We’ve entered that food-filled period from harvest to holiday. This is a foodie’s idea of heaven, and the innkeepers at the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) are serving up all the wonderful fall-themed foods you can imagine. When we think of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we think of pies. And when we think of New England romantic getaways, we think of sweet treats from DINE. After all, there’s a reason DINE is the acronym for the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England.
We’ve scoured through our recipe files and found some very tempting recipes to share with you. Whether you prefer a traditional apple pie or like to change it up a bit with turning pies to bars or tarts, we’ve got you covered with some wonderful recipes from the kitchens of DINE inns.
Enjoy trying these wonderful ideas from your friends at DINE
Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust & Streusel Topping from Grafton Inn
Crust (9 inch pie):
1¼ cups all‐purpose flour
¼ t salt
½ t baking powder
8 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 oz. 4 Year Aged Grafton Cheddar, grated (about ¾ cup)
4 T ice cold water
1 egg. beaten with 1 T water
2½ lbs. sliced pie apples
½ C maple syrup
2 T cornstarch
1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger
¾ C plus 2 tablespoons all‐purpose flour
½ C brown sugar
6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir them to distribute evenly.
Cut the butter into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture includes lumps of flour and butter the size of peas.
Stir in the grated cheese and distribute evenly.
Add the water and move quickly using your fingertips to work it into a pliable pastry. Flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator 15 minutes before you wish to use it.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured board using a rolling pin that has been lightly floured. Roll to an even thickness.
Wrap the pastry around the rolling pin and unroll it onto the pie plate.
Trim the pastry ½ inch beyond the rim of the plate.
Use a pastry brush to dampen the edge with cold water and fold it inward. Work up a collar that stands above the rim and flute the edge. Place the pie shell in the freezer if you are not going to fill it immediately.
To make the topping, mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl until evenly distributed.
Work the butter into the flour with your hands until it is crumbly, reserve.
Peel, core and slice the apples into a large bowl.
Toss the apples with the candied ginger and cornstarch to coat evenly.
Add the maple syrup and toss together.
Paint the inside of the prepared pie shell with beaten egg to seal the crust.
Prick the pastry in several places with a fork so it does not bubble up during baking.
Pile the apples into the pastry. Settle the apples by pushing down gently to remove air pockets and voids.
Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the pie’s surface.
Bake on the bottom shelf of a preheated 400-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. The pie is done when bubbly in the center. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before serving so that it can set. If you wish to serve it warm, place in a moderate oven for a few minutes. Serve with more sliced 4 Year Grafton Cheddar.
Pecan Pie Bars from Captain’s House Inn
Yield 24 Bars
Cake Pan size 13” x 9” x 2” glass pan
1 ½ Sticks (¾ Cup) Butter
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
½ Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 stick (½ Cup) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Honey
2 Tbsps. Heavy Cream
Method (Shortbread Base)
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Cut the butter into ½ inch pieces. In a food processor, process all ingredients together until mixture begins to form small lumps.
- Sprinkle mixture into 13’x9”x2” baking pan with a metal spoon, press evenly onto the bottom. Bake shortbread in the middle of the oven until golden – about 20 minutes.
- While the shortbread is baking, prepare the pecan topping.
Method ( Pecan Topping)
- In a food processor, coarsely chop the pecans. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and stir in brown sugar, honey and cream. Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally for 1 minute and then stir in pecans.
- Pour the pecan mixture over the hot shortbread and spread evenly. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
- Bake in the middle of the oven until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in the pan and cut into 24 bars.
Rabbit Hill Inn’s Homemade Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts
Yield: approx. 16-20 pop tarts / hand pies
2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
Mix all ingredients. Set aside filling.
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups butter, cut up
4 Tbsp milk
filling of your choice
egg wash mixture in small bowl
sugar, for coating
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place flour, sugar, salt, and butter in food processor. Process (on pulse) until butter is the size of peas
In a small bowl, beat eggs and milk together. Pour milk/egg mixture in food processor. Pulse until dough forms a ball.
Place dough on your work table, which is prepped with a little flour to prevent sticking. Knead dough together.
Chill dough for at least an hour
Roll out dough and cut pieces to desired shape. We cut in traditional pop tart size (about the size of a typical switch plate) or heart shaped (using large cookie cutter)
Lay out all your bottom layers
Fill with your favorite jam or filling, over 2/3 of the pastry area (or see pumpkin pie filling recipe above)
Brush your “cover pieces” with egg wash on the inside. Place on top of each filling piece. Use fork to secure edges.
Egg wash the tops. Then sprinkle with sugar.
Poke each tart 3 times with fork tines (vent holes to prevent explosion)
Bake at 350 until golden brown
** If you are freezing them, you can freeze them unbaked or baked (to be re-heated before serving.)
And for those who prefer their pies to be a bit healthier, and gluten free too, consider this savory crustless breakfast pie.
Crustless Quiche Lorraine from Captain Jefferds Inn
(Gluten Free) Serves 8
2 Cups grated Swiss cheese (8-oz.) 2 Tbsp. butter
½ pound bacon, well done
1 ½ tsp. powdered mustard
½ tsp. salt
Dash of black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 Cup half and half cream
1 Cup whole milk
12 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Grease a 13x 9 –inch glass baking dish.
Spread the cheese over the bottom of the prepared baking dish, dot with butter.
Layer with sautéed onion and cooked bacon.
Stir the powered mustard, salt, and pepper into the cream and pour half of this mixture over the cheese.
Add the beaten eggs.
Pour the remainder of the cream mixture on top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until set. Cut into squares and serve warm
Of course, enjoying sweet treats fresh from the DINE kitchens is the best way to try these recipes. This is the perfect in-between time to get away before the holidaze. Simply lick on the links below to visit any of the 12 DINE inns.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic
In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport