— From the pages of FLL#35
Ask someone what “American” means to them and more than likely they’ll answer “baseball, hotdogs, Mom, and apple pie.” And when it comes to apple pie, no other dessert sums up the definition of what is quintessentially American. I’ll bet right now you’re thinking about where you can lay your hands on a slice of this lip-smacking, tummy-pleasing all-American favorite.
Lancaster County has been blessed with many talented bakers who have lovingly perfected their own recipe so the rest of us can squirm with delight when we feast our eyes on the warm, golden brown gems. Here are some notable places to test your discerning apple pie palette.
You’ll find the apple pie at Country Table Restaurant a perfect finish to a satisfying meal at one of the area’s popular dining spots. Located in Mount Joy since 1983, the restaurant has been long known for its “cooking from scratch” fare, including its delectable baked goods. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Country Table offers generous seating areas and plenty of selections on the menu. The apple pie was just the right serving size, and it took everything in me to refrain from asking for a scoop of vanilla ice cream to elevate this dessert to “à la mode” status. The apples were sweet and the right amount of cinnamon was added to compliment the flaky crust. Stop by the Country Table the next time you’re in Mount Joy and choose their apple pie and a cup of their great tasting coffee: a winning combination!
It’s practically impossible to walk into S. Clyde Weaver in East Petersburg and not leave with something special in your basket. As soon as you enter, you’ll find yourself standing in a wonderful world of meats, cheeses, an olive bar, a soup and sandwich grill, a coffee shop, and of course, their famous bakery. This family-run business which was started back in 1920 by S. Clyde and Emma Weaver is still operated by their descendants today. Besides being well-known for their appetizing meats and cheeses, their bakery is simply one of the best around. Temptation is at its highest when you’re standing directly in front of their bakery case and when you gaze at their apple crumb pie you might as well give in. Tons of buttery crumbs float on top of a substantial mound of delicately sweet apples that, along with a superb hand-rolled crust, will simply melt in your mouth. This pie is about as American as it gets. Visit S. Clyde Weaver soon (and often)!
I found my next apple pie at Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn located in the Heart of Amish Country. Set on a 23-acre farm, this family-friendly inn and restaurant offers everything from sleeping accommodations to quaint shops where you’ll love browsing for your favorite souvenir. Enjoy their generous buffet where you’ll find traditional foods such as Amish filling and Pennsylvania Dutch ham balls, or choose what you like from their grill. Hershey Farm ticks quite a few boxes on anyone’s list. I found their food deliciously comforting and couldn’t wait for dessert. A mouth-watering double crusted pie that looked like it was just taken out of the oven awaited me. Mellow apples nestled in a blanket of homemade crust with just a hint of cinnamon made my visit to Hershey Farm a memorable one. I enjoyed this pie so much, I took one of their readybaked treasures home with me!
Brandon Ziegler, or “Zig” as local folks know him, has a huge passion for baking. Owner of Zig’s Bakery & Deli, in the newly renovated Brick Gables barn just outside of Lititz Borough, Zig not only features his superb baked goods, he also offers scrumptious deli foods ranging from beef BBQ, locally-made cheeses and homemade salads, to chow-chow, jams, and honey bears. Zig’s apple crumb pie was calling my name as soon as I walked in the door. It was delightfully seasoned with a rich cinnamon flavor and the apples had a freshly picked taste. With a killer crust that really added its own flavor, this pie was smothered under tiny buttery jewels that added to the richness of each forkful. I just had to snag one to take home. Stop by Zig’s and see what they’ve done with Brick Gables. You’ll love the building, but you’ll love their pies even more.
If you’re considering Miller’s Smorgasbord for your next meal, it is highly advised that you refrain from eating anything prior to your visit, because you will need all of the room you can muster when you feast your eyes on their gargantuan selection of foods too numerous to mention. What was once a truck stop where truckers would get their rigs repaired while dining on Anna Miller’s chicken and waffles, Miller’s is now one of the best known and first of Lancaster County’s smorgasbords. 95 percent of Miller’s dishes are homemade from scratch, and their signature gourmet apple pie is something to talk about. Chocked full of ripe apples, raisins, pecans, and cranberries, this pie is wrapped in a delicious crust and baked to perfection. There are fireworks in every bite. You’ll be planning your next visit even before you’ve left the table. Bring your family, your friends, and a big appetite. You won’t go home empty handed (or hungry)!