How to Make Marlborough Pie – The Easiest Recipe Ever

  • By: Linda Simpson
  • Date: September 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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I’ve already replied to e-mails and looked at new recipes and ordered some supplies for holiday craft projects…   I think writing about pie is a reasonable next step.
Anyway, this is such a delicious pie recipe that despite the fact that all of these pictures are old, from the Days Before The Blog, I’m going to share it.  

I’m sure I’ll make it again this fall and update these pictures with something newer and fancier.

Marlborough Pie is a traditional recipe from New England. It may not look like much at all in the above picture, but it’s one of the best pies I’ve ever eaten. I heard a dude on NPR do a program about regional apple pies and he said Marlborough Pie was his favorite.  

The crust can be either a traditional pate brisee or puff pastry, and the filling is this wonderfully luscious and sophisticated, slightly lemony apple custard. It’s a perfect way to use home-canned apple sauce and fresh eggs to make a wonderful fall dessert.  

It’s somehow rich and light tasting at the same time, and you could serve it after a big holiday meal without sending everyone spiraling into food comas.

My family has been eating this pie for as long as I can remember.  We used to go to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts every Thanksgiving, a fantastically nerdy family vacation.  

Looking back, it was actually pretty fun.  I remember the crisp November air while we walked to all these different houses and watched “costumed historians” do reenactments of Thanksgiving dinners from the 1800s.  

As an eight-year-old, I was always super annoyed that the actors were eating turkey and pie while I was walking around in the cold.

Eight-Year-Old Me: “Hey Lady, lemme have some of that pie.”

Grownup: “No.”

Later in the evening, though, we would go to the big restaurant in the village and have a wonderful dinner.  

Another traditional New England dessert we’d have was Indian Pudding, which looks like a bowl of gross brown schlop, but is actually this steamy spiced molasses and cornmeal custard served with vanilla ice cream.  

Everyone should also be eating this, it’s delicious.  As a child, I really thought our Sturbridge trips were so dorky and annoying, but as an adult, I think it’s pretty great that my parents took us there so many times.

Marlborough Pie

Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t call it Apple Custard Tart or something so it doesn’t remind me of cigarettes.

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Serves: 8

Cook Time: around 2 hours, including baking time


One single 9″ Pie Crust: Use whichever recipe is your favorite, or click here for instructions from Martha (please note that this recipe is for a double pie crust, not a single pie crust, so split it in half).

For the Custard Filling:

  • 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce*
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 fresh eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. sherry (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Gradually beat in the eggs, lemon juice, applesauce, sherry, heavy cream, and ginger.

Lay out the pie crust in a 9″ pie dish. Pour in the custard filling.  Put the pie in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Reduce heat to 350 and cook for 45 more minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

This pie will set much better if you let it cool and don’t serve it piping hot out of the oven.

*I use a chunky Gravenstein applesauce from our pantry for this, but if you want to have a perfectly smooth custard you can puree the applesauce first or even run it through a chinois to take out any clumps.  I like leaving it chunky and calling it rustic.

How to Make Marlborough Pie – The Easiest Recipe Ever

Image Source: Unsplash

Making Marlborough pie is a fairly simple process. You just have to have the right ingredients and know what you’re doing. It is made with only a few ingredients and you can make it in about an hour or less depending on how fast you work.

Once you understand the recipe, making it again will be a breeze. There are many variations of this dessert but they all have the same main ingredients. The most popular variations are apple, strawberry, blueberry, or/and raspberry. Each version has its own unique flavor that makes it stand out from the rest. The secret to making great Marlborough pie is in the details – whatever filling you choose for your pies, remember that sugar should be your primary flavoring agent. A little salt brings out the sweetness of the fruit and lemon juice helps keep them from discoloring after being cut up and stored for later use.

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What You’ll Need

If you want to make the best Marlborough pie ever, you’ll need the essentials.

For the crust, you’ll want 2 cups of flour, a stick of butter, a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, and some cold water.

For the filling, you’ll need 6 cups of fruit, 1 cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

You can use almost any kind of fruit for the filling, but the most popular are strawberries, blueberries, and apples. You can also use a combination of different fruits for a diverse array of flavors.


Step 1: Make a Pie Crust

The first step in making any pie, including Marlborough pie, is to make the crust. Start by putting your flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl.

Put the butter in a separate bowl and some water in a third bowl. Put the mixing bowl with the flour on the counter and add the butter to the mixture.

Using your hands, squish the butter into the flour.

Once the butter is fully incorporated, add the water and knead it into the mixture until it forms a dough.

Put the dough on a plate, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Filling

While the dough is chilling, start making the filling. For a traditional Marlborough pie, you’ll want an apple filling.

Start by peeling and coring some apples. Put the peeled and cored apples in a saucepan with the lemon juice and sugar. Heat the saucepan over low heat and stir the apples until they’ve softened and the sugar has dissolved. Once the apples are done, take the saucepan off the heat and allow the apples to cool.

Step 3: Add the Filling to the Crust

After the filling has cooled, put the crust on a plate, put the apples in the crust, and put the blueberries on top of the apples. Put the plate in the fridge and let the pie chill for half an hour.

Step 4: Decorate the Pie and Serve!

After the pie has chilled, take it out of the fridge, cut the pie into slices, and serve it. You can garnish it with slices of apples, blueberries, whipped cream, or any other decorations you want to add.

Marlborough Pie FAQ

There are many different variations of Marlborough Pie. This dessert is also sometimes known as blueberry pie, raspberry pie, strawberry pie, or apple pie. No matter the filling, though, Marlborough pie is always the same simple and easy recipe.

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What’s the difference between Marlborough pie and blueberry pie?

Marlborough Pie is a general term that refers to any type of pie with a sweet and fruity filling. Blueberry pie is just one of many types of Marlborough pies. This is a guide on how to make every type of Marlborough pie.

Why is Marlborough pie called Blueberry pie?

The name of this dessert is a bit of an enigma. No one is exactly sure how this dessert got its name. The most popular theory is that the pie was once served at The Marlborough Hotel in London, England. A pie that is similar to a Marlborough pie is a crumble. Crumbles are like pies but with a crumbly dough or topping instead of a pie crust. Which is better? To each their own!

What is the difference between a crumble and Marlborough pie?

Crumbles and Marlborough pies are very similar desserts. The main difference between the two is that Marlborough pies are made with a pie crust and crumbles are made with a crumbly topping.


Marlborough pie is a classic British dessert that is incredibly easy to make. This recipe is usually made with apples, blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries and has a sweet and crumbly topping. Marlborough pie is a simple and classic dessert that you can enjoy any time with friends and family. It’s easy to make and full of flavor, so what are you waiting for? Make this delicious pie for your next get-together and you’ll have no trouble enticing your guests to dig in.

3 thoughts on “Marlborough Pie”

  1. Jay HarrisHey there! What the heck happened to your ankle? From the sound of this, you seem to be recuperating, but this post is nearly two weeks old. I hope you’re feeling better.M and I will be trying the pumpkin casserole tonight. We’ve got a couple bushels of apples off our tree in the city and have been making pies, applesauce, dried spiced apples, etc. We’re thinking we might head up to RV next weekend (Nov 19) — let us know if that might work for you guys.JayReply
    1. CarolineJay, I’m so happy you made the casserole, I hope it turned out great! I am recuperating nicely, thank goodness.

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