Westmoreland three deckers are simple, hearty fruit pies with a cross-section something like a club sandwich. The contrasting textures of the bottom, middling and topcrusts adds a distinct element of interest. Helen Edden discovered them in the process of compiling her own catalog of rescue archeology, County Recipes of Old England , which appeared in 1928. The pies, as she says of the majority of her preparations, “are not expensive, and will be found pleasing to the palate, economical to the pocket, and a charming variety to the daily menu.” You will need a good batch of shortcrust pastry; our own bfia recipe appears in the practical.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
- a batch of shortcrust pastry
- at least 2 kinds of fruit chosen from apples peeled and cut into thin slices, blackberries, currants, raspberries and rhubarb cut into small pieces, in any combination
- perhaps some sugar to sprinkle over the fruit, helpful if you select tart apples and essential if you choose rhubarb
- Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about ⅛ inch and line the bottom of a baking pan (Miss Edden describes the implement as “a Yorkshire pudding tin”) with the pastry.
- Top the pastry with a single layer of fruit, top it in turn with another layer of pastry and repeat the process until you have three layers of fruit and four of pastry including a topcrust.
- A sound suggestion from County Recipes :
“For a raspberry and currant three decker, the centre layer could be raspberries, and for blackberry and apple the centre layer might consist of apples.”
- Bake the over until the crust is brown and the filling bubbles up around its perimeter, usually in about an hour.
Fruit indigenous to North America will create a good decker too. Prime possibilities include blueberries and peaches.
It does no harm to add a little spice to your decker, some allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg, alone or in combination, but spice does not appear in the original recipe.