 2021) and check out our special lodging package for value added details.

Although we love making all types of pies, we have found that apple offers so many unique variations based on taste and preference. There are so many different factors bakers can change to create their unique recipe. The variety, the way you slice an apple, the toppings and the crust are all variables that can be crafted to your own taste. In our quest to bake the perfect apple pie, we benefit from being near so many local apple orchards. We are happy to share our favorite Apple Pie recipe below that has our own unique twist to it - Apple Jack Brandy.

A trip to MidCoast Maine is ideal for apple lovers. Many think of blueberries and lobsters when they think of MidCoast Maine, but the area also has 12 apple orchards. The State of Maine has over 60 apple orchards in total. Apple picking season starts in late August and runs to the middle of October, and is a perfect time to visit!  There are pick- your-own orchards and apples at farm stands available during that time. Due to the growing interest in organic food, four of the Maine apple farms now grow and sell organic. The oldest organic apple farm is Sewall Orchard located in nearby Lincolnville Maine. Because the orchard is committed to purely using organic methods, their crops are not available every year. You can however get their fantastic organic apple vinegar all year round. The orchard is a great place to visit during apple season, and the hill where the orchard is located has views of Acadia National Park.

In addition to visiting apple orchards and farm stands, apple lovers can enjoy apple pie at a number of local diners and restaurants. An apple adventure would not be complete without a visit to Moody’s Diner in neighboring Waldoboro. You can actually rate their pies on their website, and surprise, surprise, apple pie is rated the best, a near second is their 4 berry pie.  Other favorite places for apple pie include the Camden Deli, located in Camden, and in Rockport, a MidCoast classic, Mary Upham’s Pie, available at Fresh off the Farm, a local market.

We hope National Apple Pie day brings happiness into your home this year – and don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 17th Annual Pies On Parade event. . . and when you stay at the Inn, you’ll find a freshly baked personal pie in your room upon arrival!

Captain Swift Inn Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
5-7 large Granny Smith or other tart apples, sliced thinly (enough apples so they are heaped in pie pan, they will shrink during cooking)
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Laird’s Apple Jack Brandy
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Dough for two crusts, bottom and top
Sanding sugar
Extra cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Combine in large bowl all ingredients except sanding sugar and extra cinnamon, toss gently until apples are coated
3. Line bottom of pie pan with half the dough, add the apple mixture
4. Cover apples with remaining half of dough
5. Cut top dough into strips if making lattice top and place in weave on top of apples. If your top crust is solid, cut 3 – 4 slits in top to allow heat to escape
6. Pinch upper and lower crusts together, trim any excess dough
7. Brush egg wash (raw egg with a little water) or cream on top of dough, sprinkle liberally with sanding sugar and extra cinnamon
8. Bake at 425 degrees for first 10 minutes
9. Lower heat to 350 degrees for remaining 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft
10. Enjoy with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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