Monday, January 14, 2008

Bacon Apple Pie

Save your bacon drippings for a pie like your rainy-day childhood fantasies of the sweet-savory territory between ham and mulled cider.

Prepare the crust as usual: grate 1 cup frozen butter into 3 cups well-salted flour, sprinkle on enough water to make a good collection of dough-lumps, and roll out 2/3 of it to the thickness of five thirty-seconds of an inch.  Place it in a large pie dish, trim a half-inch overhang, liberally smear it with bacon drippings saved from breakfast, and put it in the fridge while you butcher up the apples. Refrigerate the unused portion and the scraps.

Take half a dozen or eight large Braeburn apples (roll your 'r's, and linger on that archaically transposed 'ae') and slice, core, and chop them. Peel them if your feel like the trouble. Mix 3 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves (like cloves in the ham, right?) and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Toss with the apples. Then mix 1/2 c. honey and several tablespoons strong red wine (the wine takes the place of lemon juice). Toss with the apples and let macerate while you roll out the remaining dough for the lattice top. Preheat the oven to 425.

You should have plenty of dough to work with, which I much prefer to patch-and-stretch, just-enough dough. Use a sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut it in half-or-three-quarter-inch strips. Retrieve the chilling crust and moisten its overhanging rim with a few dabs of water. Turn the apples out in the crust and put little bits of bacon fat all over them. Arrange strips in parallel over the top of the apples (the warp); then, starting from the center, arrange the perpendicular strips (the woof), weaving each strip into the warp as you go. Trim off the ends even with the bottom crust, and press them into it. Fold the overhang back on top, press to seal, and flute.

Slip the pie into the oven, reducing the heat to 350 when the crust is just starting to gild, some 15-20 minutes into the baking. Stack the crust trimmings, press together, and add to your secret stash of pie dough -- which you ought to use up in the next few days, for breakfast turnovers or another pie or cinnamon pinwheels. The pie is done about half an hour after it starts smelling unearthly -- when it bubbles thick towards the center.

Serve warm with ice cream.

1 comment:

WCrawford said...

'Twas even better than the bacon we had this morning to inspire this beauty!