Memorable | One of the Best
Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard
Review by: Michael Stern
Beardsley’s Cider Mill has a short season, opening for business in August and closing Christmas Eve. Located in the White Hills of Shelton, Connecticut, it is an apple-pie landmark.
The minute you walk in the door, the aroma of baking pies is overwhelming. Ovens are located just to the right behind the register; and from them come some of the best apple pies on earth. Using only Northern Spies, the Beardsley family bakes traditional double-crusters and crumb-tops, plus apple-cranberry, peach, pumpkin, pecan, fruit ‘n’ berry and no-sugar apple. It can be a tough decision choosing between crumb-top apple with its thick, sugary crunch and the two-crust pie with its surfeit of savory pastry, top and bottom.
If you are any kind of apple aficionado, this is a place you need to know about. First there is the cider pressed on premises in the attached mill room. We spoke with one member of the family who described herself as “an unimportant Beardsley” (not likely; she was the one tending the pies in the oven!); she described the difference between Beardsley cider and supermarket stuff as “the difference between sunlight and a light bulb.”
Then there are the apples themselves. Macouns, Red Delicious, and McIntosh grow in abundance. The farm also is home to trees that produce what the Beardsleys call “ugly apples” that happen to be rare and unique: Kingston Black, Tremlett’s Bitter, Brown Snout, Spitzenberg, etc. The latter are not always available; but it’s wonderful to know that this family cares enough to keep the heirlooms thriving.
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