Apples & Pork Pie

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Cinnamon-sugared apple with spicy pork sausage under a flaky pie crust. Yum! This recipe is from Joan E. Aller’s “Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly” from Andrews McMeel Publishing. Offering all kinds of old Southern Appalachian food and fables (How ’bout those bogeyman Melungeons?), the book includes restaurant gems too, like this Apple-Pork Brunch Pie from Grace Hill Inn, Townsend, Tennessee. ‘Though my hearty boys were suspicious of the combination of sugared apples with pork, my skinny-mini daughter Em loved it, ate one of these pies almost on her own. So much for stereotypes.

Makes 1, 10-inch pie

Crust Ingredients

  • 8 oz ice-cold lard
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Cold milk

Filling Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb package bulk pork sausage
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 beaten egg yolk for brushing crust

Instructions

  1. Make crust: Put ice-cold lard in large bowl and cut in flour and salt with two knives, pastry cutter or fork. Stir in enough cold milk to form a ball in the center of the bowl. Divide the ball in half. Roll out one half on a floured surface until it is about 12-inches in diameter. Carefully slip this into a pie pan, gently pressing dough to remove any air pockets.
  2. Make filling: Mix white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add apples and toss to coat.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage and onion together. Drain well, placing browned sausage in a sieve and pressing with a spoon to drain excess fat.
  4. Put a layer of sausage mixture on bottom crust in pie pan. Place layer of coated apples on top of this; repeat, finishing with a layer of apples.
  5. Assemble: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out top crust until it is large enough to cover pie with at least 1 inch of overhang and place over filling. Brush top with beaten egg yolk. Cut slits in top crust. Pinch edges of top and bottom crusts together to seal. Fold them under and tuck into pastry dish. Flute edges with your fingers or a fork.
  6. Bake pie for 20 minutes at 425. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve warm.

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