November 09, 2008

Heaven, thy name is Bacon Apple Pie

A few weeks ago Instapundit posted an item about a bacon apple pie featured at Amazon's al dente blog.  The pie, which was originally created and made by Eli, of the EliCooks blog, is a somewhat traditional apple pie, except for the bacon crumbles inside and the lattice top made of bacon.

Ba-con.  Mmmmmmmm.  Here at Not Exactly Rocket Science, bacon is our favorite food, hands down.  Nothing beats bacon for tastiness or indulgence.  In fact, I prefer to eat bacon stuffed bacon with a side of bacon for breakfast if I can.  Yum!

Bacon is Meat Candy.

And don't tell me about the cholesterol and all that.  I know that.  That's why I only actually eat bacon every so often, and it is truly a special treat.

Anyway, as my birthday is coming up, and bacon is well and truly my favorite treat, I thought I'd give this one a shot in the hopes of coming up with some birthday non-cake sweets.  I modified the original recipe a bit, as I don't have any Cinnamon Bacon or scotch in the house and we're not big apple/maple combo fans....(see the recipe at Eli Cooks)

Here's my version, based on Eli's recipe:

CTG's Happy Birthday Bacon Apple Pie

1 9 in pie crust (I ended up making 2 pies because I had enough filling left over, YMMV*)
4 strips bacon, cooked crispy (NOT burnt) and crumbled (I used the microwave)
5-7 medium to large tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used Pink Ladies)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (the original calls for nutmeg and cloves separately, but PPS is nutmeg, mace, cloves, and cinnamon. WAY easier)**
1/2 tsp cinnamon **
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
2+ Tbsp Butter, in small chunks
6-12 slices bacon***, halved lengthwise (make sure you get some fat in each half!)

*Your Mileage May Vary
** PPS and cinnamon are pretty subjective tastes, add more or less depending on your preference.  Taste an apple slice once everything is mixed and before adding to the crust.
*** you'll need 6-7 slices (12-14 halves) for the lattice of one pie, about 12 slices for 2 pies

Note from Eli: The quality of the bacon here matters. You want a bacon with a good flavor when fried and eaten alone, because that's almost what you have on top of the pie. I should also admit that I used store-bought pie crust. Honestly, I think the stuff you buy in rolls in the fridge case is almost as good as home made and a hell of a lot easier.

I concur. Save some time, buy a good pie crust. Trader Joes has a fine one.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the pie crust in a 9 in pie pan and leave about 1/2 inch overhanging edges. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the bacon crumbles on the bottom of the crust.

Peel (if desired), core, and slice the apples. Mix together the apple slices, remaining bacon crumbles, brown and white sugar, PPS, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and cornstarch. Spread over the bacon in the pie crust. Break the butter into small chunks and place on the top of the apple mixture, spread evenly apart.

Butter plus bacon may be too heavy duty for some. You can leave this out altogether if it seems too fatty.  But the pie has a tendency to be drier than most because of the lack of a true top crust, so the butter helps. If you like the butter, be sure to add enough. 2 Tbsp may be less than optimal for your pie.

Arrange the half-strips of bacon over the top of the pie crust in a lattice, then fold the edges of the pie crust over the bacon and crimp. This is crucial because the bacon will shrink as it cooks.

Another Note from Eli: The bacon lattice really doesn't want to stay tucked in around the edges of the pie. Be sure to include extra bacon sticking off the edge of the pie and tuck it down the inside of the crust to help mitigate this. Also, having a larger rim of pie dough to extend a bit further toward the center of the pie would probably help.

Place the pie tin on a cookie sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about 50-60 minutes, until the bacon on top is crisp, the crust is golden-brown and apple slices are tender.  My two pies, on a dark cookie sheet, took about 55 minutes and were done perfectly. Again, YMMV*.

My yield was two pies, 6-8 slices each, from the above recipe.  Try it warm with GOOD French Vanilla ice cream.  You'll think you died and went to heaven.

Be sure you have enough bacon. One package wasn't enough for lattice for two pies, although the recipe made enough filling for two (or perhaps I had too many apples) but there should be plenty of slices in one package of bacon for just one pie.

Sorry for the lack of pix. The pie came out a bit ugly without enough lattice on this go-round. Maybe next time!

Posted by caltechgirl at November 9, 2008 01:44 AM | TrackBack

Stomach growling fiercely...

Posted by: That 1 Guy at November 9, 2008 06:23 AM

Frankly, when I saw this on my Twitter feed I thought I was hallucinating! I MUST make this; we're HUGE bacon peeps!

What brand of bacon did you use??

Posted by: pam at November 9, 2008 06:48 AM

Sounds fabulous!! And Happy Birthday - to you and to me. :) Soon!

Posted by: Richmond at November 9, 2008 04:31 PM

Just because I've been a dedicated lurker, lo these many years, and I hate to see any pie besmirched by a crust from Big Food, I'll pass along the greatest pie crust recipe ever (my mom's, of course). It's so simple, even a guy can make it successfully.

Double crust pie
2 C - Flour
1 tsp - Salt
1/2 C + 1 Tbsp - Vegetable Oil
1/4 C - Milk (Note: Use whole milk, skim or 2% will pretty much ruin it)

Single crust pie
1 1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c. + 1 Tbsp. Oil
3 Tbsp milk (see note above)

Mix ingredients until moist. For a two-crust pie, divide dough in half, roll between sheets of wax paper. Note: Handle dough as little as possible.

Oh, and Happy Birthday!

Posted by: Matt at November 10, 2008 06:22 AM


Posted by: oddybobo at November 10, 2008 08:57 AM

Mmmmmm!...dry cured English wiltshire of the few foodstuffs I crave for when staying in America.

Posted by: thud at November 13, 2008 01:58 PM