This week was a bit of a Pushing Daisies week for me. On Sunday, I baked an Apple Gruyere Pie for the Brooklyn Pie Social. On Monday, I visited the Mobile Pie Hole in Times Square. And tonight in honor of the premiere, I made yet another Apple Gruyere Pie. This time with BACON...
Bacon. Yes, bacon! When I made the Apple Gruyere the first time, it was quite good, but I got to thinking. Hmmm. What could make this pie even more delicious...more cheese...definitely more cheese...and what else? Hmmm...cheese...cheese...cheese...bacon? Bacon goes well with cheese. Bacon and cheese in an apple pie...it had to be tried...
I decided to go with Dry-Cured Applewood-Smoked Bacon figuring that the slab bacon would hold up a bit better in the baking process.
The recipe I originally followed came from The Rice and Spice Cupboard. On my second attempt I decided to mix it up a little bit...
Apple-Gruyère Pie with Bacon!
Makes one 9 to 10 inch apple pie
Gruyère Pie Crust:
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp. sugar
20 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1 in pieces
2 oz. Gruyère, grated with a microplane rasp grater
6-7 tbsp. ice water
2 oz of grated Gruyère (for the top)
Whisk flour, salt, sugar and Gruyere in a large mixing bowl. Using a food processor, mix butter and flour/cheese mixture until the largest butter chunks are the size of large peas.
Remove flour/cheese/butter mixture from food processor return it to the large mixing bowl. Sprinkle ice water over flour in increments of one tablespoon, toss with fork after each addition. Be careful not to add too much water. You can get an even water distribution by adding putting the water in one of those spritzer bottles. When dough begins to clump together as you stir, test the dough by squeezing it in your hands, if it forms in a lump then gather the rest of the dough together into two separate disks, leaving one slightly larger than the other. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Or if you are in a rush, toss the dough in the freezer for about an hour, when it's solid yet still gives slightly under your touch, it's ready to go.
3/4 lb slab bacon
3 lbs. apples
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
5 tsp. cornstarch or all-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten (for crust)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Take crust dough out of fridge or freezer.
Peel, core and slice apples in 1/2 inch slices. Add spritzes of lemon as you work so your apples don't brown. Toss cut apples with other ingredients. Put apple mixture aside.
Roll the larger piece of dough into a circle around fourteen inches in diameter. I roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to keep it from sticking. Peel off one side of the plastic wrap and center that side of the dough in the pie plate then remove the other sheet of plastic wrap.
Tear four pieces of bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and place on top of the bottom crust. Tear the rest of the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and toss with the apples. Add the apple filling to the crust.
Roll out the slightly smaller dough dish into circle around twelve inches in diameter. Place this dough round on top of the pie. Seal the crusts together using a fork or your fingers. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg, and make three parallel slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
Put the pie on a cookie sheet to catch any drips--I like to cover my cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil to minimize the mess. Put the pie in the oven, bake for 30 minutes then then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake 20 to 30 minutes more, or until you can see the filling bubble up between the slits in the crust. 10 minutes before the pie is done, sprinkle the additional grated cheese on top so it will melt and crisp. Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.
The Apple-Gruyère Pie with Bacon was a hit. The extra cheese on top made the top crust nice and crispy and the slab bacon flavor infused the pie well. I used a mixture of apples: 1 lb Granny Smith, 1 lb fresh sweet little red apples from Vermont, and 1 lb of Cortland apples. It was nice to have the variety of apples (and variety of textures), but it would have been better if the pie were a little juicier and perhaps a little bit sweeter. Next time I'll add a little more Gruyère to the crust. All in all it was a success. This is definitely a pie that I'll make again. And of course, I'll serve it with my Pushing Daisies Pie Server...
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