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Apple pie à la mode is a long-standing tradition and a favorite dessert for the generations of guests and family who have dined at The Red Lion Inn, which was inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 1989. The Inn’s current owner, Nancy Fitzpatrick, can recall from family history that the recipe was passed down from her grandmother, Mary Pratt. “When we first opened, Nana May (as we called her), went out to the kitchen and showed the chef how she made her pie. She was a wonderful cook. There was always dessert at her house. It was the pie my mother made when I was growing up.” Nancy’s mother and father, Jane and John Fitzpatrick, opened the Inn in 1969 and the recipe has not changed since. The Red Lion Inn’s apple pie with vanilla ice cream is enjoyed by guests year-round in the main dining room and at the Widow Bingham’s Tavern. It is served at lunch and dinner and is part of the Inn’s special holiday menus.

The Red Lion Inn Pie Filling

  • 5 pounds McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and sliced (If McIntosh are not available, substitute another tart apple such as Cortland.)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Place apples in a large bowl. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon and add to the apples. Toss until well mixed.
  3. Fill the unbaked pie shell with the apple mixture, and dot with the butter.
  4. Fit the top crust over the filling, and crimp the top and bottom edges together to seal the apples in.
  5. Whisk together the egg and the milk. Brush the top crust with this egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  6. Pierce the top crust in several places with a sharp knife.
  7. Bake at 375º for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the apples are tender when tested with a thin knife.

The Red Lion Inn Pie Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, cold


  1. Blend the butter and shortening together with a wooden spoon in a small bowl.
  2. Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl.
  3. Cut in the butter and shortening, using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  4. Add the cold milk, and blend until absorbed.
  5. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a ball. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (Or, if using a food processor, place the butter, shortening, flour, and salt in the bowl; fit with a steel blade. Process until the mixture reaches the consistency of cornmeal. With the processor on, add the milk slowly through the funnel until the dough forms a ball.)
  6. When ready to bake the pie, roll each half of the chilled pie dough out on a floured board until it is slightly larger than the pie plate. Fit one half into the pie plate, place a filling inside, add the top crust, and flute the edges together.
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