What better pie to feature for pie day than The Pie That Started It All!
Bacon Apple Pie. This pie was my first foray into making my own recipe, or rather not following someone else’s recipe as I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing and actually write it down for quite a while, and it has turned into a household staple. It is a frequently requested pie for Friendsgiving celebrations and was even the dessert at my wedding. It is sweet and savory, tart and salty all at once. Best yet, it’s super easy to make.
That being said, it’s not for everyone. Vegetarians for one, and the unadventurous for two (boring ass people afraid of a little meat in their pie). It can be made with the classic top with slits in the crust, what I call the “cartoon pie on the windowsill” look, or with a lattice. Or in the shape of a little piggy face, because I am a grown up and I can choose to eat food shaped like the animals its made of if I want to. Although I just realized how morbid that sounds.
Being that this recipe is my own, I will not grade it on the typical spoons scale, simply share the recipe and if you choose to try it, tell me your thoughts!
Bacon Apple Pie
- Enough pie crust for a 2 crust 9″ pie (for a good recipe/tutorial check out This Post by Handle the Heat)
- 6-8 apples*
- 2/3 pound of bacon (thick cut is best)
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 5 tablespoons of butter
- 1 egg white
- Optional: dash of cardamom instead of cloves*
* I use a 1/2&1/2 mixture of pink lady and granny smith apples. I like this because all granny smith can be too tart and overpowers the bacon, whereas all pink ladies can be too sweet and a little watery. The number of apples depends on the type of pie you’re looking to make. For the pie pictured, I wanted the top to be a little flat because of the decoration, so I used 6 apples. If you want a more rustic, “deep dish” pie, use 8.
* Cloves gives the pie a more autumn, “Thanksgiving” flavor, whereas cardamom provides a slightly summery floral note. Be careful not to be heavy handed with the cardamom though, a pinch goes a long way. You can also leave out both, and go with just the classic brown sugar and cinnamon flavor.
Cook the bacon until chewy, set aside to drain. Peel and slice apples into 1/4 inch slices and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves or cardamom and (again) set aside.
Roll out bottom crust and lay into pie plate, then place in the fridge to rest while you roll out the top crust. Refrigerate top crust as well while you finish preparing the filling. Chop or tear bacon into 1″ pieces and add to apples. Add sugar mixture to apples and stir until all apples and bacon are evenly coated.
In a small bowl beat the egg white with a teaspoon of water with a fork until the egg white is broken up (no longer “snotty”, for lack of a better descriptor, apologies). Brush onto the bottom and sides of the bottom crust. Add apple mixture to crust in 3-4 layers. After each layer, cut up small pats of butter and lay over the top of the apples, then add the next layer and repeat until all of the apples have been added.
Brush egg wash over outer edge of crust and lay the top crust over the top of the pie. Press the edges to seal and flute as desired. Slit the top to vent or tightly lattice if preferred.* Brush top crust with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45 min or until apples can be pierced with a fork and juices bubble. You may need to tent with foil halfway through to prevent the crust from over-browning. Allow to cool before serving.
*If you are doing a time-consuming design like a lattice you may need to refrigerate the pie after finishing the design for about 30 minutes to allow the crust to chill after being handled, and the gluten to rest. Otherwise, the gluten that was stretched while rolling/making your design will snap back to its original shape during baking causing your crust to shrink. Honestly, doesn’t hurt to refrigerate the pie for a few after adding the top crust regardless of how complicated. You will see in my pictures that the crust shrank a little, that’s because I didn’t have enough time to refrigerate the pie after putting it all together as I had somewhere to be because adulting.
To make the Pig crust design:
Roll out top crust. Place the pie plate upside down onto the center of the crust and make a dotted line with the tip of a knife about 1 inch outside of the edge of the plate. This is the area for your top crust. In the center of the dotted-line circle you just made, cut a circle using a 5″ round cookie cutter (or bowl or cup).
Cut another circle out of the smaller circle you just made using a 4″ round cookie cutter (or cup smaller than the first). Cut nostrils in the smallest circle using a small piping tip, or by unscrewing a pen and using the tube. Discard the middle circle that you just cut the nose out of. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (mine was about 3 1/4 inches at its widest point), cut 2 hearts out of a piece of dough oustside of the dotted line. Re-roll scraps from the bottom crust if necessary to get a large enough piece.
Place the top crust and nose flat on a cookie sheet. To make the ears, take the hearts and gently fold under the “humps” of the hearts to the widest part and lay on the cookie sheet humps down. Place the cookie sheet in the fridge while you make the pie filling and fill the pie. Once pie is filled, gently place the top crust with the 5″ hole in it on top of the pie.
Place the nose in the bottom center of the hole. Brush a little egg wash on edges of the circle at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock spots. Place the ears on the wash and press gently. Flute the edges of the pie, and proceed with the rest of the recipe as normal!
I hope you enjoy this recipe, as it is truely close to my heart. I love to hear what you think, so please comment, share, do all the things!